EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 10, 2014

Sports in a Minute

David Willis
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — SOFTBALL SURPRISE

Pentucket softball’s Nicolette Kent may have missed out on her team’s huge season-opening 11-3 win over Haverhill due to injuries, but it still ended up being a thrilling day for the outfielder.

As the Sachems took the field for pregame warm-ups, the junior was presented with a bright green softball with the word “PROM?” written on it in front of her team. She happily accepted.

Apparently, elaborate prom offers — known as “Promposals” — have become a popular trend. Perhaps I owe the lovely young lady who, back in 2002 accompanied me to the Pentucket prom, an apology. I casually asked on the way to track practice.

So even though Kent couldn’t play on Monday, it proved to be a home run day on the diamond.

TD STILL THROWING

It may not have worked out for former Salem High ace and Eagle-Tribune Player of the Year Terry Doyle in the Red Sox organization last year, but TD continues to pursue his career in professional baseball.

Doyle, 28, was signed by the Chicago White Sox and is pitching for the Double-A Birmingham Barons. He allowed four runs in five innings in his first start of the season.

The Barons may sound familiar because that is the team that NBA icon Michael Jordan played for during his professional baseball experiment. The manager for the team then? Sox legend Terry Francona.

GOLF BREAKTHOUGH

Former Lawrence High golfer Nick Caruso played a key role in helping the Mars Hill University (N.C.) golf team rally back from a four-stroke deficit on the final day to win the Roanoke Invitational. According to the website, it was the first time the school won that tourney in over 30 years and the first title overall in “recent memory.”

Caruso, a 2012 Lawrence High graduate, was fifth on the team and 14th overall.

ONE LONG DROUGHT

It doesn’t take a baseball expert to know that the Chicago Cubs are the gold standard for championship futility. They last won the World Series title in 1908 and haven’t even won a pennant since 1945.

Well, here are a few facts that place the time since the cursed club last earned a championship ring into perspective. The last time the Cubs won a World Series:

— Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, and New Mexico were not yet states.

— The Ottoman Empire still existed.

— Lollipops had not yet been invented.

CRAZY BUT TRUE

Tyquone Greer, a senior at Orr High School in Chicago, was shot twice on March 9. Just 12 days later, he knocked down a game-winning shot on the basketball court.

While attending a neighborhood party, the 6-foot-7 junior swingman was shot twice in the left leg. He spent a day in the hospital and his season was over, right?

Nope. After pestering his coach, Greer was allowed to play limited minutes in the Chicago Class 3A “Supersectional,” and with three seconds left in the game hit his only shot, the 3-pointer that gave Orr a 71-68 win over North Chicago.

LONG-BALL FEST

In track, if the wind is blowing hard enough during a race, a score can be deemed “wind-assisted” and therefor not qualify as a record time. Most often the case in sprints and jumps, numerous world records have been disallowed because of “tail wind.”

Perhaps this rule could also be instituted in baseball.

Last week, Page High School (Ariz.) hit a state record 12 home runs on the way to beating in-state rival Many Farms — in a game that saw wind reach 60 miles-per-hour and cause delays in the game. One Page player, Tyler James, tied the state record with four home runs.

Now that is wind-aided.