May 5, 2007 Box Score SOUTHAVEN, Miss. – Gulf South Conference East Division fourth seed West Georgia scored four runs over the final three innings to erase a 2-0 deficit en route to a 4-3 win over GSC East Division second seed West Florida on Saturday. The game was a loser’s bracket elimination game on the second day of the GSC Tournament. West Georgia (33-31) earned their third win over West Florida this season. West Florida (34-25) lost their first two games of the GSC Tournament for the first time since 1996.West Florida opened the scoring in the top of the second inning. With runners at second and third and two outs, Kat Sheppard (Milton, Fla./Gulf Breeze HS) delivered a two out single. West Florida tried to add another run in the third inning, but Taren Walton (Pensacola, Fla./Pine Forest HS) was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first on Nicky VanCamp’s (Davenport, Iowa/Kirkwood CC) two out double.Valerie Staub (East Brunswick, N.J./Wallace-Dothan CC) led off the top of the fourth inning with her fourth home run of the season. Later in the inning, West Florida put runners at first and second with no outs, but the Argonauts were unable to score.West Georgia tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. Kim Weaver singled to lead off the inning, and Adrienne Clay followed with her ninth home run of the season. It was Clay’s second home run against West Florida pitching this season.West Georgia claimed the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth inning. Celia Petty led off with a single and was sacrificed to second base. After advancing to third on a groundout, Petty scored on an infield single down the third base line by Weaver. After Weaver stole second and Jamie Van Haltern walked, Jessie Wise singled to right field to give West Georgia a 4-2 lead.West Florida cut the deficit to one in the top of the sixth inning on an RBI ground out by Ashlee Simpson (Decatur, Ala./Jefferson State CC). West Florida brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning, but the Argonauts were unable to score.Kacie Crider (9-10) earned the victory in relief for West Georgia. She limited West Florida to one run on three hits with three strikeouts over three innings. Kate Thompson started the game and pitched the first three-plus innings. She re-entered the game to pitch a scoreless seventh inning. Taren Walton (17-10) suffered her first loss as a starter since Apr. 6. She allowed four runs on nine hits with two strikeouts in a complete game performance. Simpson and Staub each drove in a run in their final West Florida game. Melissa Chastang (Saraland, Ala./Satsuma HS) recorded her first career three-hit game.West Florida ends their season at 34-25. It is the 11th consecutive season that West Florida has posted at least 30 wins. West Florida also advanced to their 13th consecutive GSC TournamentPrint Friendly Version Argonauts Season Ends in Loss to Wolves Share
In the months following Vela’s signing, the club’s emphasis on Latino fans became clear. The official supporters’ group crafted chants in Spanish as well as English, borrowing concepts from Liga MX and the Premier League alike. The team’s events took place at staple sites in downtown L.A., at Randy’s Donuts and Pink’s Hot Dogs and dollar stores alike. The club even released a jersey for Steven Beitashour scripted in Farsi, the Iranian defender’s first language. You can learn everything you need to know about the Los Angeles Football Club within five minutes of stepping foot in its stadium. It’s only been a year, but LAFC has already earned the right to say that it is the soccer club of Los Angeles. Sure, this team is the new kid on the block, but the tired nobility in Carson has been losing steam for ages, and the glitter of imported European stars will only keep the blood pumping for so much longer. As the Major League Soccer season approaches this weekend, the two teams will start the second leg of their fight for Los Angeles, and LAFC is poised to take the city. The MLS tried to recapture Latino fans in Los Angeles in the past with Chivas USA, an off-shoot of a Liga MX club, but that venture fell through. This time, however, LAFC made certain these fans weren’t missed. The club’s first signing was Carlos Vela, a Mexican national team star fondly referred to as “Carlito” by many Mexican fans. His acquisition was an incredible tactical move — he led the team in goals and assists last year despite missing a month of the season for the World Cup — and he also helped solidify Mexican fan support for the club. That momentum comes from the club’s mentality off the field, built off the motto that it was founded on — street by street, block by block, one by one. The club centered itself in this ideal before construction on its stadium began and, in the process, conquered the most important battle in winning dominance in the city — capturing Latino fans. The club’s outreach programs truly worked street by street to create a network of fans in the heart of Los Angeles. LAFC recognized everything that the Galaxy did wrong — it didn’t plant itself in a suburb rather than in the city and didn’t appeal to a white “family friendly” ideal rather than to the Latino community that dominates local soccer fandom. In the past year, I’ve seen enough of this club to know that it has legs. Something is different with LAFC. Its stadium has the hum of a championship team, the buzz of a storied club. The power that it holds among its fans is already greater and deeper than that held by the Galaxy, and if the club keeps winning, that momentum will only build. Banc of California Stadium is gleaming, especially when its facade catches the glow of a Los Angeles sunset. Yet it’s the energy within the bowl of the stadium that truly defines this club. Specifically, the north end of the stadium is a sheer wall of standing-room-only pandemonium. By kick-off, this section is filled with 3,252 fans with painted faces and flags that won’t stop waving until long after the final whistle. To watch an LAFC game is to experience a cacophony of black and gold. I’ve covered LAFC since its stadium was just a skeleton, since its roster consisted of three players. I was drenched in beer in the supporters section when Laurent Ciman scored the first-ever goal on the team’s home turf. I’ve seen fans outlast an hours-long rain delay, roaring chants and beating drums even when the thunder drowned them out. Julia Poe is a senior writing about her personal connection to sports. Her column, “Poe’s Perspective,” runs weekly on Thursdays. It’s hard to say what will happen if LAFC doesn’t keep winning, but one thing is for sure — this team hasn’t been around for long, but it’s certainly here to stay. The result has been a beautiful fan experience completely molded by a fanbase as colorful and vibrantly unique as Los Angeles itself. Fans wave the Korean, Vietnamese, Uruguayan and Mexican flags alongside the LAFC flags in the stands during games, and chants are sung in a mix of Spanish and English, with other fans quickly picking up the new language. LAFC is a celebration of this city’s rich history, its overlapping cultures and a common thread that brings them together — the game of soccer. In truth, LAFC and the L.A. Galaxy didn’t finish last season that far apart. The Galaxy ended the season just below the red line, missing the playoffs, but there were only three games of difference between the two teams. Yet week in and week out, it felt as if LAFC had much more to work with, mainly because the club’s fans were so desperately, unyieldingly loud in their support.