Middlesex and England batsman Eoin Morgan has been ruled out of the remainder of the NatWest Series with a shoulder complaint.Morgan first suffered the injury during England’s Ashes tour of Australia earlier this year and the problem flared up after the recent Twenty20 match against India at Old Trafford.England chief medical officer Dr Nick Peirce said: “Eoin has been managing the injury until now with a conservative program. Unfortunately there has been an acute flare in his pain which has not responded to treatment.AdChoices广告“This is a chronic injury and predominantly effects Eoin’s diving and throwing. He now requires a progression in his treatment and will undertake further specialist assessment in the next week before a decision on his forthcoming treatment will be determined.”
BRYAN FAUST/Herald photoAfter nearly a month of fine-tuning in early-season tournaments, the Wisconsin Badgers volleyball team is ready to tip off the real season with the start of conference play.Wisconsin will travel to the Land of Lincoln this weekend for a match against Illinois Friday and Northwestern Saturday as Big Ten action gets underway.The Badgers have stressed the need for improvement ever since opening the season at home with the AVCA Volleyball Showcase. After dropping a match to top-ranked Texas and squeaking by unranked teams in later tournaments, several key areas to develop were exposed, such as passing and defense.”I think we’ve definitely picked up our serving,” senior floor captain Maria Carlini said. “We’ve been working really hard on our defense as well and it shows. We’ve been outdigging teams that we haven’t in the past.”Head coach Pete Waite, on the other hand, is still looking for his team to get better in a different facet of the game — one that doesn’t involve skill so much as energy.”We’ve definitely improved since the AVCA Showcase, but there are still things we need to work on,” Waite said. “We need to try to push hard right away to get the jump on teams. This is a very good come-from-behind team, but it’s not a situation I’d like us to be in.”This weekend will provide the Badgers with a test to see where they are in their progression since the start of the year as both Illinois and Northwestern have drastically improved since last year.In 2005, the Fighting Illini and Wildcats finished in the middle of the conference at seventh and sixth, respectively. Despite being predicted to finish at just about the same spots, the two figure to be the conference dark horses.Illinois acquired two transfers in the off-season — outside hitters Stephanie Alde from Northwestern and Amy Palash from Valparaiso — something Waite believes makes the Illini a respectable team instantly.”Illinois has two transfers coming so they automatically have two veteran players stepping into their lineup that would’ve been holes with inexperienced players,” Waite said. “That alone makes them stronger already.”Illinois also has a very balanced team with two players hitting more than four kills per game — middle blocker Vikki Brown and outside hitter Kayani Turner.Freshman Ashley Edinger, ranked as the No. 1 incoming libero in the nation by PrepVolleyball.com, has stepped in for Illinois and provided the team with some much-needed defense, averaging 5.03 digs per game.The toughest part about traveling to Champaign, Ill., will undoubtedly be adjusting to Huff Hall. Its student section is one of the largest in the nation, as 1,682 students packed in for one of last weekend’s games, more than half of the 3,129 total fans in the arena. Furthermore, Huff Hall’s court is a tad bit shorter than most others so there is much less space to serve.”Their crowd has gotten stronger every year, so it’s a tough place to play,” Waite said.As for Northwestern, the Wildcats are coming off an upset win over then-No. 24 Arizona at home, going on to win its Wildcat Classic last weekend in dramatic five-game fashion. NU is undefeated at home so far this season.”Northwestern definitely has improved from last year,” UW outside hitter Audra Jeffers said. “They’re doing a lot more out of the back row with three hitters out of the back, so that’s going to be huge with our blocking.”We’re really going to have to seal up the block across the net, get all three blockers in to stop that.”Defensively, Northwestern is somewhat similar to Illinois.”Both Illinois and Northwestern are really good defensive teams,” said Carlini. “The main thing with those teams is they’re really scrappy, they play great defense so we need to outdig them.”Either way, starting the Big Ten season out on the road will be difficult, but the Badgers are used to traveling lately. After opening the season at home with the AVCA Volleyball Showcase and the following InnTowner Invitational, Wisconsin has been away from the Field House ever since, going as far as San Diego last weekend.”You’ve got to start somewhere,” Waite said. “We’ve been on the road the last two weekends so this will be three in a row for us, and in ways I think we’re prepared for it because we’re just packing up the suitcases again and hitting the road. We’re ready to go.”
Cody Winiarski kept the Waterloo hitters off balance all night in seven scoreless innings, striking out eight while walking none and scattering four hits.[/media-credit]Harold Riggins did not wait long Wednesday night to let everyone know he was back in the Mallards’ starting lineup.With a runner on in the second, the first baseman drove a first pitch fastball from Waterloo starter Chris Pack over the wall in right center to give his team a 2-0 lead.“He just put it right where I wanted it,” Riggins said of Pack. “It was an elevated fastball, away like belt high and I just saw it and crushed it. It felt pretty good for my first swing coming back.”Riggins was not done, singling twice in the game as well to finish 3-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored. He was not the only one hitting well in the game either, as Madison posted 12 runs on 15 hits en route to a 12-0 victory over Waterloo.His first home run proved to be enough, however, as the Mallards got a brilliant pitching performance from starter Cody Winiarski. The righty threw seven scoreless innings, scattering four hits and striking out eight to earn his third win of the season and lower his ERA to 1.84.“It was nice; double digit runs always seem to make it easier as a pitcher,” Winiarski said. “I felt like I was in control the whole time. It seems the last couple times I’ve pitched at home our guys have put up double digit numbers and it just makes it easy for me.”Winiarski’s performance along with strong defense and timely hitting made for a much different game than the previous night.After dropping an ugly 6-3 game Tuesday, the Mallards came back Wednesday with a lot more energy and focus on getting the job done against the Bucks.“I think the guys were to the point where they were thinking ‘let’s put our best foot forward,’” manager C.J. Thieleke said. “I felt from the start of the day that we were really focused and most of the time that carries over to the game.”Riggins got things started with his home run and the rest of the team followed suit. Just two batters after his two-run blast, Troy Channing crushed a ball out to left with a runner on to make it 4-0 with none out in the second.The Mallards kept the inning going, eventually scoring one more run and loading the bases before Riggins grounded out to end the inning.Even with a 5-0 lead, Thieleke’s squad was not satisfied, however, as they added a run in the fourth, four more in the fifth, one more in the sixth and another in the eighth to make it 12-0.“It’s always good to keep pounding a team,” Riggins said. “It gives other hitters confidence and makes the pitcher’s job that much easier. Putting up more runs instead of just cruising always makes for a better result in the end.”Shortstop Joe DePinto was a major part of keeping things going offensively, driving in three runs on a double down the line in left as a part of the four-run fifth inning.Another hitter that hit well on the night was second baseman Mark Ginther, who doubled twice and scored three runs while going 3-for-4 on the night.Ginther also combined with third baseman J.R. Graham in the fifth inning on a double play that helped Winiarski escape his toughest inning of the night.“That double play was huge,” Winiarski said. “They had guys on first and second, and I was able to get the batter to roll over for the grounder. The first time up he (Troy White) hit the ball hard right up the middle for the second hit of the game, but this time I got him on a slider to roll over to third base for the double play.”The Bucks got two on again with one out in the sixth, but Winiarski retired the next two batters to get out of the inning. Waterloo got just one hit — a double in the ninth off reliever Jacob Esch — in the game’s final three innings.With the win, Madison improves to 14-6 and snaps its two-game losing streak while avoiding its first sweep of the season and moving into a first place tie with the Eau Claire Express. Waterloo drops to 6-14 and remains in last place in the South Division of the Northwoods League.