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Sierra Vista- It’s the name of one of our local hospitals. It also formulates in one’s mind a spectacular view of the Sierra Nevada mountains, particularly nowadays as they are blanketed in snow. Vista equals broad sweeping views.

This subject matter focuses on the view, or a particular viewpoint if you will, of a Sierra sighting of a magnitude unseen in this neck of the woods up until recently. Cal Poly’s unparalleled Sierra Hyland is setting new standards for Poly’s women’s softball team. The 5’-5” mighty-mite senior toes the rubber for the 4-1 (at press time) Mustangs and is having her way with opposing hitters.

Hyland was recently accorded the title of “USA Softball National Player of the Week” for the second time in the senior’s career. All she did on opening weekend was to throw a fourth career no-no and followed that up with her second career “el perfecto” the following day. A no-hitter and perfect game back-to-back! Quite a sight, Sierra.

Lit- Let’s stay local. I’d like to harken back to January 13th if I may. I read a quote attributed to Mission Prep High’s Emily Lucier that struck me in such a way that I laughed out loud. Hey, who doesn’t need laughter in today’s world?

The MP women’s hoopsters were matched up against cross-town rival San Luis Obispo and the game was tied 43-all with 9.9 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Mission Prep had possession and the in-bounded ball was passed around three times before winding up in Lucier’s hands on the wing as precious seconds elapsed.

Undaunted, Emily let the ball fly just prior to the buzzer sounding and it kissed off of the backboard and through the net for the victory. She didn’t even have time to call “glass!”

What gives this tale a bit more legs is that the junior had suffered a preseason concussion, spent three weeks off fighting mononucleosis and was really not in game-shape condition heading into the contest.

Now to the gist. I’ll let Emily explain through her quote. “I can’t even explain it. Wins like that are what keep us motivated and really get us through the season. The whole fourth quarter was really tight. Our fans really helped us through. The rivalry is so lit.” Thank you for lighting my laugh up as well Emily!

Potpourri- College basketball’s #3-ranked Kansas Jayhawks are walking the proverbial thin line as they continue to eke out home and away victories by the slightest of margins, all of which may bode well for Bill Self’s team come March Madness. Pulling those close games out at the end shows maturity and cohesiveness, two elements of success.

Look-a-likes I: Cleveland Cavalier sharpshooter Kyle Korver and actor Ashton Kutcher. Neither seems to age! Look-a-likes II: Pop star Phil Collins of Genesis & solo fame, and Russian bully Vladimir Putin. Same round face and beady eyes. But Vlad has that passive, intimidating look that scares the bejesus out of me. (Please don’t tell him I said so as I don’t want to be on that guy’s list!) Look-a-likes III: Oklahoma Thunder basketball head coach Billy Donovan and Eddie Munster. It’s the hair!

See if you can help me out here. I’m struggling big-time to find the answer to this question: Which is way cooler, flocks of snowy plovers scurrying around on the sand following the waterline as the tide rushes in and out or pelicans flying but inches above the water behind the waves which have just begun to curl, looking to snare dinner?

Haven’t heard from: deposed UFC fighter Ronda Rousey, the Lakers, former number-one pro golfer Rory McIlroy, stock car driver Danica Patrick, former head football coach Chip Kelly, Hillary.

Have heard too much from: meddling Magic Johnson, opinionated Warriors forward Draymond Green, the New York Knicks and their problems, mouthy UFC instigator Conor McGregor, me, today.

Michael believes watching snowy plovers scurry and pelicans snare is a sporting move and thus falls under the auspices of worthwhile sports reporting. If you agree, snare this email address and scurry over to your computer and let him know at sportsshorts8@gmail.com.

By Michael Elliott

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