Danielle Lawrie winds up before throwing

Sports Short: Staggering Statistics

Lightening Lawrie: Softball pitcher Danielle Lawrie and 2008 Olympian from Burnaby, B.C. is turning heads south of the border. Lawrie was named U.S. national softball player of the year for the second season in a row, only the second player ever to do so. Judging by her jaw-dropping statistics, the decision was not a difficult one.

Lawrie capped the season with a 40-3 record, a 1.00 earned run average, and a Washington University record 24 shutouts. She notched no fewer than 1,843 strikeouts, the most ever in the Pac-10 conference and fourth most in NCAA history. The flamethrower won 42 games last year, meaning she has now won a staggering 82 games in two years. Washington, NCAA champions last year, will defend their title in the Women’s College World Series.

Veteran Roberge Wins Bronze Last Sunday, judoka Catherine Roberge (Charlesbourg, Que.) won bronze in 78 kg at a World Cup in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. In the semifinal, a judge’s decision on penalties cost her a trip to the gold medal match, but Roberge refocused and bounced back to capture bronze with the help of national team coach Nicolas Gill. Roberge finished 3-1 while teammates Amy Cotton (Antigonish, N.S.) and Kelita Zupancic (Whitby, Ont.) were 2-2.

Meet Your CDN Gymnastics Champs: Last weekend, Kamloops, B.C. hosted Canada’s top gymnasts, competing for national titles. Calgary’s Nathan Gafuik cemented his place as men’s team leader with an outstanding five gold medals – all-around, vault, high bar, floor and parallel bars. Ken Ikeda (Abbotsford, B.C.) won pommel horse while Kevin Lytwyn (Stoney Creek, Ont.) took rings. On the women’s side, all-around champion Kristina Vaculik (Whitby, Ont.) took home more gold on beam, uneven bars and vault. Dominique Pegg (Sarnia, Ont.) won the floor event.

In trampoline, Olympic silver medallists Karen Cockburn and Jason Burnett (both Toronto) won the women’s and men’s titles. Cockburn has won three consecutive Olympic medals while Burnett has won five straight Canadian championships.

New Athletics Records: Canadian records are falling in track & field. First, last week, Sultana Frizell set a new national mark in the hammer throw. The Kamloops, B.C. native tossed 72.74 metres at a competition in Germany, eclipsing her previous record of 72.07. Then, this week, Dylan Armstrong (Kamloops) had a huge throw of 21.58 metres – which far surpasses his Canadian record of 21.04 metres set at the 2008 Olympic Games. Also this week, Tabia Charles (Pickering, Ont.) set a new women’s triple jump record with 13.96 metres. Charles and Frizell are also 2008 Olympians.

Exciting New Alpine Ski Race Added: Taking a page from snowboard and ski cross, alpine skiing will add a new event to its rotation this World Cup season – one that sees two skiers going head to head. Parallel slalom will become an official World Cup points race. In it, 16 teams with two men and two women compete in a winner-moves-on style event with two skiers racing down a giant slalom course. It will debut in Soelden, Austria on Oct. 22.