For Mulford, career's end is bittersweet

Alumni Report

May 17, 2006|By BILL FREE | BILL FREE,SUN REPORTER

Kelly Mulford has mixed emotions these days as she relaxes at her Lutherville home and tries to deal with all the highs and lows of an outstanding four-year lacrosse career at Duquesne University.

At this moment, the lows are more prevalent for the recently graduated attackman from Maryvale Prep. It's just not easy to dismiss a costly 12-11 overtime defeat to Massachusetts that ended the Atlantic 10 Conference playoff chances for the Dukes (11-5, 4-3).

"I think in big games like that, we tend to get a little nervous and stuff," Mulford said. "It was tough not making the A-10s this year or the NCAAs the previous two years when we were so close. But overall I've had a great career and received a great education. I've enjoyed all four years of it."

That loss to UMass came two years after a deflating 12-11 overtime loss to Temple in the Atlantic 10 championship game with a berth in the NCAA tournament on the line.

Then last season, Duquesne was beaten, 10-8, by Richmond in the A-10 tournament final, wiping out another NCAA tournament trip.

This season, in her final bid for an NCAA berth, Mulford came out shooting and never stopped en route to a team-leading 57 points (50 goals, seven assists) off a team-high 125 shots.

She also scored a team-best six game-winning goals.

Woods' leading role

Alabama sophomore first baseman Dani Woods (Dulaney) is in the midst of another outstanding season for the fourth-ranked Tide softball team (49-9).

Before Alabama was eliminated last Saturday in the Southeastern Conference tournament semifinals, 2-1, by No. 5 Tennessee, Woods played a major role in a three-game series sweep of Arkansas that clinched the Tide's first Southeastern Conference regular-season championship.

In the sweep, Woods hit .500, had six RBIs, two doubles and scored three runs.

Woods was selected the Louisville Slugger/National Fastpitch Coaches Association Player of the Week for her three-game performance. As she awaits the start of the NCAA regionals, Woods is tied for fifth on the team in hitting (.297) and is first in doubles (16), second in RBIs (46), third in home runs (seven) and third in slugging percentage (.535).

Hoffman sparkles

Junior pitcher Tyler Hoffman (Loyola) helped Elizabethtown College bounce back from the losers' bracket to win the Commonwealth Conference baseball tournament and advance to the NCAA Division III tournament.

Hoffman hurled the Blue Jays to back-to-back victories over Lebanon Valley and Juniata and was chosen the tournament's Most Valuable Player. The right hander is 7-2 with a 3.92 ERA.

Contact Bill Free by e-mail at bfree7066@hotmail.com or by phone at 410-833-5349.

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