Best Season since 1992 – Softall Ends Up 3rd In The Nation

What a season for first year coach Kevin Griffin and the Women’s Softball team!

Their quest for Belhaven’s first national championship since 1992 came to an end this evening with a 4-1 loss to top ranked California Baptist.

They finish third in the nation – which is remarkable.

This is the highest any Belhaven team has finished a season since soccer won the national title 18 years ago.

Congratulations to this remarkable team on their 50 win season.  This is one for our athletic history books.

BIG News for Belhaven Athletics – 2 Stories

Tonight, Senior Stefan Fernandez was named the Southern States Athletic Conference Male Athlete of the Year.

He is recognized THE top athlete among our 16 school conference… all sports.  There must be over 3,000 men competing in athletics in these schools, and Stefan took the top honor.

Stepfan was a leadership soccer player with us, and following his graduation a few weeks ago, and the completion of his ROTC, he’s now become a commissioned officer in the Air Force.

Congratulations to a marvelous Blazer – I’m guessing this won’t be the last time we’re proud he’s an alum of Belhaven University.


And back to this incredible softball run – what a day.

The women played three games in one day … in Orange Beach, Alabama!

The won the first, and lost the second, moving us into the second bracket of the tournament.

Tonight they had a big come-back win in their third game.  The story of that final win is below from the NAIA news service.

Now, they move into Final Four for the National Championship.

Talk about a huge day – I can’t imagine how draining that was with the competition, the heat, and the emotion of come from behind winning.

We play Cal State San Marcos tomorrow at 12:30, and a win there will move us into the championship game, and that game will be broadcast on the internet (link below).

Go Blazers!…..Go Big!

GULF SHORES, Ala. – Belhaven (Miss.) (49-11) lives to see another day after taking down Oklahoma City (48-14) 7-3 in bracket play at the 2011 NAIA Softball National Championship Monday.

After a rocky first, Sarah Burns (40-9) settled down to dominate the Stars, finishing with a complete-game effort that saw her allow three runs on five hits and strike out seven.

Lily LaVelle (31-10) took the loss after giving up four runs on five hits in 4.2 innings of relief work.

CeCee Austin finished 2-for-4 with four RBI for the Blazers, while Christina Jaques went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and Rian O’Bannon went 1-for-2 with one RBI. Lizzy Hess added a pair of hits for Belhaven.

Brittany Caruthers hit a three-run homer for Oklahoma City and Kylee Rounsaville added a pair of hits for the Stars. She hit her three-run blast in the first, but the Stars would get only three hits the rest of the way against Burns.

The Blazer bats had Burns’ back early, as they answered right away with three runs on two hits in the bottom half of the first. Jaques started the frame with a double and Austin singled home two in the inning.

Both offenses went stagnant over the next four innings until the Blazers put the game away with a four-run sixth. Katie Sanders drove in the first run of the inning with a RBI-infield single and Austin capped the inning with a two-out two-run single.

Belhaven will battle Cal State San Marcos Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. All the remaining games will be broadcast live at

Softball Wins – 4 Games from a National Championship

Our softball team won again this afternoon – winning all three games in their pool play of the first round of the National Championship tournament in Orange Beach, Alabama.

Monday, they move on to the round of the final 8 teams!

They play at 10am Monday morning against William Cary.  We played them three times during the regular season – won 1 and lost 3.  WHEN we win on Monday morning, only three more games to a National Championship.

Go Blazers!

94 Years of Change

Some friends of the University just sent me a little brochure from 1917 that was promoting Jackson, Mississippi, and featured Belhaven College.

Here is the summary of Jackson — a bit of a change in 94 years – and interesting to see how some of the things  featured in a publicity brochure of a century ago are things we just take for granted now.

Jackson 1917

If Brands are Built Over Years, Why are they Managed Over Quarters?

Duke University just posted my latest essay on their Faith and Leadership web site.  I’m one of their regular authors.

The best leaders understand they should be held accountable for long-term outcomes before they are rewarded for immediate results.

The pastor who envisions reaching his whole city will be more effective than the one concerned about making a glowing report at the next conference gathering. A fund-raising professional who desires to build relationships matching donors with their passions will raise more money than one striving to meet an urgent campaign goal. Even an administrator who fixes the nagging plumbing problems will be appreciated more than the one who spends that same money to install new carpeting.

A report from the “Harvard Business Review” (If Brands Are Built over Years, Why Are They Managed over Quarters?) explores why short-term thinking dominates business marketing today, even though branding is an extremely long-term process. The researchers determined that companies have shifted their focus to quarterly outcomes over long-term success because of three factors:

The full essay can be read HERE


National Championship Play – BB and SB

This afternoon the men won, 9-8 in 10 innings, the first of their games of the baseball national championship. They are playing the first round in Oklahoma City, and must win there to return to the World Series in Idaho.

The women are a top seed in the Belhaven national tournament which begins next week in Gulf Shores, AL  We were ranked 6th in the final NAIA Top 25 Poll, earned an automatic bid to the tournament after winning  the 2011 Southern States Athletic Conference Championship.

We drew one of eight number one seeds and will open pool play against Bellevue University (Neb) on Thursday May 29th at 5:00 PM. There are a total of eight pools with four teams in each pool. The winner of each pool will move on to an eight team double elimination bracket tournament. Joining Belhaven and Bellevue (31-17) in Pool F are Lindsey Wilson (KY) (45-7) and Minot State (N.D) (30-9).

The winner of Pool F will take on the winner of Pool C in the first game of bracket play which will take place on Monday May 23rd. Pool C is comprised of William Carey (MS), Olivet Nazarene (ILL), William Woods (MO), and Iowa Wesleyan.

You Can Encourage Better TV and Movies

The Christian Film and Television Commission, and their Movie Guide (, has done three decades of wonderful work to encourage film and television studios to produce more programing that builds up our values and faith rather than tear it down.

Dr. Ted Baehr, who is a good friend of Belhaven, has led this effort. His daughter Evy is a graduate of Belhaven and now does many of the red carpet interviews for the Movie Guide.

Ted’s research and influence speaks to what matters most in Hollywood – the box office – and he has proven to the influencers of the film industry that family friendly films always make more money.

The Annual Movie Guide Awards show will be broadcast on the Hallmark Movie Channel on Monday May 16th.  Help get the word out about this broadcast and how you can encourage your church to participate in assuring that we, who say we care about Christian values in the media, will actually support the production of this show by tuning in.

Visit ( to find out more.