UPDATED: Oct. 11, 2017 at 6:29 p.m.The Publix and Winn Dixie’s in Miami resembled a “zombie apocalypse.” Inside the grocery stores, Miami resident and Hurricanes defender Tati Pardo gazed at empty refrigerators, bare sections where water normally sat on shelves and a few boxes of packaged food.In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which hit Miami late on Sept. 10, spurring university-wide evacuations, drivers raced through broken streetlights that should have been four-way stops. Objects blown by over 100 mph wind gusts littered the streets. Trees collapsed sideways in Pardo’s yard, just as they did for UM coach Mary-Frances Monroe. Players heard about people fighting over supplies in stores.“It was just so dark because none of the street lights were working … it was just really dangerous,” Pardo said. “Everything looked really ugly. It still does, Miami looks kind of brown now instead of bright and green.”All of Miami’s (4-7, 0-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) women’s soccer players except for Charlsey Zyne and Pardo fled Coral Gables, Florida, during the storm. Six games into the 2017 season, the athletes escaped to Orlando or one of a half-dozen states. Miami’s final two nonconference games were cancelled. Now, the team travels to Syracuse to make up the delayed would-have-been-ACC opener with the Orange (6-5-2, 1-3-1 ACC) on Wednesday at 1 p.m.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAs Irma approached, it was the first Category 5 hurricane to threaten Florida since Wilma in 2005. The University of Miami evacuated even the storm-equipped freshman dorms. On Sep. 6, following a six-game road trip, Monroe let her team go. Her house was open to anyone who needed it and those unable to return home could go north to Orlando for shelter.Monroe and deputy athletic director Jennifer Strawley talked at least 20 times every day leading up to the storm, she said. They tried to come up with a plan for what was predicted to be a Category 5 hurricane, the magnitude of which Monroe has not handled. So, the athletic department decided to have everybody leave campus.“That period was actually very scary,” Pardo said. “It was looking like (the storm) was coming right toward us … I was jealous of (teammates) leaving, because in the early days we thought it was going to hit us directly, so I thought my house was going to be destroyed.”The rush to get out became more difficult with airlines charging “almost $2,000” for one-way tickets, Monroe said. Senior forward Ronnie Johnson struggled to find a flight to Toronto. When she finally found one from Orlando, she had no means of getting there. Sophomore midfielder Lexi Castellano invited Johnson to stay with her in northern Georgia instead.Sophomore midfielder Kristina Fisher and redshirt junior goalkeeper Phallon Tullis-Joyce crafted a survival kit, complete with food, batteries and a flashlight. Tullis-Joyce went to Shoreham, New York, to ride out the storm. Fisher stayed in, Jupiter, Florida.The team’s exodus was complete when Irma’s path shifted west and hovered over south Florida as a Category 3, then weakening another Category 2. Zyne, Pardo and Monroe, all staying at home in Miami, sighed in relief.“The wind gusts were the scariest,” Zyne said. “It kind of sounded like a freight train or something like that. It was really loud … I had two dogs in the apartment so I actually had to go outside during the hurricane to let them go to the bathroom … one of my dogs actually fell over when I was walking her because the wind was so strong.”Zyne had planned on taking the LSAT in Syracuse on Sept. 16. With the delay, she had to travel there alone. When she reunited with teammates in Virginia, it had been 11 days.Players in other states could run or get touches on soccer fields. For Zyne and Pardo, downed powerlines and flooded streets made going outside too dangerous. One week after the team dispersed and the storm died down, Monroe gave them 48 hours leeway to make it back in order to coordinate flights or provide enough time for long drives.“To be honest, (soccer) wasn’t my priority,” Monroe said. “Of course I’m a soccer coach and I’m super competitive, but it was the worst timing possible.”The hurricane occurring in the midst of their schedule forced the team to immediately prepare for another road trip. They had only played one home game over one month into their schedule due to the cancellations.On Sept. 14, half the team returned three days prior to another road trip to Virginia to open ACC play. Johnson and Castellano drove 18 hours to be there. Miami suffered numerous power outages. The university had none, preventing it from using the facilities. To practice, the team traveled five miles to use Christopher Columbus (Florida) High School’s field.“You guys can either be victims or you can take control of this situation,” Monroe told her players.They did some conditioning, but mostly got into two teams and scrimmaged to get touches.“Everybody was just really lethargic,” Johnson said. “The first two practices we had, the first one with part of the team and the second one where we had the whole team back, it was a little bit strange. Then the third day it started feeling back to normal.”The team departed for Virginia on Sept. 17 to get acclimated early. They had only three practices on hand and under 24 hours together as a full team. Virginia’s coach Steve Swanson, a long-time friend of Monroe’s, invited the whole team over to his house for dinner. It was the beginning of nine-day road trip before playing their first home game in over one month.The Hurricanes took the field for their first game in over two weeks on Sept. 21, losing 1-0 to Virginia. But, to Monroe, she was proud of her team because that game meant more than soccer.In the weeks since, Miami has yet to win an ACC game as it travels to Syracuse to play the game that Irma stole from them in September. The Hurricanes season has been one of nonstop travel, but they’re relieved nonetheless.“It definitely stinks for us,” Pardo said. “(But) it could have been a lot worse.”This post has been updated with appropriate style. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 11, 2017 at 12:38 am Contact Bobby: [email protected]
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “At first glance,” Turner said, “you’d think ‘this is a big (swing) and he’s just trying to launch.’ Where if you just break down the swing once my foot hits the ground, I feel like it’s a pretty short, efficient swing once you get past the leg kick.”Turner believes that gaining comfort in his swing has helped him cut down on strikeouts. This is his fourth season since his transformative winter in the cage with hitting guru Doug Latta and former teammate Marlon Byrd. But there’s more to it than that.For one thing, Turner is not getting into two-strike counts as often as years past. And when he does, he’s thriving: His .299 batting average with two strikes is the highest in the National League.More than physical comfort, this represents a change in Turner’s mentality.“When you’re at two strikes and trying to battle, and you get a ball in the middle of the plate thigh high and you foul it off, I think the norm is you see guys get frustrated with themselves for missing that,” he said. “I try not to get upset about it because that’s what you’re trying to do with two strikes: you’re trying to battle, trying to foul off tough pitches. All you did was give yourself another opportunity to get a mistake. MIAMI – Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner famously revamped his swing several years ago, incorporating a high leg kick and injecting some lift into a grounder-friendly bat path. The change made Turner a full-time major leaguer, then a household name, then an All-Star.Turner wasn’t focused on his strikeouts when he changed his swing. In his first season in Los Angeles, 2014, Turner struck out a career-high 18 percent of the time. By 2016 he had barely shaved a whisker off that rate, down to 17.2 percent.Flash forward to 2017. Turner batted .377 in the first half and hit 10 home runs. Yet his most impressive feat, however quiet, might be this: Turner is one of only six players who batted more than 200 times before the break and walked (32) more often than he struck out (29).At a time when strikeout rates are rising across baseball, Turner is whiffing less while swinging just as hard. “That’s where on the mental side of hitting I kind of turned a corner. Instead of getting angry about missing a pitch, I look at it as, ‘OK, I’ve got to get another pitch.’ I could’ve easily put that ball in play and grounded out or popped up, but I’ve got a chance to maybe get another mistake.”The other players with more walks than strikeouts before the break are elite hitters: Joey Votto, Mookie Betts, Anthony Rizzo, Adrian Beltre, Dustin Pedroia. Turner’s batting average already placed him in that echelon; now his discipline has too.History lessonThe Dodgers’ 26-4 run leading into the All-Star break rekindled memories of their 42-8 stretch in the summer of 2013.The manager at the time, current Marlins skipper Don Mattingly, was quick to point out one important difference: The Dodgers were a bad team in May 2013 before becoming world beaters in June and July.“They were ready to axe me then, right?” Mattingly said. “Then all of a sudden we catch fire.”Dave Roberts’ job was secure after the Dodgers lost to the Washington Nationals on June 6. Their record was 35-25. In the weeks that followed, Roberts said he did not check the team’s record until the All-Star break arrived.Still, he said, the effects of the Dodgers’ momentum became noticeable at some point. In that regard the similarity to 2013 is striking.“All of a sudden,” Mattingly said, “the total feel of your club is different.”For Roberts, the transformative moment was a four-game series sweep against the New York Mets on June 19-22.“That was a big series,” Roberts said. “We saw some good pitching and really played well. Won a game we probably shouldn’t have won. That was a good one.”Ryu updateDodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu threw a four-inning, 58-pitch simulated game at Marlins Park. Roberts said the left-hander, who’s on the 10-day disabled list with a left foot contusion, probably will not be activated during the Dodgers’ trip to Miami and Chicago.Roberts said he isn’t sure whether Ryu will return as a starter or a reliever.“We want to drop (Ryu) back in as a starter, but if a situation presents itself that we need him out of the bullpen, I know he would be open to helping us in that capacity,” Roberts said. “Ideally, it would be as a starter. But with the starting pitching that we have it’s hard to be exact in our prediction.”Ryu, 3-6 with a 4.21 earned-run average, has started 13 games and relieved one.AlsoThe Dodgers’ rotation is set through the series in Chicago. Alex Wood (Saturday) and Rich Hill (Sunday) will close out the series against the Marlins. Clayton Kershaw (Tuesday) and Kenta Maeda (Wednesday) will face the White Sox.