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Groups campaigning for the legalisation of homosexuality in Commonwealth countries have welcomed a ruling by the supreme court of the central American state of Belize.Section 53 of Belize’s criminal code, which banned ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’, was yesterday ruled unlawful after a three-year court battle. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin agreed that Section 53 amounts to a violation of the constitutional rights to dignity, privacy, equality and non-discrimination on grounds of sex.He found that there was no justification in the form of ‘public morality’ and therefore the law must be modified. He awarded costs to the claimant, Caleb Orozco, a Belizean gay man and prominent LGBT human rights advocate.Orozco said: ‘Our judicial system has been proven to be robust and unprejudiced. This judgment should give other oppressed minorities the confidence to speak up and stand up for themselves in situations of human rights abuse in the way I have. Our courts really are there to protect us all.’He described Section 53 as ‘a poisonous remnant of [UK] colonial rule’. Belize has been independent since 1981. The case had attracted interventions on both sides. The International Commission of Jurists, the Commonwealth Lawyers Association and the Human Dignity Trust had joined as ‘interested parties’ in support of Orozco.Meanwhile a group of churches including the Roman Catholic Church of Belize, the Belize Church of England Corporate Body, and the Belize Evangelical Association of Churches intervened on the opposing side.Alex Ward, president of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, which passed a resolution on the ‘Decriminalisation of Sexual Orientation’ in 2009, said: ‘This is a sound and just ruling which we whole heartedly welcome.’It is the CLA’s mandate to uphold the rule of law across the Commonwealth and today marks a considerable success in maintaining the integrity of the Belizean constitution and protecting its citizens’ fundamental rights.’According to the Human Dignity Trust, same-sex intimacy between consenting adults is a crime in 76 nations; 38 are members of the Commonwealth.
AUTOMATION: Communications-based train control is putting more intelligence on board trains, along with high capacity data links that can be harnessed to carry other systems. Invensys Rail Group CEO James Drummond tells Chris Jackson that rail is starting to copy the convergence of technologies seen in other industries.,’We do see some form of convergence’ between signalling and train control systems, confirms James Drummond, Chief Executive & President of Invensys Rail Group. As one of the ‘big seven’ signalling suppliers Invensys is active in all three of the emerging technologies – ETCS for main line applications, CBTC for the urban and metro sector, and more recently Positive Train Control in North America.’They are three legs of the platform’, Drummond suggests. ‘ETCS and CBTC are already converging’, he reports, pointing out that in Spain infrastructure manager ADIF is using ETCS on its main lines, but with a CBTC overlay to permit automatic train operation on the core of the Madrid suburban network. ‘I am not sure whether that means one platform in the longer term, but there are clearly benefits in being able to combine elements of both systems.’ Invensys has expanded its PTC capability through the acquisition last year of Quantum, which supplied the equipment now in commercial operation on the Panama Railroad. With the US Class I railroads ‘finalising their requirements for an interoperable version’ to meet the 2015 implementation deadline set by Congress (RG 11.08 p861), Drummond admits that ‘PTC will need further development’. CBTC is probably most advanced to date, which he attributes to the stand-alone nature of metros, citing the central control system implemented by Hong Kong’s MTR Corp. ‘Metros are more flexible, as discrete systems, and are therefore able to move forward with a greater degree of freedom. Main line railways are more interconnected, and have more legacy issues to deal with’. Sharing costs and benefitsAsked whether vertical separation has impacted on ETCS implementation, Drummond diplomatically suggests that ‘there is no perfect way of running a railway’. However, he feels that ‘separation enables infrastructure managers to focus more closely on the quality of the infrastructure’, while the train operators focus on operations and customer service; there is no question that this has happened.’The biggest challenge, he admits, is that communications-based train control ‘means putting infrastructure onto the trains. We need to understand the balance of costs and benefits between infrastructure manager and train operator.’ He believes ETCS could offer ‘significant benefits to the train operators’, but these have ‘not really been thought through’, although ‘discussions are live in the UK at present’.’What we are seeking to do is understand better the issues for train operators, vehicle owners and maintainers’, he explains. One benefit is the additional capacity which ETCS can provide, ‘but how do we monetise that?’ Others could come from harnessing the onboard processing power ‘to do much more than running the signalling and train control. For instance, we can optimise asset management, control and monitoring using the same closed communications loop without compromising the safety integrity.’ ‘It is clearly best for the railway to go in the direction that ETCS requires’, he insists. But to do that ‘we need to optimise the benefits for the industry as a whole’.The advantages are also being recognised outside Europe, with Drummond reporting a lot of interest from railways as far apart as Turkey, Australia and Latin America. ‘The potential for ETCS to be a de facto global standard is very real’, he suggests. ETCS consolidation periodDespite the chequered history of ETCS application in Europe, Drummond insists that ‘there is no question of commitment to the standards; huge amounts of investment are going on. But countries have committed at different times and to different degrees’, which complicates the process.’The trick is to make sure the standard leaves enough space to deliver interoperability, but not at a cost that makes it unacceptable in the market’, he believes. ‘So far that potential is being realised.’ After a relatively rapid evolution, Drummond feels a period of consolidation is now essential. The debugged SRS Version 2.3.0D ‘is clearly understood and genuinely interoperable — it gives the right degree of flexibility without undermining inter-operability – a good robust standard. We need time to allow that to become established, for customers to become confident, and for suppliers to deliver against that standard. There needs to be a period for demonstrating the deliverability and practicality of 2.3.0D – to suppliers, customers and politicians alike.”Suppliers have made a very significant commitment in delivering the system, and need to recoup that investment’, he adds. But this does not mean an end to development. ‘We signed a memorandum of understanding in 2008, and the suppliers are all committed to Version 3.0.0. But it is an essential requirement that customers who go with 2.3.0D can later migrate to 3.0.0. We mustn’t stop development completely, but having a clear migration path is absolutely critical.’ Reshaping the group Since joining Invensys in 2005, Drummond has been working to integrate more closely the group’s four established signalling businesses. ‘Invensys Rail Group is coming together’, he confirms. ‘They were autonomous companies which were very successful in their own markets, and understood their customer requirements. Today there are international standard products, rather than market-specific requirements. We have responded to this by developing our capabilities as a group.’One ‘critical re-engineering decision’ was ‘to make resources available to all companies’. Invensys has built on its local competences as the basis for its four main centres of excellence: interlockings in Chippenham, CBTC in Madrid, control systems in Brisbane and communications in California. ‘R&D investment was spread between the four main sites, but it is now a shared resource. This is a very significant change. Four years ago R&D spending was 20% group, 80% local; now it is the other way around.’ Residual local spending is mainly focused on ‘configuring standard products to meet local variations and customer-specific requirements, as well as sustaining the existing legacy technologies’.In addition, the Rail Group has been developing its engineering capability with ‘shared centres of production in India and Thailand, to improve competitiveness of our products. These resources are available to all operating companies, and are not part of any single business.’Despite the consolidation, Drummond insists that the traditional brands will not disappear. As an example, ‘Dimetronic has a very good track record in Spain and Portugal, and an understanding of the market — the brand is very significant, and has a cachet across the Spanish area of influence. And the Westinghouse brand is working well in India, where we have a good reputation. ‘There are some markets where we have no historic presence, where we could use the Invensys brand. But even where we lead with local branding, we make clear that it is “part of Invensys Rail Group”, to emphasise our broader capabilities.’Growing market share In its first-half results for the six months to September 30 2008, Invensys Rail Group reported orders totalling £335m, a 44% increase compared to the same period in 2007. Operating profit of £65m was up by the same proportion, meaning that rail contributed more than half of Invensys profits from 29% of total turnover. Of the seven main suppliers in the signalling, telecommunications and train control sector, Invensys occupys the middle ground with Alstom and Ansaldo STS, behind Siemens and Thales but ahead of Bombardier and GE. Drummond believes that Invensys is growing fastest, with an average of 10% per year over the past four years, compared to average market growth of 3% to 4%. ‘We must recognise the lumpy nature of order intake, but I would like us to break away from the pack and challenge the market leaders’, he says. ‘Our future strategy is clear. We will focus on single-platform technologies. We will concentrate on the markets where we are already established, such as the UK, Spain, Australia and the USA, plus a limited number of new markets where we have the technology for specific applications. But we recognise that certain customers will have requirements that we cannot meet.’When choosing new markets, Drummond says he is looking for ‘a clear commitment to invest in rail’, be it renewals or new construction. Although that is ‘a very simple filter’ it is ‘good enough to give us the confidence to commit resources into the country. It is all about sustainability and the visibility of the order pipeline. When we are sure, we will invest.’We would rather have three good markets with steady business for 20 years than chase after 20 markets with one or two opportunities.’ He cites Singapore, where ‘we have never not had a live project in the past 20 years.’ Today, Dimetronic is supplying CBTC for the Downtown Line, with interlockings coming from Westinghouse UK and control systems from Australia. ‘And LTA’s long-term plan, the 20-year integrated transport strategy, gives us confidence that there are further good prospects in this market.’Another area of growth is maintenance and support services. ‘We have always supported our installed base, but the scope is growing. It is not necessarily for a full lifetime, but 10 to 15 years is an increasingly common requirement.’ Drummond says this is ‘a worthwhile activity’, as the supplier gets ‘close to the performance of equipment, offering valuable feedback into design and upgrading of the technology.’ Grouping the service element with supply of spare parts, maintenance now accounts for between 10% and 20% of rail group turnover. ‘We are often finding that we are now being asked to commit to a broader scope of support at the time the original contract is let’, reports Drummond. ‘This is a new development in the last three years, typically on new systems, where there is no existing in-house capability, or there has been a major change of technology’.Looking ahead, Drummond wants to see Invensys Rail Group recognised ‘as the leading train control and communications provider. Not necessarily the biggest in terms of turnover or profit, but for customers to recognise us as the technology leader, innovative in the means of delivery and the reliability of installed systems. If they want capacity or performance they think of us first. Turnover is an output metric – getting these things right is what I am interested in.’Intelligent automationNoting that Invensys ‘draws its strength as a technology company’, Drummond points out that this allows it to ‘use its skills across many industries’. He sees ‘a lot of synergy between rail and industrial automation’, which is the group’s biggest business area. ‘A lot of rail technology today was pioneered in industrial automation applications. There are many proven and debugged systems out there, when the rail industry is ready to accept them.’ As examples of successful transfers, he highlights the Systematics control systems platform from Foxboro and the Westlock computer-based interlocking which uses a Triconex high-integrity processor module developed for the nuclear power industry.’We are a “pure play” technology company. We look at how technology can help the capacity and efficiency of railway operations. If you look at the industrial automation processes, you can see a similar progression there too. In the rail sector, it is possible to start with discrete elements, prove a number of applications and integrate them later. ‘Look at train control and train operations – we could be moving towards an integrated platform.’ Or capacity, where train control is the ‘lever’ to improve headways and optimise the use of the network. ‘Integrating train control with asset management systems would avoid capacity “leakage” and boost utilisation. ‘A broader “intelligent infrastructure” offers the next level of technology. We already have systems for real-time monitoring of track circuits and point machines, for instance. Add in power supplies and energy usage, ventilation, security and passenger information systems and this would all help to optimise system availability.’Operators may be reluctant to put all their eggs in one basket, and Drummond recognises that an open architecture would allow the railway to combine applications from multiple vendors. ‘We have seen this in industrial automation, where customers such as ExxonMobil are working to integrate applications seamlessly in an agnostic way. And that has to be true in rail, where the infrastructure is well established and there are so many applications that one technology is never going to win.’Railway of the future Drummond believes that the next five to 10 years will see the evolution of ‘an overarching intelligent infrastructure for the whole railway’. He reports that a number of customers, including Network Rail, DB Netz and ADIF are ‘thinking about the same issue in slightly different ways’. He recognises that ‘it will take some time to emerge, because of the complexity’, but ‘we are looking at how we can bring our technology to bear – for rail and industrial automation, and at what innovations may be needed’.Noting that the Archestra industrial automation platform used by Exxon-Mobil ’emerged from a customer vision’, he accepts that the intelligent railway concept poses a challenge for operators as well as suppliers. ‘This cuts right across organisational and technical boundaries. There will be an impact on the IT department, operations, maintenance, S&T, even the customer services department. They all need to discuss the concept, and work together, and everyone needs to get comfortable with the vision. So it will be important to determine who is in charge.’Drummond would like to work ‘with one or two customers to define their requirements and produce a working model to demonstrate reliability and effectiveness. That would allow us to refine the requirements, and the customer to develop a business case. It is probably best done with a limited number of committed customers – and we are talking to them.’He hopes to see one or two pilot projects emerging ‘in the next couple of years’ to validate the likely requirements. ‘We could see some real working systems within five years’, he predicts.
South Sudan’s capital Juba is filled with talk of the much anticipated return of rebel leader Riek Machar, who is expected to take up the post of vice president in an African Union-backed peace deal meant to bring peace to the country.Machar is expected to arrive in Juba on Monday morning to form the transitional unity government with President Salva Kiir, in efforts to silence the guns in the world’s youngest nation.Many are however still pessimistic about the return of Machar, saying he has made promises to return in the past but never showed up. Tomorrow however, the rebel leader is expected to keep his word and arrive in Juba. Last week, a 1,370- strong force loyal to him arrived in the capital to ensure his security before his arrival.His deputy Chief Alfred Ladu and other high ranking commanders in his force are also already in Juba to facilitate the modalities of Monday’s event. South Sudan, which seceded from Sudan in 2011, quickly descended into conflict in December 2013 when President Salva Kiir accused his then deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup against his government.Machar refuted the claims but went on to mobilize a rebel force to fight the government. The two sides have entered other peace deals before, but went against them on numerous occasions, with each faction accusing the other of going against the terms of the agreements.Machar’s return tomorrow is seen as the country’s final recipe for bringing an end to the two-year conflict that has killed thousands and displaced millions others. Ahead of this anticipated return, the country’s ministry of culture organized an inter-tribal wrestling event meant to reconcile the different tribes.
The 2018 CAF Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) finals kick off on Saturday in Accra. Kenya’s national team, the Harambee Starlets still don’t know whether it’s going to participate.This is because the country is still waiting for the outcome of an appeal it launched at the Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS) against the reinstatement of Equatorial Guinea to the bi-annual continental competition.The African football governing body CAF expelled Equatorial Guinea from the competition on Oct. 17 after Kenya successfully appealed against the use of an ineligible player, Anette Jacky Messomo during their final round of qualifiers.However, CAF’s appeal board reinstated the Equatoguineans to the competition on Nov. 6 prompting the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to serve notice of a final appeal at the Lausanne-based CAS.Speaking to Xinhua on Wednesday, FKF communications director Barry Otieno said the country had not given up efforts to take the team for what would be a second successive showing at the AWCON following their debut in Cameroon 2016.“On Friday of last week we initiated the process of appeal. Our legal team advised us due process requires we inform CAF we are not happy and that as per regulations of FIFA and CAF statutes we will be moving to CAS for an appeal,” said Otieno.“We gave them 72 hours that lapsed on Monday and CAF has not gotten back to us. Yesterday (Tuesday), we began the process of filing and getting all the documentation ready and expect our legal person to file today (Wednesday) from London,” Otieno stated. He said the federation shall know the way forward by Friday, noting that the team is still in camp.Two-time African champions Equatorial Guinea beat Kenya 3-2 on aggregate over two legs of their third and final round of the 2018 AWCON qualifying campaign in June but Kenya appealed against their progress to the finals, citing six players in the team who were allegedly ineligible to play for their opponents.Initially, CAF ruled there were sufficient grounds to disqualify Equatorial Guinea from the competition.The Equatoguineans then appealed to the board which overturned the earlier decision, knocking Kenya out of the competition.Equatorial Guinea remain banned from the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup next March on similar charges, meaning that even if they secure a top three finish at the AWCON, they will not represent Africa at the global showpiece.Related Women in northern Kenya educated about birth-control benefits Chinese women living in Kenya launch Kenya Chinese Women Association Women refugees in Kenya earning from crafts
Sharing is caring! Share BusinessLocalNews MoneyGram offers reduced fees for Dominica by: – September 16, 2015 Share Tweet MoneyGram, a global provider of money transfer and payment services, is offering reduced fees for all transactions from 26 countries to Dominica to aid in the recovery from Tropical Storm Erika.Beginning 10 September 2015, fees for sending to Dominica have been lowered to one local currency unit per send for any amount up to $10,000 through the end of September for consumers in the U.S.,UK, Canada and the Caribbean. In addition to the transfer fee, a currency exchange rate applies. The reduced fees are available at all MoneyGram agent locations and online at www.MoneyGram.com.Countries offering the special pricing include: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Aruba, Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Bermuda, Curacao, Cayman Islands, St. Maarten, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Montserrat, Turks and Caicos Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guyana, Suriname and Belize.“While the storm is over, the people of Dominica will continue to feel the effects of Erika for months to come, and we feel that it is our duty to provide relief during this time of need,” said Pete Ohser, MoneyGram’s executive vice president business development. “The entire MoneyGram family is committed to helping the island return to a sense of normalcy, and it is our hope that these reduced transfer rates and future education grants will contribute to the overall efforts in helping to restore the island’s infrastructure and way of life,” he continued.Thousands of people remain homeless in the wake of Tropical Storm Erika, which has set the country back two decades according to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit.The MoneyGram Foundation will also assist in the rebuilding of schools and other educational resources for those communities devastated by the storm. Focused on education, the foundation has rebuilt schools and provided much needed educational resources in areas around the world affected by natural disasters over the past two years. 334 Views no discussions Share
Unit Price Analog Devices has introduced an integrated direct conversion receiver development platform for radar systems where reduced size, weight and power (SWaP) implementation is critical. The new AD-FMCOMMS6-EBZ platform is a 400 MHz to 4.4 GHz receiver (1350 MHz to 1650 MHz with installed filters) supporting the key L- and S-band frequency radar bands. The platform’s VITA57-compliant form factor ensures seamless connectivity to FMC (FPGA mezzanine card) platforms. The AD-FMCOMMS6-EBZ is suitable for defense, communications, and instrumentation radar systems requiring a high level of integration and performance delivered in a compact footprint. These include early warning detection, weather surveillance, and air traffic control systems.The AD-FMCOMMS6-EBZ receiver platform integrates the AD9652 dual 16-bit A/D converter, ADL5566 high-dynamic-range RF/IF dual differential amplifier, and ADL5380 quadrature demodulator, all of which are COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) components. A complete design support package is available for the AD-FMCOMMS6-EBZ, and includes schematics, layout files, noise analysis worksheet, FPGA HDL (hardware description language) code, and software drivers.About the AD-FMCOMMS6-EBZ Receiver Development PlatformThe AD-FMCOMMS6-EBZ utilizes an I/Q demodulator to implement a direct conversion or zero IF architecture in which just one frequency translation is required, compared to a super-heterodyne receiver that must perform several frequency translations. A single frequency translation is advantageous because it reduces receiver complexity and the number of conversion stages needed, which in turn increases performance and reduces power consumption. The architecture also avoids image rejection issues and unwanted mixing by adding an amplification stage to maintain the full-scale input to the A/D converter. In addition, the image rejection inherent to the I/Q modulation scheme removes the need for an expensive anti-aliasing filter. The on-board local oscillator and converter clock share the same reference signal to prevent smearing.The AD-FMCOMMS6-EBZ receiver development platform incorporates a full direct-receive signal chain path and has a bandwidth of 220 MHz with a pass-band flatness of +/- 1.0 dB. The RF input range of the ADL5380 demodulator is 400 MHz to 6 GHz and is powered by a single 5-V supply. The ADL5566 4.5-GHz dual differential amplifier is optimized for IF and dc applications and provides a gain of 16 dB. The AD9652 dual 16-bit, 310-MSPS A/D converter achieves the industry’s lowest noise at the highest speed; this level of performance enables target identification at a much longer range. The SNR and SFDR measured at an IF of 145 MHz are 64 dB and 78 dBc, respectively. Additional on-board functionality includes power management and clock distribution with fanout. $650 FMC NOW Availability Learn more and order the AD-FMCOMMS6-EBZ View the user guide and download the design files Package Pricing and Availability Part Number AD-FMCOMMS6-EBZ
Comtech Telecommunications Corp. has announced that during its second quarter of fiscal 2018, its Santa Clara, California-based subsidiary, Comtech Xicom Technology, Inc.; a part of Comtech’s Commercial Solutions segment, has received an order for more than $9.4 million for Solid-State Power Amplifiers (SSPAs) to be used in an airborne, In-Flight Connectivity application. These Gallium Nitride (GaN) SSPAs will be used to enable high-speed satellite connectivity in the cabin. This order will support Comtech Xicom Technology’s continued production of this product through the latter part of 2018.Comtech Xicom Technology, Inc., is a manufacturer of high-power amplifiers, manufactures a wide variety of tube-based and solid-state power amplifiers for military and commercial satellite uplink applications. The product range encompasses power levels from 8 W to 3 kW, with frequency coverage in sub-bands within the 2 GHz to 51 GHz spectrum. Amplifiers are available for fixed and ground-based, ship-board, and airborne mobile applications.
[av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”][av_heading heading=’Pacquiao agrees to fight Khan in April ‘ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote modern-quote’ size=” subheading_active=’subheading_below’ subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=”]BY ADRIAN STEWART CO[/av_heading][av_textblock size=” font_color=’custom’ color=’#0a0a0a’]Monday, February 27, 2017 [/av_textblock] [av_textblock size=” font_color=’custom’ color=’#0a0a0a’]MANILA – Reigning World Boxing Organization welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao has come to terms with British fighter Amir Khan for a title defense on April 23 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.Pacquiao, in a Twitter post on Sunday, confirmed shunning his supposed fight with Australian Jeff Horn, which was earlier announced by Top Rank Promotions head Bob Arum.“Negotiations between team Pacquiao and team Khan have come to terms for the April 23 bout as this is what the fans wanted. #PacquiaoKhan,” Pacquiao wrote on his official account.The tweet by the boxer-senator was confirmed later on by Khan, who also announced the upcoming “mega fight” on his own account.“My team an(d) I have agreed terms with Manny Pacquiao and his team for a super fight #pacquiaokhan #April23rd,” wrote Khan, a former sparring mate of the Filipino ring icon.Earlier Pacquiao said he opened the negotiations with Khan following the result of a personal survey among his followers for his next opponent.Results of the Feb. 13 survey showed Khan on top with 48 percent, followed by the American Kell Brook with 24 percent, another American Terrence Crawford with 21 percent, and Horn with 7 percent.The 38-year-old Pacquiao has a 59-6-2 win-loss-draw ring record, including 38 stoppage wins. He is coming from a unanimous decision win over Jessie Vargas in November 2015.Meanwhile the 31-year-old Khan has a 31-4-0 record, with 19 knockout wins. His last fight was in May 2015, when he was knocked down by Canelo Alvarez./PN[/av_textblock][/av_one_full]
West Florida ranked fifth in the NCAA’s final South Region rankings before the NCAA Tournament field is decided next Monday. As things stand right now, the Argonauts are in line to travel to Florence, Alabama, for a four-team regional with North Alabama, Alabama Huntsville and Florida Tech, hosted by UNA. UWF earned its highest ranking of the year at No. 21 in the NFCA Top 25 poll that came out after the sweep over Delta State. The Argos picked up 14 points in the most recent NFCA poll, good for 27th nationally. UWF defeated Shorter in a 13-inning contest on Thursday, the longest game in the tournament’s history and the longest postseason game in UWF softball history. West Florida then fell to Valdosta State 5-3 in a winner’s bracket game on Thursday afternoon. #ARGOS#Print Friendly Version Alabama Huntsville has one of the top offenses in the league, led by third baseman Kaitlyn Bannister. Bannister, a first-team all-conference performer, leads the GSC in runs scored (65) and RBIs (80) and ranks in the top five in the conference in doubles (17), home runs (17), batting average (.417) and slugging percentage (.798). Tyler Harrison, a first-team All-GSC pitcher this season, finished the year in the top five in wins (19), ERA (2.01), strikeouts (152) and innings pitched (160.1). UAH had two other All-GSC players, in catcher Taylor Wascavage (second team) and DP Abby Roberts (first team). Wascavage hit .393 with 12 doubles and six home runs, while Roberts hit .344 with a .482 on-base percentage and 32 walks, both of which rank third in the GSC. Scouting UAH UWF kicked off the GSC Tournament with the longest game in tournament history and the longest postseason game in UWF history (13 innings) with a win over Shorter. West Florida hit four home runs between the two games on Thursday, with three coming against Shorter. Kathleen Smiley cut the Hawks’ 2-0 lead to just a run with a leadoff home run in the second inning, Rachel Wright gave West Florida its first lead of the day with her home run in the fourth, and Kalyn Chapman stretched the lead to 4-2 with a leadoff shot in the fifth. Smiley added two more runs in the ninth with a double to bounce back from a 6-4 deficit. Wright’s home run was one of her five hits on the day, which led all UWF hitters. Emily Pettigrew wrapped up the game in the 13th with a line drive single through the left side of the infield to score Chelsy Krantz. Chapman added her second home run of the day in the sixth inning of the Valdosta State game. She leads UWF with eight home runs. On Day 1 All-GSC Honors The 2016 UWF softball team has improved its record tremendously since last year, from 19-30 to 38-14. West Florida is coming off a 16-game winning streak and picked up 18 wins in its last 21 games of the season (.857). The Argonauts have posted a 17.5 game improvement so far, which ranks as the 15th-best single-season turnaround in Division II history. UWF has improved in every facet of the game since last year. The pitching staff has been especially sharp, as the team’s ERA has dropped from 3.57 to 2.42 and opponents batting average has dropped 26 points. The offense has also seen notable improvement. The team is hitting .312 with a .429 slugging percentage through 52 games, compared to a .263 average and a .347 slugging percentage in 2015. West Florida started to gain national attention following the weekend sweep over No. 18 Valdosta State on 2/27-28, and after a weekend sweep over No. 21 Delta State on 4/16-17. UWF earned a spot in the NFCA Top 25, coming in at 21. UWF is already in the record books for its improvement from 2004 to 2005. West Florida won 36 games in ’04 before adding 24 more wins in 2005. The Turnaround UWF added three players to the All-Gulf South Conference teams on Tuesday, in Kalyn Chapman, Meghan Toney and Rhiannon Sassman. This is the first time UWF has had three all-conference players in the same season since 2010. Chapman ranked in the top five in the GSC in wins (19), opponent batting average (.208), innings pitched (148.1), and strikeouts (153). She was the only player to earn a spot on the all-conference team twice this year, making the list as both a pitcher and a designated player. Toney led all second basemen in the GSC with 10 doubles and 49 runs scored. She recorded 15 multi-hit games, reached base in 44 of her 50 games and proved herself as one of the top defenders in the GSC over the year. Sassman’s 45 regular-season RBIs are the most for a UWF batter since 2010, and her .350 regular-season batting average is the highest for a freshman in UWF history. She is the only player in the league to be named GSC Player of the Week twice this season. In the Polls The GSC Tournament UWF came into the 2016 GSC Softball Tournament as the No. 3 seed and took a 13-inning, walkoff win against Shorter on Thursday. The victory sent West Florida to a winner’s bracket game against Valdosta State at 3 p.m. The Argonauts fell 5-3 in that matchup. West Florida has been one of the best teams in GSC Tournament history, with the fourth-most wins (66), trips to the conference finals (6) and titles (3), with the last coming in 2005. UWF went 1-2 against Alabama Huntsville earlier this year and are 9-8 this season against teams in the field. UAH dropped its first game of the tournament, a 7-2 loss to Delta State on Thursday afternoon. LIVE VIDEO | LIVE STATSPENSACOLA, Fla. – Fourth-seeded Alabama Huntsville is next up for the University of West Florida softball team, with an elimination game in the Gulf South Conference Tournament between the two scheduled for Friday afternoon at 12:30 p.m.