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WEEKEND EDITION / THURSDAY, FEB. 16, 2017 VOLUME 91 ISSUE 74


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SPORTS

FEB. 16, 2017

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BASEBALL

Team seeks Big 12 championship By BRANDON SOLIZ Staff Writer

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Texas Tech The Red Raiders open up as the third-ranked team in the Big 12 Conference preseason rankings. However, Tech did capture the Big 12 regular season title in 2016. The Red Raiders already have a tough schedule, playing teams like Cal and Texas A&M, but teams like TCU and Oklahoma State are among the top in the nation, not only in the Big 12. Sophomore pitchers Davis Martin and Steven Gingery headline the Tech roster after impressive freshman years. Although Tech lost hitters like former first baseman Eric Gutierrez, returners like junior outfielder Tanner Gardener and senior outfielder Hunter Hargrove bring experience and bats to the Tech lineup. Texas Augie Garrido, college baseball’s most winningest coach, departed from Texas after 20 years. His replacement David

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Pierce inherits a lineup with potential to compete. However, last season, the Longhorns finished 25-32. Junior pitchers Morgan Cooper, Kyle Johnston and Connor Mayes lead the Texas bullpen. The Longhorns open their Big 12 schedule against Tech. Texas is projected to finish fourth in conference play, one place behind the Red Raiders. Infielder Kacy Clemens led Texas in batting with a .303 batting average. Infielder Travis Jones was the only other Longhorn to bat a .300 average. Oklahoma Oklahoma continues to rebuild under coach Pete Hughes in his fourth season with the Sooners. The Sooners are projected to place sixth in the Big 12. According to Oklahoma Athletics, the Sooners are returning three Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball News Freshman All-Americans in catcher Domenic DeRenzo, pitcher Jake Irvin and outfielder Steele Walker. DeRenzo set an Oklahoma freshman

record in slugging percentage with a .592. The Sooners finished last season with a 30-27-1 record. Like the Longhorns, only two Sooners reached the .300 mark on the year in batting. Infielder Sheldon Neuse led the team with a .369 batting average, with infielder Alex Wise following with a .304. Baylor According to the Baylor Athletics, the Bears will have 19 newcomers and two redshirts joining the team this season. The Bears are projected to finish seventh in the Big 12. However, Baylor last won the conference championship in 2012. Last season, the Bears finished with a 24-29 overall record and a 10-14 conference record. Catcher Matt Menard led the Bears in hitting and slugging percentage. Menard posted a .309 average and a .500 slugging percentage. Three other Bears hit more than .300: Infielder Steven McLean was behind Menard with a .308 batting average; outfielder Kameron Esthay was third on the team with a .307; first baseman T.J. Raguse

posted an even .300. Kansas State The Wildcats last won the Big 12 title in 2013. Kansas State is led by first baseman Jake Scudder in hitting. Scudder averaged a team-leading .333 at the plate. Following Scudder on the active roster is infielder Jake Wodtke, who posted a .301 batting average last season. Kansas State’s most experienced returning pitcher is Rigler Parker. Parker had a 4.89 ERA last season and tallied a 4-9 record. The Wildcats finished last season with a record of 26-31 and a conference record of 8-16. The team finished eighth in the Big 12 in 2016 and is predicted to fall in the same spot this season. Oklahoma State The Cowboys are coming off a strong 2016 campaign. Oklahoma State reached the NCAA College Baseball World Series last season for the first time since 1999, according to the Oklahoma State Athletics. The Cowboys finished the season with a 43-22 record. They won the regular sea-

son conference championship in 2014 and reached the Big 12 Championship finale in 2014 and 2015. Oklahoma State returns five All-Big 12 performers from last season: pitchers Tyler Buffett, Trey Cobb, Jensen Elliot, infielder Garrett Benge and first baseman Dustin Williams. Oklahoma State is 10 points behind TCU in the Big 12 preseason rankings for first place. The 10-point gap between the Horned Frogs and the Cowboys is the biggest between the top two teams since 2010, according to the Big 12 website. TCU The Horned Frogs open the 2016 season as the No. 1 Big 12 team in the preseason rankings. TCU not only possesses that ranking but also is a favorite for a run at the national championship. The Horned Frogs advanced to their third consecutive College World Series appearance last season and won the Big 12 Postseason Championship as well.

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SOFTBALL

Tech ready for conference opponents By ALEXA BOUTWELL Sports Editor

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When one plays sports at the collegiate level, the ultimate goal is to win games and capitalize during conference play. For the Texas Tech softball team, it will be looking to do just that during the 2017 Big 12 Conference season play. Texas Tech The Red Raiders started the 2017 season with a 3-2 overall record, according to Tech Athletics. Tech defeated Texas A&M Corpus Christi, 7-0, on Friday and then fell to Corpus Christi two days later, 2-0. The Red Raiders defeated Iowa, 7-4,

and Abilene Christian, 3-0, but lost their season-opening game to Texas State, 2-1. Freshman outfielder Raina O’Neal has capitalized this season for Tech tallying three home runs on the season, according to Tech Athletics. O’Neal has had five hits in 15 at bats and six RBIs to help Tech pull out three wins. In the win over Iowa, sophomore Jessica Hartwell had two hits and one run in four at bats to assist Tech with the win, according to Tech Athletics. Last season, Tech finished No. 6 in the conference with a record of 6-12, according to Big 12 sports. First on the schedule for conference play is a three-

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game series against Iowa State from March 24-26. Iowa State Last season, the Cyclones finished last in the Big 12 with a record of 1-17, according to Big 12 sports. Iowa State opened the 2017 season with a loss to No. 11 UL-Lafayette, 9-1, according to Iowa State Athletics. Junior outfielder Kelsey McFarland has been a force for the Cyclones this season with eight hits on 15 at bats, according to Iowa State Athletics. McFarland has four RBIs on the season and one home run. The Cyclones have a 2-3 season record after falling to DePaul twice, 3-2 and 3-1, on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Iowa State has defeated Southern Miss, 6-4, and Ball State, 7-4, according to Iowa State Athletics. Baylor The No. 21 Baylor Bears are third on the Red Raiders’ conference schedule. They will play a three-game series from March 31 to April 2, according to Tech Athletics. Baylor has a season record of 3-2. Last season, the Bears finished second in the Big 12 with a conference record of 9-4. One Bear who has proven to be an asset this season is senior infielder Ari Hawkins. In 13 at bats, she has four hits,

one home run and six RBIs, according to Baylor Athletics. Baylor started the 2017 season off with a loss to Fordham, 1-0. The team then went on to win three straight games against Cal State Northridge, 9-0, Northwestern, 7-6, and Tulsa, 9-1, according to Baylor Athletics. Baylor’s last game played was a win against No. 10 Arizona, 4-0. Kansas The Red Raiders will face the Jayhawks in a three-game series starting April 7-9, according to Tech Athletics. The Jayhawks lead the Big 12 this season with a record of 5-0, according to Kansas Athletics. Kansas defeated Akron, 2-1; Savannah State in a doubleheader, 16-2 and 16-1; Stetson, 4-0; and Akron again, 6-0. Senior utility player Taylor Dodson is capitalizing on offense this season, leading the Jayhawks in home runs with four, according to Kansas Athletics. In 14 at bats, Dodson has had seven hits and six RBIs. Dodson is not the only Jayhawk to perform at a high level this season. In 17 at bats, junior catcher/infielder Jessie Roane has eight hits, three home runs and eight RBIs on the season, according to Kansas Athletics. Texas The Longhorns will travel

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to Lubbock for a three-game series from April 13-15, according to Texas Athletics. Texas has a record of 3-2 on the season. The Longhorns defeated Colorado State twice this season, 8-0 and 7-2, and topped Maryland, 10-2, according to Texas Athletics. However, Texas lost to No. 16 Minnesota twice, 5-2 and 11-6. In the five games played this season, senior shortstop/ third basemen Devon Tunning has six hits, one home run and six RBIs in 15 at bats, according to Texas Athletics. Oklahoma State Tech will travel to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to face the Cowgirls on April 21-23, according to Tech Athletics. Last year, Tech swept the Cowgirls with three runs and a home run from senior infielder Brittany Warnecke. Because of the upperclassmen on the roster, there is no reason Tech cannot rise in the Big 12 this season, Warnecke said. “I think having nine seniors is great. I mean we’ve all been through it for four years now. We know what to expect. We know what it’s like,” Warnecke said. “So, I think having that and we know how to lead, what a game’s like and what pressure’s like.” Oklahoma State’s two losses this season were both handed by No. 4 LSU, 14-2 and 5-2, according to Oklahoma State Athletics. The Cowgirls defeated McNeese State twice, 5-1 and 6-5. Oklahoma State also defeated Penn State, 1-0. Rylee Bayless has capitalized on her opportunities at the plate with one home run, six hits and four RBIs in 12 at bats, according to Oklahoma State Athletics. Oklahoma Last on the schedule for Big 12 play is No. 1 Oklahoma, according to Tech Athletics. The Red Raiders will host a three-game series against the Sooners starting April 28-30. The Sooners started the season off with a record of 2-2, according to Sooner sports. Oklahoma lost to No. 2 Auburn, 3-2. No. 13 Washington handed Oklahoma its other loss, 1-0. The Sooners defeated Brigham Young, 7-1, and shut out Nebraska, 6-0, according to Sooner sports. In the win over Nebraska, junior outfielder Nicole Pendley had two hits and one RBI in four at bats. The Sooners are the reigning Big 12 champions after a nearly perfect 17-1 record last season, according to Sooner Sports. With a fresh season getting into action, Tech is in a three-way tie in its overall season record with Big 12 opponents No. 21 Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas, according to Big 12 Sports. After finishing second to last in the Big 12, the Red Raider softball team will look to rally back this season in the conference and show its strength on the diamond. @ABoutwellDT


SPORTS

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SOFTBALL

Tech sets high expectations for season By ARIANA HERNANDEZ Staff Writer

The Texas Tech women’s softball season has begun in Raiderland. The Red Raiders kicked off opening weekend at the Texas State Century Link Classic from Friday through Sunday. The Red Raiders went 3-2 over the weekend and are looking to up their performance as the season progresses. At the Century Link Classic, the Red Raiders came away with wins against Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Iowa and Abilene Christian. Tech fell short to Texas State and to Texas A&M Corpus Christi in the second round of play. “I think we did really good,” senior pitcher Dominique Alcocer, said. “It was a good start. We still need to improve in some things, but I think it was a really good start to the season.” This season, the Red Raiders have 16 returning players, including nine seniors. Tech added four freshmen to the roster for the 2017 season, according to Tech Athletics. Senior outfielder Kierra Miles will return to the field for Tech. Last season, she led the Red Raiders in home runs and was the school’s singleseason home run champion, according to Tech Athletics. Freshman outfielder

Raina O’Neal capitalized on the field this weekend showing promise as a new face for the Red Raiders. O’Neal is from Richmond, Texas, and attended Fort Bend Travis High School, according to Tech Athletics. The freshman hit three home runs in three of the contests the Red Raiders played in this weekend. She also had five hits in 15 at bats, according to Tech Athletics. “Raina (O’Neal) just, she looked the most comfortable during preseason yet,” coach Adrian Gregory said. “She looks so comfortable in the box. So, I put her in the three hole and she got some pitches. She just feels really comfortable. So, that’s where we’re trying to get all of our kids to feel, just get comfortable in the box and see the pitch and hit it.” Tech had several new faces on the softball field this weekend, including two freshman pitchers. Freshman pitchers Kassidy Scott and Hannah Broseman capitalized this weekend against Texas State. Scott pitched in the opening game against Texas State on Friday as well as against Abilene Christian and Texas A&M Corpus Christi. She had four hits in nine at bats, according to Tech Athletics. Broseman pitched in the game against Iowa and in

FILE PHOTO/The Daily Toreador

Senior Texas Tech softball catcher Susan Welborn takes a swing during the Red Raiders’ game against Baylor May 1. The Red Raiders fell to the Bears, 16-6, in the final game of the series. the two games against Texas A&M Corpus Christi. In the first round between Tech and Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Broseman pitched all seven innings. “I think defensively, we did great,” junior Allison Knopp said. “We worked great as a group. Pitching wise, our freshmen stepped up really big, Kassidy (Scott) and Hannah (Broseman) both.”

Last season, Tech came out 4-6 in the first 10 games of the season and finished the season 23-32 overall. In the Big 12 Conference, the Red Raiders were 6-12 and had wins against Iowa State, Oklahoma State and Texas. Tech also hit .280 as a team last season, according to Tech Athletics. Gregory is optimistic about this season. She said this year, there is skill top to

bottom on the team. “Our expectations are high. Every year, I have super-high expectations of our group, but I think this is as mentally tough (of) a group as it’s ever been for me, and I really like how we’re playing the game,” Gregory said. “I like our senior leadership. I like our young kids and the talent.” The Red Raiders have strong opponents on the schedule this season. Tech will face top-ranked teams such as No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 5 Alabama and No. 23 Baylor, according to Tech Athletics. Tech heads to Mexico this weekend for the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge and will face Cal State Fullerton and Mississippi State, among others. In the preseason, it is vital for the Red Raiders to practice against tougher opponents, so they can better themselves before entering conference play, Gregory said. “I think that the only way you’re going to be the best is to play the best,” she said. “And I think you have to have a great game plan, and I think that the more talented kids that we see in our preseason helps us prepare for conference when we’ll see great pitching in conference. We have some SEC rivalries, we have some West Coast

rivalries, and I’m excited to see our kids face that talent and test our defense.” Tech has 10 road games scheduled for the upcoming two weekends, according to Tech Athletics. The Red Raiders will be travelling to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, before hosting the Texas Tech Invitational starting March 3-5. After results from the opening weekend, four Big 12 teams have a record of 3-2, including Tech. Playing away for multiple days in a row helps the women practice in different settings from what they are used to, so they can be successful no matter the location, Gregory said. “We constantly talk to our kids about being comfortable in the uncomfortable,” Gregory said. “There’s nothing harder or more difficult than going to Alabama and playing Alabama at Alabama or LSU at LSU. But, you know, if we have confidence there, if we can have successes there, you can have successes anywhere,” Gregory said. “I think it just helps us to get comfortable not sleeping in our own beds and not controlling our own environment, just playing the game and being the best we can be each and every day.” @A_HernandezDT

BASEBALL

Tech’s young pitchers impact team dynamic By BRANDON SOLIZ Staff Writer

The Texas Tech Red Raider baseball team begins the 2017 season this Friday in Starkville, Mississippi. The Red Raiders are coming off a Big 12 Conference preseason ranking of three out of the teams that play baseball in the league. Trying to reach its third trip to the College Baseball World Series in the past four years, the team possesses a young pitching rotation composed of four juniors and a combined total of 12 freshmen and sophomore pitchers. Tech coach Tim Tadlock said the team is balanced with players who are able to play at all areas, although pitchers like sophomores Davis Martin, Erikson Lanning and Steven Gingery are leading the team on the mound. “It’s better to have them than not have them,” Tadlock said. “But we like our club in all phases, and at the same time, I mean, right now everybody’s 0-0, but you’ve

got to go play, got to show up each day. So far, this group’s been really good about bringing pretty good energy each day and playing the game the right way.” Among the new faces on the team, there are three freshman pitchers who can each get the job done, Tadlock said. Freshmen John Henry Gonzales, Josh Jung and John McMillon are the three players Tadlock discussed. Jung and McMillon are different from Gonzales seeing as Jung and McMillon are not only pitchers but also position players, which Tadlock said he hopes to see them contribute in. “Hopefully, in three or four months, we’re still talking about them being two-way guys,” Tadlock said. “(Jung) and (McMillon) have really good stuff and definitely have the ability to go help you in short stints or an inning or two at a time. (Gonzales) is a guy that’s always pitched well.” Tadlock announced his starting pitchers for the first

weekend of spring play. Martin and Gingery will headline the first two games of the season with sophomore Ryan Shetter in line in the third spot with Lanning rounding out the rotation. However, the lineup could change due to something like a 20-inning game happening, Tadlock said. “You never really know who’s going to be those guys out of the bullpen,” Tadlock said. “I do think this year, we have a chance to have a collection of guys, and a group guys do it on a Friday, a separate group of guys do it on a Saturday, and maybe another group of guys do it on a Sunday. At the same time, you have the luxury of having a guy like Dugger rested. That’s when you go to him.” Last season, Martin started in 14 of his 19 appearances on the mound, according to Tech Athletics. He was also a semi-finalist for the College Baseball Hall of Fame National Pitcher of the Year award, according to Tech Athlet-

ics. Martin was the first Red Raider to be named a semifinalist for this award. Gingery started in 14 of his 15 mound appearances in his first season for Tech where he struck out 63 batters and only allowed 24 runs., according to Tech Athletics. He was named Collegiate Baseball Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American and Big 12 All-Freshman Team Pitcher, according to Tech Athletics. Martin said, last year the pitching lineup leaned on hitters like former Tech first baseman Eric Gutierrez and former outfielder Stephen Smith to put up points to help the pitchers. He wishes this season brings the bullpen out more, so the hitters do not have to carry the team, Martin said. “This year, hopefully, we can try and take some of that burden off of our hitting,” he said. “Our hitting, I think is going to surprise a lot of people, but for sure it’s going to take a little bit of pressure off.” @BSoliz_DT

COLUMN

Extra inning rule changes game for wrong reasons

A

proposal to change the rules in the extra innings in Major League Baseball surfaced not too long ago. The rule proposed that a runner would start on the second base for each team in the top and bottom innings once extra innings began.

Instead of earning that second base, teams would basically be given a free run depending on how good the runner is. The rule is an effort to make MLB games faster, to address a supposed “problem” sports face today. Response to the proposed rule change was widely negative with people saying there’s a lot more to change to make the game faster. On ESPN’s “Around the Horn,” some of the panelists on the show said there are some minor things that happen between bats that could be shortened such as

Jack Densmore is a freshman journalism major from Cedar Park.

coaches walking out onto the field to talk to the team. The MLB already has the pitching clock, which has made the game faster. However, it hasn’t changed the game of baseball. Adding a rule that puts a runner on second base takes the challenge out of the game. Instead of earning that second base,

teams would basically be given a free run depending on how good the runner is. It would be like the NFL putting teams on the 5-yard line at the start of overtime. It takes the challenge out of going all the way to score and win the game. This proposed change likely came after the extra inning World Series game between the Cubs and Indians that dragged on because of weather conditions. However, if that’s the case, it shouldn’t be. The weather has often caused games to be delayed. I can’t tell you how many NAS-

CAR races were delayed for hours on end because of rain. However, NASCAR hasn’t added a rule that cuts the race in half to make it shorter during overtime. Should some sports be shorter? Yes, but there are different ways to make them shorter, and you don’t have to take the challenge out of a sport to do that. Keep the game the same, but change the things around the game, the minor things, and the owners and fans will appreciate a faster game that preserves its traditions. @JackDensmore_DT

FILE PHOTO/The Daily Toreador

Sophomore right-handed pitcher Davis Martin prepares his wind up for the pitch against the Texas Longhorns on April 22. The Red Raiders defeated the Longhorns, 13-6, in the first matchup of the three-game series.


OPINIONS

Page 4 Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017

COLUMN

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Flynn’s resignation signals chaos L

ate Monday evening, national security adviser Michael Flynn handed in his resignation to the president after a curious series of events. Typically, big stories find their end when someone hands in their resignation. However, if there’s anything clear about Flynn’s resignation, it’s that there are more questions than there are answers. The circumstances surrounding the resignation are simple. On Jan. 12, news broke that Flynn spoke to the Russian ambassador to the U.S. just after thenPresident Barack Obama imposed sanctions on Russia for meddling in our elections. Shortly after, Flynn denied discussing those sanctions with the ambassador. Allow me to walk you through the timeline that The Washington Post laid out. On Jan. 26, acting attorney general Sally Yates — who was eventually fired for not defending Donald Trump’s travel ban — reported to the White House that Flynn was misleading in his statements regarding discussions about sanctions with

Brice Petty is a senior computer science major from Rowlett.

the ambassador. Yates also warned these circumstances expose Flynn to Russian blackmail, as Russia could threaten to publicly expose Flynn’s lies. On Feb. 9, The Washington Post broke news that Flynn did, in fact, discuss sanctions with the Russian diplomat. Thereafter, four days later, Trump demanded for Flynn’s resignation. These concerning facts raise two major questions. Why did the president wait 18 days to fire Flynn after knowing for sure that he was lying to him? And why was campaign staff — at the while — discussing policy with a foreign power before Trump was inaugurated? On Tuesday, The New York Times dropped a bombshell piece that gives us some insight into one of those mysteries. We learned that several other campaign aides had multiple contacts with senior Russian intelligence in the years before the election.

It’s easy to offer the benefit of the doubt when we’re only dealing with a single bad apple. But now, we’ve got an entire basket full of them. At this point, it’s almost impossible to ignore the greater pattern. Is this administration rotten all the way to the top? With this vast buffet of evidence now out in the open for the world to see, I think it’s a fair question to ask. The Logan Act is very clear for a very good reason. Discussing and negotiating policy with a foreign power as a private citizen is against the law and is punishable by fine, imprisonment or both. The U.S. Constitution gives the executive branch power to make and change foreign policy. The only problem is that neither Trump nor any of his staff were the executive branch until Trump was inaugurated president. Foreign policy and global politics is a high-stakes game of chess. I don’t pretend to understand all the complexities that make up the ever-shifting geopolitical

landscape, but I do understand that lives are on the line and the consequences for losing are very real. There is absolutely no room for indecisiveness or contradiction. This is exactly why it’s against the law for private citizens to engage in foreign policy. Undermining the current national policy to a foreign power is dangerous and puts national security at risk. Moreover, I still need to talk about why President Trump required weeks to decide to fire Flynn after learning for certain that he was misleading the entire country including Trump. If you’ll allow me to speculate, two answers come to mind as the most obvious candidates. Either the president knew all along, or the president knew all along and didn’t care. It’s clear that if The Washington Post hadn’t reported Flynn’s lies to the public, he would still be misleading the American public as the national security adviser, while subject to Russian blackmail, and Trump would still have no objection.

Trump’s administration didn’t have a great rollout, and things have been going anything but s m o o t h l y. T h e l e a k s , poorly formed executive orders, rookie diplomatic mishaps and plethora of unstaffed posts are all symptoms of a dysfunctional White House. But, the Flynn story might be a symptom of a White House that broke the law. Democrats are swarming and Sen. Chuck Schumer is barking for a full-scale, independent investigation. Slowly but surely, Republicans are getting on board with their Democratic colleagues. Although, congressional support might not be the only hurdle that is in the way of getting to the bottom of all this. FBI D irector James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions will play major roles in these investigations. This puts into play some serious questions considering their judgement on these specific issues. Comey famously reopened Hillary Clinton’s

email investigation during early voting of the 2016 presidential election only to inform us there was nothing new to find. And Sessions was a key part of Trump’s campaign, notably refusing to say he would recuse himself from investigations regarding Russian entanglement during confirmation. These stories about Russia have been popping up since primary season, and there’s no evidence to suggest that Flynn’s resignation is going to make them stop. It seems like there’s something bigger at work here, though that remains to be seen. However, bipartisan congressional investigations do have a funny way of turning things up, if they’re there to be found. From now on, these developments will almost certainly become the main show until they’re resolved. I believe Flynn was just the tipping point, and the big crash is yet to come. Buckle up, buckaroos. opinions@dailytoreador.com

COLUMN

White people ought to recognize privilege A student organization at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania has decided to bring awareness to white privilege. The College Democrats group is encouraging students to wear a white puzzle piece on their clothing. This is meant to bring awareness and, hopefully, create an open line of communication about the systemic oppression of minorities. More than 83 percent of the students at Elizabethtown College are white. The purpose of the pin is not only to encourage people to ask and openly discuss white privilege but also to make the students wearing the pin reflect on their own white privilege.

Allison Cleary is a communication studies graduate student from San Diego.

To run with that idea, I thought it would be important to explain white privilege and examine my own privilege. I have heard a lot of pushback on white privilege existing. It’s true there are poor white people, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t privileged in other ways. It’s understandable that it’s hard to see white privilege when you have lived in poverty and struggled to put food on the table. White privilege isn’t just about money. There are

many ways privilege can affect you. When I turn on the television or open the paper, I can be sure my race, which is white, will be overwhelmingly represented. News anchors, sitcom actors, politicians and even commercials primarily depict white people. That’s not to say there aren’t any other races represented in the media. Of course there are, but the majority is by far white. When I get pulled over for speeding — which happens more than I would like to admit — I know I wasn’t singled out because of my race. I also have no fear when talking to the officer during that stop. I don’t have to worry about where my hands are or if the officer

will draw his gun. Growing up, when I would open a history book, my race was represented and acknowledged much m o r e t h a n o t h e r s . I t ’s also important to note who wrote history and documented events in the past. White men were the ones who could read and write. White men were the ones who traveled to new places and met with other groups and races. And when those white men met other groups of people, they sought out the men in that group to communicate with. This leaves us with only a white, male perspective in our history books. I have kids, and I have always been able to choose where I live for my son to

get the best education. This is not something everyone can do. Schools in minority neighborhoods or in areas of poverty are traditionally low performing. When I grew up, there was no question on whether I would go to college or not. I never, for a minute, thought I wouldn’t go. But, for many, college is a dream. It’s important for all of us to take a look at what we have and think about why we have it. I’m not saying white people don’t work for what they have. Of course there are hard-working people in every race. What I’m saying is the starting point is not the same. Some people have to work much harder just to get to the starting point others are

born with. Privilege is a tricky thing because if you haven’t ever experienced discrimination, it’s hard to see it. When you’ve had something your entire life, it’s hard to imagine not having it, especially when it’s not something you can touch and see. This isn’t intended to make white people feel bad or blame them for the systemic racism that plagues the world. There’s no blame here. I just hope everyone can think about what Elizabethtown College has done to raise awareness about privilege. Nothing can change if we don’t first acknowledge the problem. opinions@dailytoreador.com

COLUMN

‘1-2-Switch’ proves bad first start for Nintendo N intendo is one of those companies that is always so close to getting things right but so far away at the same time. Time and time again, Nintendo has fallen short of glory. The most recent instance of this was with the Wii U. As of January, the Wii U has shipped roughly 13.5 million units, according to a sales report from Nintendo. For comparison, Sony’s PlayStation 4 has sold 53.4 million units, according to Sony’s sales report from January. There were many factors that played into the Wii U’s lackluster performance, including an extremely poor marketing campaign, underpowered hardware and a lack of third-party support, just to name a few. Nintendo’s next console, the Nintendo Switch, will become available to the public on March 3. For many Nintendo fans, the Switch represents a chance for Nintendo to make a comeback. Sporting the nifty feature to use the Switch in a traditional home-console setting or take it with you as you would a por-

Alex Olges is a freshman journalism major from Humble.

table console, the Switch is undeniably interesting. Adding in an excellent marketing campaign and third-party support from big names like EA and Bethesda, the Switch seems to be setup for the big comeback so many are hoping for. Not everyone is convinced, however. On Jan. 12, Nintendo hosted a presentation to release more details about the Switch. Two details from the presentation stood out: Online play would require a subscription and voice chat would require a mobile phone app. Fans were quick to point out Nintendo’s online offerings were far behind those of its competitors; requiring a subscription didn’t make sense. Others were more frustrated with the voice chat requiring a mobile phone app and questioned how game audio and voice chat would be mixed. I thought having voice chat require a mobile

phone app is the dumbest thing I would see in regards to the Switch. This held true until I saw a video showing off gameplay for one of the Switch’s launch titles, “1-2-Switch.” I have to say — and I’m really not exaggerating here — “1-2-Switch” is the dumbest thing I have ever seen in the gaming industry’s recent past. It is the saddest attempt at making the Switch seem “fun.” Just watch a few minutes of gameplay footage, and you’ll see what I mean. “1-2-Switch” is a party game that centers around the Switch’s Joy-Con controller to provide different methods of play for a variety of mini games. Just by reading that sentence, you can tell it sounds like a typical Nintendo party game, right? Wrong. The vast majority of “1-2-Switch” gameplay doesn’t use the screen. The screen is simply used to explain each mini game and keep score. Yes, you read that right. “1-2-Switch” is a video game that doesn’t use the video in video game. That’s right: It’s 2017, and we’re making video games that require players to imag-

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ine what is going on in the game. If that isn’t the absolute dumbest thing you’ve heard all year, I don’t know what is. This is the kind of thing you hear about on April Fool’s Day. So, what great and exciting mini games can we play in “1-2-Switch”? My personal favorite is “Table Tennis” where each player takes a Joy-Con to use as his paddle as he plays pingpong with an invisible ball. Sound confusing? Yeah, pretty much. How about “Eating Contest”? Here, players move their mouths up and down in front of the Joy-Con’s camera to simulate eating a sandwich. After 10 seconds pass, how many sandwiches the player ate is displayed on the screen. Maybe sandwiches are not your thing, but what about cows? Nintendo has got you covered. In “Milk,” players move and squeeze the Joy-Con as if they were milking a cow’s udders. The player that milks the most cups of milk wins. Once you become bored of milking cows, try “Ball Count,” where you move the Joy-Con back and forth, feeling the vibrations emit-

ted from the Joy-Con in an attempt to correctly guess how many balls are in an imaginary box. There are 28 mini games in total. Granted, I haven’t played “1-2-Switch” myself. So, I’ll let the words of Allegra Frank from Polygon — who has played the game — speak for me: “I just won’t ever choose to play ‘1-2-Switch’ again if I don’t have to.” N o r m a l l y, I r e a l l y wouldn’t care that much about “1-2-Switch.” It’s clear its main purpose is to show off the Joy-Con’s unique feature, and it seems to do that just fine. Of course, anyone playing “1-2-Switch” will look really dumb, but it’s party game. That’s just par for the course. The Wii U had a similar title called “Nintendo Land,” which had a bunch of mini games designed to show off the unique features of its gamepad. The key difference between “Nintendo Land” and “1-2-Switch” is that “Nintendo Land” was included with the Wii U. The “1-2-Switch” is not. If you want to milk imaginary cows, eat imaginary sand-

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wiches, count imaginary balls, play pingpong with an imaginary ball and more, you’ll have to fork out $50. Anyone who actually pays $50 for this sad excuse of a game needs a serious talking to. “1-2-Switch” isn’t just a disgrace to the gaming industry, it’s a disgrace to mankind. And being one of two launch titles for the Switch, it isn’t a good start for Nintendo. Shinya Takahashi, the general manager and director of the entertainment planning and development division at Nintendo, was quoted in The Guardian as saying 1-2-Switch “didn’t feel to us that it should be bundled with the hardware, but rather was something that we felt stands alone within that overall first-year line-up.” If “1-2-Switch” is strong enough to stand its ground in the Switch’s first year line-up — amongst big titles like “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and “Super Mario Odyssey” — then the Switch is not the comeback fans have been waiting for. aolges@dailytoreador.com

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5

SOFTBALL

Ramsey aims to raise level of play By JACK DENSMORE Staff Writer

When it comes to softball, it is no secret that teams need sluggers who can get on base and score. The Texas Tech softball team has just that in sophomore outfielder Kiani Ramsey. Ramsey, a kinesiology major from Portland, Texas, went to Gregory-Portland High School before coming to Tech to play softball. In high school, Ramsey posted a .612 batting average and stole 45 bases and hit 45 runs, according to Tech Athletics. Ramsey was also named to the All-District team for three years of her high school career. She was named First Team All-South Texas Player of the Year as well as named to the Caller Times All-South Team outfield. In 2013, she was named District 30-4A offensive player of the year, according to Tech Athletics. She also helped her team to the state tournament during the 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons. “Softball has taken me to so many places, and I’ve met so many people. It’s just the greatest experience a person can have, being an athlete and being able to thrive in your sport and play at the highest level. It means a great deal,” Ramsey said. “If it wasn’t softball, I don’t where I’d be, because I’ve learned so much through the game, so many life lessons. It’s more than just playing a game. It’s a life lesson. It’s a very humbling experience.” In her first year at Tech, she started in 52 of the 53 games the Red Raiders played. She also led the team with a .348 batting average, according to Tech Athletics. She led the conference with four triples and had 161 at bats. Her on-base percentage was .404 at the end of her freshman season, and she had 21 RBIs and 23 runs, accord-

ing to Tech Athletics. Ramsey also had 15 multi-hit games with five of those games having three hits or more. In the season opener against UNLV on Feb. 12, 2016, she had first college career hit and RBI. On the same day, she recorded her first run and multi-hit game against Washington, according to Tech Athletics. “My first attraction to Tech was because of softball, and I saw myself being successful here, and I didn’t know too much about the softball program at Tech. I knew that Tech was a major D1,” Ramsey said. “Every athlete wants to go to D1, and so when I took an unofficial visit here my sophomore year in high school, I thought that the environment could be a second home for me. I loved the campus, I thought the fan base was crazy but it was amazing at the same time, and they have a great (occupational therapy) program here, and that’s what I want to pursue.” In the 2016 season, she received All-Big 12 Second Team and Big 12 All-Freshman Team honors and was also named to the Academic All-Big 12 Rookie Team. To open the 2017 season in the Century Link Classic, she recorded three runs in the tournament. She also had five hits in the tournament and stepped up to the plate 16 times. Ramsey fielded out four players over the span of the classic and had one assist, according to Tech Athletics. “I mean Kiani (Ramsey) is a fireball. She is eternally driven. She has very high expectations for herself, and so, she’s constantly in the cage working,” coach Adrian Gregory said. Despite Ramsey’s being only a sophomore, Gregory said she is an essential piece to the Red Raiders’ dugout. “She’s constantly trying to make herself better, and I think we need her stick in

the lineup. We need her to be the tone setter, and we need her to get herself on base, and she takes a lot of pride in that. She works really hard at that,” Gregory said. “She’s another kid we have a lot of expectations for. She’s a young kid. She’s young energy, and a young talent that continually drives our team.” Tech went 3-2 to start the season after defeating Texas A&M Corpus Christi, 7-0; Iowa, 7-4; and Abilene Christian, 3-0. The Red Raiders lost to Texas State, 2-1, and lost the rematch game against the Corpus Christi Islanders, 2-0. Some of Ramsey’s goals for the season include defeating Oklahoma, Baylor and the rest of the competition. Ramsey said she is excited for the Big 12 Conference tournament on May 12. The team wants to defeat the top teams in the country like Alabama and also make it to the postseason and find success during that journey. “Kiani (Ramsey) brings a fire. So, she has a ton of drive for the game,” junior infielder/ catcher Allison Knopp said. “I think that when you see her all of the time in the batting cages and out on the field working, putting in extra work, I think it’s just a testament to how much she loves the game and how much she wants to be a competitor and wants to win. So, I think she’s a vital part of our team and helps us get runs, helps get on base and will help us win.” In conference play, Tech will host No. 4 Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas at Rocky Johnson Field. The Longhorns have three votes in the USA Today/NFCA coaches poll, two votes in the ESPN/USA Softball poll and are ranked No. 30 in the NCAA Women’s Softball RPI. For Kansas, it is ranked No. 48 in the NCAA Women’s Softball RPI. With top-ranked opponents coming to Lubbock this

1 FILE PHOTOS/The Daily Toreador

1. Sophomore outfielder Kiani Ramsey smiles as she crosses third base during game one of the Texas Tech softball team’s three game series against Oklahoma State on April 1 at Rocky Johnson Field. Ramsey opened the 2017 season with three runs during the Century Link Classic. 2. Ramsey prepares to swing the bat to hit the ball during the softball game against McNeese State on March 5 at Rocky Johnson Field. During her freshman season, Ramsey started in 52 of 53 games and led the team with a .348 batting average. season, Ramsey said protecting home field means a lot to the team. “It means everything. We take great pride in playing at home, especially with our fan

2 base. We want to do nothing but perform really well and kind of show out for everybody coming to watch us and support us, and I think playing really great teams at our

place gives us that much more confidence,” she said. “It’s going to motivate us that much more, because nobody wants to lose at home.” @JackDensmore_DT

COLUMN

Houston Astros will dominate AL West Division despite tight competition The American League West Division will be tight, but the Astros will come out on top. When a new Major League Baseball season starts, there is a sense of hope, no matter how your team finished last year. If you are a Cubs fan, you are hoping the team can repeat the success it had last year with a World Series win. But, going in to the 2017 season, one thing is for sure: The AL West division will be one of the tightest divisions in recent memory. This is evident from how exciting the 2016 race was for the AL West with three of the teams well above .500. After the 2016 season, four of the teams made significant improvements to its roster. Here are my early predictions for how the AL West will finish this year. 5. Oakland Athletics The Athletics are a team

David Gay is a sophomore journalism major from Cypress.

that is going through a rebuilding phase. While the team has an ace in Sonny Gray, the team couldn’t always rely on him last year, posting a 5.69 earned run average and pitching 117 innings. The team’s bullpen, however, could win it some games. With veterans like Sean Doolittle, Santiago Casilla and Ryan Madson at its closer position, the team has enough talent to pitch its way into some close games toward the end. But, the Athletics’ batting situation will not put them in many positive positions. While the team has a few talented players in its lineup, it doesn’t have enough depth to succeed in the division this

year. The Oakland Athletics will again finish below .500 this year but will have a bit of improvement from last year. 4. Seattle Mariners The Mariners are an interesting team. The team is full of potential in its rotation and some of its position players are stars, but its bullpen is lacking and will likely struggle. Like the Athletics, the Mariners’ ace Felix Hernandez had an off year to his standards in 2016. Hernandez posted a 3.82 earned run average and only won 11 games compared to his average of 13 wins a season. Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano, the team’s stars in the infield, should continue their consistent production. While Seager could sometimes be considered a liability in the field, posting a .956 fielding percentage last year, this underappreciated player should continue his success in the batter’s box.

Expect the Mariners to finish around the .500 mark with their moving down from their success last year. 3. Los Angeles Angels Look for the Angels to make the most improvement from last year to this year after a disappointing 74-88 record, filled with player injuries and mediocre play. In the 2017 season, Garrett Richards, the team’s ace, will return after a Tommy John surgery. His nasty fastball, averaging near 96 miles per hour, will make hitters around the league look ridiculous. The team’s lineup is where the success lies. One of the best players in the league, Mike Trout, leads this offense and will set the tone of the season. Additions including Luis Valbuena and Danny Espinosa will help with the offense and on the defensive side of the ball, as well.

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2. Texas Rangers The reigning AL West champion has the talent to make a run for the title again this year. Both the lineup as well as the pitching rotation have stayed about the same, which is both good and bad. While the team has some young offensive talent that could bring it success in the future, a lot of the team’s talent is getting on up there in age. Adrian Beltre is almost 40 years old and Cole Hamels, the team’s ace, is nearing his mid 30s. The younger players need to step up this year for the team to be successful. While I think the Rangers will be successful this year, the team is nearing the end of its contention years. After nine years of contention, the team will need to start rebuilding for the future to maintain success. 1. Houston Astros According to Sports Illus-

trated, the Astros were picked to win the World Series in 2016. After the team’s dismal end to the season, going 3-7 in the last 10 games, it was obvious the team did not have the talent to succeed in the playoffs. Jeff Luhnow, general manager of the team, saw those holes the team had and took to the free agent market this offseason. He added players like Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Josh Reddick. These players add a veteran presence to a young squad that is destined to succeed for years to come with talent like José Altuve and Carlos Correa. This is the best chance for the Houston Astros to make a run to succeed in the playoffs, and the team has the players to do it. The team just has to have the mindset from the get go to win the quality games. @DavidGayDT

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SPORTS

FEB. 16, 2017

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BASEBALL

Tech focuses on successful Omaha return By BRANDON SOLIZ Staff Writer

The Texas Tech baseball team started a trend in 2014. That year, the Red Raiders reached the NCAA College Baseball World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, for the first time in school history. However, despite missing the tournament in 2015, Tech returned to the field of play in Omaha in 2016. There is another trend in the series the Red Raiders have set: being eliminated from the competition. Last season, Tech picked up its first win in school history in the College World Series over then No. 1 top-seeded Florida. Senior infielder Ryan Long said being eliminated brings out even more passion to win the tournament. After being on both losing teams, he said it is all up to repeating the trip and winning the championship. “We’re kind of tired of just going and just making it there,” Long said. “We’re ready to win our last game and win the whole thing.” Sophomore pitcher Davis Martin spoke about being a freshman on the team during the loss in the series. Martin said when the team arrived back in Lubbock, it received its College World Series gifts, and among the presents was an item that stuck out to every

1 FILE PHOTOS/The Daily Toreador

1. Cory Raley steals second during the eighth inning of Texas Tech’s first game of the 2016 College World Series against TCU on June 19 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. 2.Orlando Garcia celebrates with catcher Tyler Floyd after Florida’s Jonathan India was tagged out at second to end the game on June 21 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. Tech beat No. 1 Florida for its first College World Series win in program history. 3. Hayden Howard delivers a pitch to a TCU batter during Texas Tech’s College World Series opener on June 19 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Nebraska. member of the team. “The biggest thing that stood out to all of us is we got a trophy, which is a replica of the National Championship trophy,” Martin said, “but the biggest part of it, it says ‘participant’ at the bottom of it.” It is still an honor to reach the tournament and compete with the nation’s best, Martin said. However, just being a participant gets old after making the trip two times

and coming up short. He also said the word at the bottom of the trophy bothered a lot of people. The players are now making efforts in going to the weight room as much as they can to get better. Junior infielder Michael Davis said the team is focused on winning the first competition, which is crucial to reaching Omaha once again. “I think you just kind of have to look at it as first weekend,” Davis said. “You don’t get to Omaha by winning the first four games. You do it by winning the first one. You start winning each game. If you look at it that way, at the end of the year, you can look back on it.” Tech coach Tim Tadlock said thinking about reaching Omaha is an everyday thing. How-

BASEBALL

CONTINUED FROM PG. 1 According to the Big 12 website, TCU welcomes a top10 recruiting class but also returns 22 letterwinners.

2

3 ever, it is equally about winning games as they come and doing the little things to improve. “I will tell you the guys that are back were in that locker room last year when we got back, and there was sincere disappointment in that locker room last year,” Tadlock said. “It was a total different feel from 2014.”

Tadlock said the team was in a position to win in the bracket the team fell in last season. Putting the team in the position of returning to play for a national title begins with the season schedule, playing good teams and then competing for a regional, he said. “Each and every day, I think this group will fall in

line with the group from last year,” Tadlock said. “They’re going to show up and compete, and they expect to win. When we show up in a ballpark, we expect to put our self in a position to win. Then, it’s about going out and executing. The beauty of baseball is you get to go play each and every day.”

The No. 1 preseason ranking is the third-straight year TCU has been picked in that position. First baseman/pitcher Luken Baker led the team in hitting with a .379 batting average as a freshman last season. Infielder Elliott Barzilli was

second on the team with a .339 batting average. West Virginia The Mountaineers will look to compete early on this season in the Big 12. The team finished with an impressive 36-22 record

and played in its first Big 12 Championship game. In the Big 12 preseason rankings, West Virginia is predicted to finish fifth in the league, one point behind Texas. Outfielder Darius Hill goes into the new season with a .342 batting average. West Virginia’s leading pitcher Conner Dotson pitched in 20 games, started in four and had seven wins on the year, which was tied for first on the team. Kansas The preseason prediction for the Jayhawks is not in its favor. Kansas is picked to finish ninth in the Big 12. The Jayhawks’ highest finish in the Big 12 came in 2014 when the team reached the NCAA Tournament and placed third in conference play. Outfielder Devin Foyle is Kansas’ highest returning hitter after he posted a .290 batting average.

@BSoliz_DT

@BSoliz_DT

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