Sports / The Prairie Fire / January 14, 2009

Crystal ball shows life for Knox women

With two weeks having passed since the ball dropping in Times Square, it is my sincere honor to drop the ball on these sports-related forecasts. Some are serious, some are not so serious. All should be taken with several grains of salt.

Prediction numero uno, a serious one – With the coming of the 2009-10 school year, Knox College will see the emergence of its women’s basketball squad as one of the premiere athletic programs on campus. The Fire lose senior Hayle Gosnell, but return four starters. Freshmen Krystyna Williams (11.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg) and Lyn Mueller (10.0 ppg, 4.5 apg, 3 spg) have shown great strides in taking on immediate leadership roles. The Fire will also return its top scorer in junior Erin Navolio (14.5 ppg) and top rebounder in junior Kate Moon (11.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg).

David Stern enacts a specific rule in the National Basketball Association forbidding the use of a “crab dribble.” LeBron James protests just below the steps of the United States Supreme Court, who upholds Stern’s ruling.

The Chicago Cubs will obtain 2007 Cy Young winner Jake Peavy in a trade by May 15. The Cubs traded utility fan-favorite Mark DeRosa to the Indians for three prospects – perhaps giving the Cubs the pitching leverage they need to complete the Peavy deal with the Padres.

Partially because of the DeRosa trade, the Cubs’ signing of Milton Bradley will come back to haunt them. Bradley’s .436 on-base percentage in 2008 is tough to argue, but so is his volatility. Bradley blows up, literally, in a chemical reaction involving a fan, an oxygen tank, a match, and an accurate throw.

ESPN reporter Erin Andrews asks syndicated sports columnist Mike Nadel to be her valentine. For those of you who don’t know the story behind this, search for Nadel’s column from July 30, “Blonde bombshell can’t distract red-hot Cubs.”

Sophomore Prairie Fire pitcher Jordan Ball will finally get the recognition he deserved last year with an all-conference bid this year. Ball, who finished with the team’s second-lowest ERA (3.93) in a conference-most 71 innings, works harder than nearly any other athlete in the conference in the off-season, and can’t have the same kind of bad luck in offensive support two years in a row.

At least, I hope not.

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