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Last updated: March 31. 2014 11:50PM - 2612 Views
By Bill Arsenault For The Times Leader



Wyoming Valley West alum Tommy Alexander has won four of his seven decisions in his career thus far at Old Dominion.
Wyoming Valley West alum Tommy Alexander has won four of his seven decisions in his career thus far at Old Dominion.
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An injury has limited the performance of Elena Lagoski this season with the Michigan State women’s gymnastics team, but the freshman is still headed for the NCAA regionals this Saturday in Baton Rouge, La. She’s one of three Spartans making the trip.


Lagoski (Wyoming Valley West and Northeast Gymnastics) will be competing in the floor exercise. She has recorded four 9.900 scores in that event this season and will enter the meet with a 9.890 RQS (regional qualifying score).


“Elena has been limited in her events due to an elbow injury she came to MSU with,” coach Kathy Klages said. “She has excelled at the floor exercise event and, in the beginning of the season, helped us on vault and beam. However, the doctor removed her from vault and beam.”


Lagoski has made the transition to major college gymnastics very well, according to Klages.


“Elena did experience some transition problems early but quickly focused in her technique on her tumbling and managed to perform at a high level on floor exercise. I expect to see her shine at regionals and strive to top her highest scores this season.”


Because the Spartans aren’t competing as a team, Lagoski has to finish in the top two in her event to advance to the NCAA Championships.


ALEXANDER A WORK IN PROGRESS – Sophomore Tommy Alexander (Wyoming Valley West) is starting on the mound for the Old Dominion baseball team.


The 6-foot-3, 195-pound right-hander currently 1-0 with a 4.08 earned run average in seven starts. In 28.2 innings, he’s given up 32 hits and 16 runs, 13 earned. He’s walked seven and struck out 13. Last season, he was 3-3 with a 4.98 ERA but was 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA in Colonial Athletic Association play.


“Tommy is still developing this year and we are waiting for him to become a more consistent pitcher,” coach Chris Finwood said. “He has been solid so far, but too many walks and not enough command at the bottom of the strike zone has hurt him.”


The coach believes Alexander is much stronger this season.


“Tim Lavigne (pitching coach) and I think when he works out a couple of mechanical issues, he will have a very good second half of the season. He’s a great kid and has the potential to be a very good starter. He just hasn’t put it together yet.”


ADRIAN’S A LEADER – Senior Ben Adrian of Dallas (Wyoming Seminary) is a key performer on the Lycoming men’s lacrosse team which is 4-5 overall and 2-0 in the Commonwealth Conference.


The 5-foot-9, 185-pound defensive midfielder has picked up 16 ground balls and had four caused turnovers. He had three ground balls and three caused turnovers in a 12-5 victory over FDU-Florham.


“Ben is one of the team captains and has shown his ability to lead both on and off the field,” coach Chris Scanlon said. “His game and field awareness has improved this season because of his dedication and determination to improve as an individual.”


The coach feels that Adrian is essential to the team.


“Having a leader like Ben to execute an action plan and hold his teammates accountable along the way is very important,” Scanlon said.


HAMPSEY PITCHING IN – Sophomore Jamie Hampsey (Tunkhannock) has posted a 1-3 record for the Scranton softball team.


The right-hander has worked in five games with three starts and has a 4.20 earned run average. In 20 innings, she’s given up 25 hits and 18 runs, 12 earned, with 15 walks and 15 strikeouts. Last season, she was 9-9 with 83 strikeouts.


“Jamie is one of the most hard-working individuals I have had the pleasure of coaching,” Mia Collarini said. “She has really become a vocal leader and a leader by example.”


Collarini said that Hampsey worked hard in the off-season.


“Since last season, she has gained at least three miles an hour on her fastball and her rise has become a great strikeout pitch,” the coach said.


GOODWIN’S VERSATILE – Junior Ryan Goodwin (Tunkhannock) is a key performer on the Mitchell baseball team, which is 7-8 overall and 3-3 in New England Collegiate Conference play.


The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder is hitting .256 (11-for-43) with a double, three runs scored and nine RBI, the latter mark third best on the squad.


“Ryan is one of the most versatile players I have ever coached,” Travis Beausoleil said. “He is our starting catcher but has played third base, second base and left field for us. He is also a side arm pitcher and his ability to be able to change his arm slot depending on where he is on the field is extremely impressive to watch. He is hitting in the middle of the order and we hope he helps lead us to a conference championship.”


PATTERSON IS FOCUSED – Sophomore Danielle Patterson (Wyoming Valley West) is 5-0 at No. 6 singles for the Kutztown women’s tennis team this spring. She was 0-3 in singles and 0-2 in doubles last fall.


“Danielle has worked her way up the ladder and challenging the starting lineup with her consistency and determination,” coach Suresh Ramamurthi said. “She has focused very hard on making major improvement with her game as well as her strength and conditioning. We are impressed with her tremendous improvement and she will definitely be a huge help during our conference matches.”


The 5-1 Huskies are still looking forward to their first PSAC match. The past four have been postponed.


BROWN HELPS KNIGHTS – Senior Dakota Brown (Tunkhannock) is a member of the St. Andrews men’s golf team. A transfer from Florida Atlantic, he had a season-low 74 at the Savannah College of Art and Design Spring Invitational and matched that with a 74 to go with an 84 and 85 for a 243 total to finish tied for 39th in the Sandshark Classic in Beaufort, S.C.


“Dakota is on schedule to graduate next month with a degree in sports and recreation studies,” coach William Carter said. “He’s been a great addition to the team the past two years. His leadership in team workouts and his dedicated practice regimen has been a good model for the younger players on the team to follow.”


KRACUM PITCHES IN – Junior Nicole Kracum (Hazleton Area) is playing No. 5 singles and No. 2 doubles with the Lebanon Valley women’s tennis team. She posted a 6-0, 6-0 victory in singles and an 8-5 triumph in doubles in an 8-1 victory over King’s in the team’s home opener recently in Annville.


For the spring season, she’s 2-3 in singles and 3-2 in doubles.


“Nicole continues to work hard on improving her game, which is evidenced in her consistency of her ground strokes and good footwork,” coach Joy Graeff said. “Her superior fitness level helps her to win long points.”


The coach said that Kracum is an extremely coachable athlete.


“Nicole is working to strengthen her doubles play with improving her net game and learning the strategy for the game of doubles,” Graeff said.


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