Saturday, March 28, 2009

As the softball schedule changes...

The wet winter weather in Durant, Oklahoma (it's 37 degrees there right now) forced the cancellation of this weekend's 2009 Lone Star Conference Softball Crossover. Fortunately, LSC officials made the call to scratch the three-day, 42-game event early enough on Friday that our TWU softball team did not make the drive up there.

After being notified of the cancelled tournament, Coach Bruister (pictured) went to work right away to fill the voids on his team's schedule this weekend. Abilene Christian was already in Durant, so Richie called the Wildcats' head coach - the always pleasant Chantiel Wilson - and convinced them to stop here in Denton on their way home and play a (non-conference) doubleheader against our team on Friday afternoon (read about those games here). He also got a hold of Cameron University head coach Beth Watson and worked it out so the Aggies will come to Denton on Sunday afternoon to play a 2/4 p.m. doubleheader. Hopefully all of our TWU softball fans will come out to Pioneer Field and enjoy some "bonus" softball!

I've got to give credit to Coach Bruister. A lot of coaches would have just pulled the plug on this weekend because of the weather. But - knowing that his team needs in-region games to enhance their postseason chances - he scrambled to find opponents, umpires, and staff to run these games. High five to him.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Happy camper

Let me explain why I'm a happy camper now. We're whole again. I have a full staff and all is well on Bell Avenue in beautiful Denton, Texas. Naveen Boppana has taken his place in the office as our new Asst. AD/Sports Information Director. Jeff Bowerman has relinquished the SID reins so he can concentrate on his duties as Asst. AD/Marketing and Operations. A HUGE THANK YOU to Jeff for tackling both jobs in the interim. This was a monumental task and Jeff was a very busy guy...and always had a smile on his face even when he was functioning on little sleep.

So I'm going to enjoy our wonderful staff as we barrel through the spring. Because you know, things change and although I'm always hopeful that there will be a summer when we won't have any open positions, good people move on sometimes. (I don't want them to, but I'm happy for them.)

Welcome, Naveen!

Job security...

Our softball head coach, Richie Bruister, had a great line at our Maroon and White Luncheon this past Tuesday afternoon at Outback Steakhouse. He got up and said - "My next career is going to be a weather man. That's the only job in the world where you can be wrong 75 percent of the time and still keep your job.". Good point made by Coach Bruister. Our TWU softball team was scheduled to host ECU for a pair of LSC crossover games on Tuesday afternoon, Mar. 24. The forecast on Monday called for an 80% chance of rain on Tuesday. So Coach Bruister and the ECU head coach (Destini Anderson) agreed to rescheduled the games for Wednesday afternoon when it was SUPPOSED to be clear and sunny. Unfortunately, the weather did not follow the script. Tuesday afternoon turned out to be beautiful and Wednesday brought us a three-hour plus downpour. Needless to say, our games against the Lady Tigers were washed out.

That's part of softball season, though. You've got to almost expect the unpredictable weather. Coach Bruister is going to try and reschedule the games against ECU for a later date in April. Check the softball schedule on to see what he works out.

Now our softball team will focus on getting ready for this weekend's 2009 Lone Star Conference Softball Crossover at the Durant, Multi-Sports Complex in Durant, Oklahoma. The schedule for the Crossover tournament is a hectic one - six games in three days - two games Friday, two games Saturday, and two games Sunday. Our new Assistant AD/SID Naveen Boppana will be traveling up to Durant for Friday and Saturday's games so perhaps he can throw some game updates up on this blog (that is if I get it worked out for him to post).

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Show time in Normal...

The 2009 Midwest Independent Conference (MIC) Championship just began at Illinois State University. The TWU gymnastics team is in search of their second MIC crown in four years (they won the 2006 MIC title). Pioneer fans that want to watch the meet can do so online at I just bought the video ($6.95 well spent if you ask me) and was able to watch Tonya Pipkorn get us started on floor exercise! Hey if you can't be there - like me - watching online is the next best thing.

Rare Saturday off for the TWU softball team...

So its a Saturday in March, about 75 degrees out, not a cloud in the sky, just a slight breeze, lots of sun...i.e. a perfect day for softball. However, all is quiet on the TWU softball front this afternoon. This is actually the second Saturday in a row that the Pioneers have been idle. Last Saturday, Mar. 14, the Pioneers did not play their scheduled home doubleheader versus ACU because of rain and poor field conditions. Today is a scheduled Saturday off for head coach Richie Bruister (the highly touted one) and his charges. Here's hoping that they use the time away from the field wisely - the Pioneers will play six games in eight days next week, beginning with next Tuesday's (Mar. 24) home doubleheader versus East Central.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Welcome to the TWU Athletics Blog

The TWU Athletics department has officially joined the blog-o-sphere!

As of right now, all of the blog posts will come directly from the cluttered brain of Mr. Jeff Bowerman (that's me - the Asst. AD for Marketing/Operations for the Pioneers). After I make sure we get all the kinks worked out on this new toy I'm going to add users. You'll soon be hearing from Naveen Boppana (our new Asst. AD for Sports Information), Chalese Connors (our AD - can't leave out the boss), and, eventually, our five Pioneer head coaches - Fleur Benatar (soccer), Shelly Barberee (volleyball), Beth Jillson (basketball), Frank "The General" Kudlac (gymnastics) and Richie Bruister (softball).

Ultimately what I want to do is create a blog for all five of our sports teams. Then the coaches and student-athletes for each sport could post their own blog-friendly thoughts.

Hopefully all of our Pioneer fans will get in the habit of checking this blog. This is where you are going to find a less formal (but maybe more insightful) take on all things TWU Athletics.

So what's going on tonight in the Pioneer nation? Not a lot; it's a rare slow Friday. Our Pioneer ninjas (that's what I call our gymnastics team - come watch a meet, you'll see why the name fits) traveled to Normal, Illinois and Illinois State University earlier today. They are getting ready to compete in the 2009 MIC Championship tomorrow (Saturday, Mar. 21) at 4:00 p.m. I talked to Lisa Klein (our Assistant Gymnastics Coach) a couple of hours ago (we talk a lot actually HA) and she said the coaches and team were getting ready to head out for a pregame meal. Should be a relaxing night for The General's Army - dinner, team meeting, lights out. We won the 2006 MIC title but finished fourth in both 07 and 08. Hopefully we'll have a good showing tomorrow. SEMO should be the favorite (they are the top-ranked team in the conference), but don't sleep on the Pioneers. Our team has been steadily improving all season long, and, if we hit like we're capable of, then we can definitely win another conference crown. Hey - you can watch the meet online at Be sure to check out the webcast if you are by the computer.

That's it for now. Bookmark this blog as a favorite. I'll do my best to keep fresh stuff on here. E-mail comments, concerns, questions, etc. to me at

See you down the dusty trail!