Facebook Twitter Google+ Corinne Ozanne blasted a ball into center field that kept carrying. She was a junior at Southern Lehigh (Pennsylvania) High School and her shot cleared the temporary fence 200 feet away from home plate set up for softball games. Then it cleared another fence 250 feet away and didn’t land for another 20 or 30 feet beyond that.“Nobody, literally nobody in this area had ever hit a ball like she did when she was in high school,” Southern Lehigh head coach Brian Neefe said. “From a power standpoint, it’s beyond description.”Ozanne, now a senior at Syracuse, has developed a reputation for being a power hitter. She’s gone from clearing fences in Lehigh Valley to doing the same in central New York. She already leads Syracuse in career on-base percentage and slugging percentage and is just 10 home runs shy of SU’s all-time record. And despite four different knee surgeries that have slowed her down, Ozanne has a chance to cement herself as one of the best hitters in Syracuse history.“Yeah, it’s cool to break records,” Ozanne said. “It’s cool to do things that nobody else has before. But I’m more concerned about the overall team success.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWith each swing, Ozanne shifts her weight onto her back leg then in one motion explodes forward, swinging her arms and driving her right knee toward the ground. Sometimes she forgets to finish with the knee drive and the result is instant pain.“If (assistant coach Alisa) Goler doesn’t say ‘drive your knee’ it’s like I just don’t do it,” Ozanne said. “So I have to focus on it more, because if I don’t it hurts.”It used to be natural.Standing in a gym at Southern Lehigh, Neefe saw a freshman on her first day of tryouts with a swing “about as perfect as you could possibly get.” Mechanically it was sound. But her biggest asset was her bat speed. The faster she swung, the longer she could wait on each pitch and the more power she had to send it over the outfield fence. “If you swing a bat with a lot of velocity it actually makes a sound,” Neefe said. “It wooshes through the air. And I don’t think there’s any bat that’s ever wooshed the way that Corinne was able to make her bat woosh.”Ozanne derived the speed from a strength and conditioning program she started after tearing her ACL for the first time at the age of 13 playing basketball. Her parents forced her into it, but the more she went, the stronger and quicker her swing became.By her junior year in high school, Ozanne broke the school record for walks in a season because teams wouldn’t pitch to her. A few of her home runs traveled 275 to 300 feet, Neefe said — dwarfing the average home run distance of about 200 to 210 feet. “Her ability, that bat speed and that follow through,” SU head coach Mike Bosch said. “The power is just there.”The second knee injury came her junior year of high school. Another basketball injury. This time a bucket-handle tear to her meniscus, which was repaired before another ACL tear that caused her to miss her entire senior season. Then a re-tear of her meniscus in her first year at Syracuse.Each time, she rehabbed with a determination to “get back to what she was.”“Mentally it’s a struggle to get through four knee surgeries,” Ozanne said. “I don’t wish that upon anybody, but I also know that it’s shaped me stronger mentally.”With all the home runs, Ozanne never really “pimps” them by flipping her bat, she said. At SU, she’s shown off her moves in practice but only showcased them once in a game.She remembers an opposing coach “talking down” to the Syracuse players and the pitchers not throwing to her. She took a ball that was intended to be outside, she said, and sent it over the opposite field fence before looking at the coach and tossing her bat.“(It) was very not sportsmanlike of myself,” Ozanne said, “but it was in the heat of the moment, and I was not very thrilled with what he was saying.”Ozanne has changed her batting stance “a lot” in the last three years. She’s had one that’s open and one that’s closed. A wide stride and none at all. The angle of her bat has changed and sometimes she finishes her swing with two hands, others it’s just one.This year, Goler has helped Ozanne keep her hands in while swinging and be more selective with what pitches she swings at.The results have always been consistent.She led the Orange in batting average the last two seasons and was second-best her freshman year. All but once she’s led or been tied for the team lead in home runs.This season, Ozanne will bounce around between shortstop, first base and designated player — who only bats — Bosch said. He’s worried about saving her knees.Her senior year in high school, Ozanne was in line to break every career batting record, Neefe said, but her torn ACLs ended that shot before it began. Now her second shot is just beginning. Comments Published on February 9, 2016 at 10:02 pm Contact Jon: firstname.lastname@example.org | @jmettus
The Colts selected former Trojan receiver Michael Pittman Jr. in the second round of the NFL Draft Friday. (Sarah Ko / Daily Trojan) Pittman was the eighth wide receiver selected in this year’s draft. He doesn’t profile as one of the faster receivers in his draft class — he ran a 4.52 40-yard dash at the NFL Draft Combine — but he has been lauded by scouts and draft analysts for his hands, size and ability to make contested catches downfield. Scouts also view Pittman as a potential special teams contributor, a role which he occasionally played during his college career. Pittman is the 511th Trojan of all time to be drafted into the NFL, the most of any school in the nation. Pittman will be the newest target for potential Hall of Fame quarterback Philip Rivers, who signed with the Colts this offseason after a lengthy career with the Los Angeles (formerly San Diego) Chargers. “I just couldn’t be more happy that I get to start with a Hall of Fame quarterback,” Pittman said of Rivers. The Colts finished with a 7-9 record last season, third place in the AFC South, following the surprising retirement of quarterback Andrew Luck just a couple weeks before the season’s start. Pittman will look to help add to an Indianapolis offense that finished with the eighth-fewest total yards per game and the third-fewest passing yards per game last season. However, the Colts finished with 22.6 points per game last year, 16th in the NFL. Michael Pittman Jr. became the latest Trojan to join the NFL fraternity when the Indianapolis Colts selected the wide receiver with the 34th overall pick in the NFL Draft Friday. In 2019, Pittman proved himself to be one of the best receivers in the nation, finishing fourth in receptions and 10th in receiving yards en route to a nomination as a Biletnikoff Award finalist. He started all 13 games for the Trojans and was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team and AP All-American Second Team. “I am super excited to be a Colt,” Pittman said in a video posted to the Colts’ Twitter. “Let’s bring the juice.” “I was almost certain that I was gonna be a Colt today,” Pittman said. “You see the blue shirt? … Just based on the conversations that we had. I felt like we had a good connection and I just felt like it was the right fit … I think that they brought me in to impact right now.” Pittman also won the 2019 Pop Warner College Award, given to a senior who made an impact on the field, in the classroom and in the community. A team captain for USC, Pittman won USC’s MVP, Community Service Award and Lifters Award. “I feel like I try to be diverse in what I can do,” Pittman said. “I feel like I use my hands well. Being a bigger guy, people expect me to be physical and strong. So I have that, but I can also do all of the stuff that all of the smaller guys can.”
“This is going to be great for the Clippers. This guy is so competitive and he’s already incredibly rich,” said one league source who has had indirect contact with Ballmer. “He’s not here to just show up and shine in the spotlight. He’s going to roll up his sleeves and ensure the Clippers have a winning basketball team.”The NBA still needs to hold a formal vote in which 23 of the 30 NBA owners would have to approve Ballmer’s purchase. There is no date set, but a league source familiar with the proceedings believes the date “will be determined within in a matter of weeks” after conducting financial and background checks. Beyond handling a $1 billion lawsuit from the formerly embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the NBA does not anticipate many hiccups with the sale. Part of the reason involves Ballmer, who attempted to purchase an NBA team in past years. He tried to form an ownership group with the former Seattle Supersonics to prevent them from moving to Oklahoma City. Ballmer also bid to buy the Sacramento Kings last year with Seattle investor Chris Hensen. “The Lakers and Buss Family welcomes Steve Ballmer to Los Angeles,” Lakers president Jeanie Buss tweeted on Friday. “Congratulations on your purchase of the Clippers.”Yet, questions still loom.Ballmer’s abrasive personality reportedly alienated those in Microsoft, which could explain why the company declined on Friday to make any officials available to speak about him. Hensen’s spokesperson did not respond on Friday to requests for comments, making it unclear how Ballmer’s latest project could hurt his former partner’s quest to bring a team to Seattle. But league accounts downplayed Ballmer’s apparent abrasiveness. The NBA also does not anticipate Ballmer moving the team to Seattle because Los Angeles serves as the second-biggest market and it would require Board of Governor approval. Instead, the league believes Ballmer will use his role as a member of the Board of Governors to entice other owners to vote in favor of adding another NBA franchise in Seattle.“I will be honored to have my name submitted to the NBA Board of Governors for approval as the next owner of the Los Angeles Clippers,” Ballmer said in a statement. “I love basketball. And I intend to do everything in my power to ensure that the Clippers continue to win — and win big — in Los Angeles. “L.A. is one of the world’s great cities — a city that embraces inclusiveness, in exactly the same way that the NBA and I embrace inclusiveness. I am confident that the Clippers will, in the coming years, become an even bigger part of the community.”And those in the league seem confident Ballmer, who attended City Hall on Friday and watched the Kings game in the AEG suite at Staples Center, will do so by demonstrating the same passion and colorful personality that made Microsoft’s presentations so memorable. — Staff writer Dakota Smith contributed to this report With his collared shirt drenched in sweat, Steve Ballmer stood on stage before an attentive audience. He provided as much energy as Clippers fans at Staples Center show once Blake Griffin throws down a lob from Chris Paul.Ballmer shouted key words to explain his vision as Microsoft’s former CEO, shouting “developers, developers, developers” in one instance and “advertisers, advertisers, advertisers” the next. Ballmer pranced around on stage the same way a basketball player occasionally performs during lineup introductions. Then, Ballmer passionately outlined his philosophies at these countless events where he touted the company’s products. All of this partly explained how Ballmer oversaw Microsoft’s annual revenue jump from $25 billion to $75 billion during his 14-year tenure as CEO before retiring in early February. All of this partly explained how he has gained a net worth of $20 billion, according to Forbes. All of this partly explained why he agreed on Thursday to buy the Clippers for $2 billion, the second-most expensive sports franchise purchase of all time. What Ballmer displayed with words and body movements revealed a man intent on following his convictions with unmatched energy. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “Number one, great ideas matter,” Ballmer said in 2011 when he spoke as the commencement speaker for USC, where his son attended. “Number two, find passion. And, number three, be tenacious, be irrepressible.”It appears Ballmer will bring such qualities to the Clippers. “Steve Ballmer loves basketball, is a smart businessman & he’ll probably shake every fans hand outside the arena on opening night!” tweeted Lakers legend Magic Johnson. Those around the league expect Ballmer to spend lavishly. With the Clippers’ regional sports network TV deal with Fox Prime Ticket expiring after the 2015-16 season, they expect him to launch a new cable channel to maximize the team’s revenue. Those in the league also anticipate he will provide colorful behavior, just like he did at his Microsoft presentations. Ballmer will do so both to generate excitement and resources for a team that expects to make a championship push after falling in six games to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2014 Western Conference semifinals.
UK drinks start-up debuts new cactus and watermelon waterPosted By: News Deskon: July 04, 2017In: Beverage, Innovation, Juices, New products, WaterPrintEmailBetter-for-you beverage brand Water Works has launched a cactus water and watermelon water in the UK.Both completely natural with no added sugar, the drinks are positioned as healthier alternatives to sugary soft drinks and sports drinks. They are inspired by the rise in alternative waters with similar function and hydration benefits to coconut water, which accounted for 96% of global volume of alternative waters last year.The watermelon water contains no added water – it is 100% watermelon juice – and was inspired by a cold-pressed watermelon juice that Water Works’ founders tried in Los Angeles, adapted for a longer shelf-life.The cactus water uses 30% not-from-concentrate prickly pear juice. The prickly pears are sourced from Europe, London-based Water Works explained, which means they have a different taste and colour profile to those sourced in the US.Ashil Vaghela, creator and co-founder of Water Works, said: “We are excited to be joining the growing Natural Hydration sector and decided to start with watermelon water and prickly pear cactus thanks to the agreeable flavour profiles and functional benefits that these super-fruits offer. Having a range that extends beyond just the one ingredient is important to us as it helps create that billboard effect on shelf. It also gives us access to several markets and most importantly, helps us remain relevant should trends or tastes change. We plan to follow up with exciting NPD soon.“Our goal for the rest of 2017 is to raise our profile and secure an important retail listing in the UK. Thanks to the category building efforts that have been made by our friends over at What a Melon and True Nopal, we are confident that buyers will soon be amenable to the idea of listing us alongside our competitors, especially given the steps we have taken to differentiate our products from theirs.”According to food and drink consultancy Zenith Global, the market for alternative waters – including cactus water and watermelon water – is forecast to double by 2020. Volume is expected to reach 1.9 billion litres, after growth of 21% in 2016 helped the market to value of $2.7 billion.The drinks are packaged in convenient and environmentally friendly Tetra Paks. Each 330ml carton has a suggested retail price of £1.99, with a case of 12 cartons available online for a price of £20. Cases are available as either 12 cactus water, 12 watermelon water, or a mixed case of 12 drinks. The cases work out at less than £1.70 per carton.Share with your network: Tags: bottled watercactus watercoconut waterUKWater Workswatermelon water