Friday, February 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bitners’ memory honored with Little League game for the ages

LittleLeagueW

Members of the Little League Dodgers — including her son Nolan Bitners — stand for a moment of silence Tuesday honoring Davis teacher Paulene Bitners, who died of breast cancer this week. Courtesy photo

By
From page B1 | April 11, 2014 |

North Davis Elementary School teacher Paulene Bitners will live long in our memories.

And fittingly, a Little League game played between her son Nolan’s Dodgers and the Giants earlier this week will live on in local baseball lore.

Bitners died Sunday of breast cancer. The popular and influential kindergarten and third-grade teacher was a fixture at the Davis Little League complex — her love of baseball vivid in my mind.

On Tuesday, baseball loved her back.

Services for Paulene were conducted Wednesday, the same day Nolan’s team was to meet the Giants.

Coaches Dave Hedin (Giants) and Jeremy Brooks (Dodgers) agreed to play the game a day early — and dedicate it to one-time scorekeeper and No. 1 fan Paulene Bitners.

The pre-game moment of silence for Nolan’s mom was poignant, sad …

How could we be without Paulene, just 47 years old? It isn’t fair.

Paulene’s husband Andrew helped coach the Dodgers and Gloria Purnell (mom of Nolan’s teammate Zach) was among Bitners’ caregivers.

Profoundly feeling the loss on both teams — at least six of her former students took the field that night — the game looked like a runaway for the Giants, who led 14-3 after four innings.

But her beloved Dodgers, apparently cheered on by Paulene from the Highest of Bleachers, strung 12 straight runs together and won, 15-14.

It mattered not to anyone who won. It was in the memory and the spirit in which the game was played.

Now comes word that there will be a fundraiser for the Bitner Family.

Uncle Vito’s Pizza and Paesanos will donate 20 percent of the proceeds from both restaurants on Tuesday night to the Bitners family in Paulene’s name.

Separate from the dine-out tribute, folks can donate to the family through www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/4804/paulene-bitners-family-fund.

Aggie basketball update: With fingers crossed, the UC Davis basketball programs will recover from injuries suffered before and during the recent season.

On the women’s side, center Alyson Doherty, emerging as one of the Big West’s top post players, is recovering from surgery to repair a knee injury suffered in the conference tournament’s opener last month. Doherty became a difference-maker during her brilliant sophomore year.

School officials say it’s too early to tell what condition Doherty will be in when two-time defending national champion Connecticut comes to call to open the 2014-15 season at The Pavilion in November.

Meanwhile, All-BWC wing Sydnee Fipps, who went down with ankle and knee injuries in the season finale against UC Irvine, is OK.

Fipps came back into that game after her first-half fall, but reported “looseness” in her leg joints after the contest.

After being checked out, it was reported that Fipps’ injuries were less severe than first thought. Fipps had knee surgery during her prep days at Yosemite High (Mariposa).

Between Fipps and Lauren Beyers, Doherty is propped up by teammates who know rehab. Remember, Beyers suffered a horrific leg injury in her freshman season, taking two full years to recover before returning to the court this winter. Beyers’ layup with six seconds left against UCI almost gave the Aggies the victory. But a late Anteater basket tied things before UCD’s season ended in overtime in the conference tournament.

Beyers was clearly the feel-good story of this season — a role we hope is reserved for Doherty next fall.

For the men, Aggie officials report frontline players J.T. Adenrele and Josh Ritchart are “ahead of schedule” in their recoveries from season-ending injuries.

Adenrele went out before the first game with a knee injury in a non-contact drill in August.

Ritchart’s lower-leg injury ended his season after nine games. Both were granted medical redshirt status.

Combined, the injuries substantially altered UCD’s lineup and the Aggie men had to repeatedly shift gears in a disappointing season. Both should be ready to roll come opening tip-off 2014.

While I Have You Here: As a sports community, Davis is as much a swim town as it soccer, baseball or basketball or football.

Don’t believe me? Look around: Aquadarts, Davis Water Polo Club, 50 Davis High section titles in water sports, strong UC Davis women’s swim and both-gender water polo programs. Masters swim programs, athlete facilities like SwimAmerica and recreational programs like Summerdarts are there, too.

This summer, first-year Aggie men’s water polo coach Daniel Leyson throws his hat in the water with a three-day water polo camp, Aug. 1-3. With three training sessions between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. at Schaal Aquatics Center, the camp targets high school-age boys.

Former USC and Olympic team assistant Leyson, UCD assistant coach Kevin Peat and members of the Aggie squad will be instructors.

For more information, contact Peat at [email protected]

— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at [email protected] or 530-320-4456.

Comments

comments

Bruce Gallaudet

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Mother arrested for death of baby Justice Rees

    By Lauren Keene | From Page:

     
     
    New greenhouse will add to ‘Farm to Mouth’ program

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Learn about pollinators, gardens and honey at Yolo Basin fundraiser

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Fire damages South Davis home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Gerber nominations close Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Explorit: Humming right along

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A3

     
    Flower arrangers feature S.F. designer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Celebrate Africa on Saturday at I-House

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Spring sing-along is March 4

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Chamber explores how to pay for Davis’ needs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Wolk and Dodd team up to provide Napa earthquake tax relief

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Robb Davis to speak about homelessness, energy

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Class of 1970 plans 45-year reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Bicycle safety course to be offered in Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Documentary on immigration issues will be screened

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Learn about your brain on March 14

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    A fill-up mishap

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
    Two free yoga classes offered March 12

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Take a night walk at Cache Creek

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Adopt a household for Bridge to Housing participants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Workshop will teach sustainable gardening methods

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Forum

    Tired of all of this

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Cavalier attitude about bike safety

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    Start early to build healthy dental habits

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: B6

     
    No extra cost for containers

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    Oral Health Project launches

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

     
    Here an H, there an H

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B6

    .

    Sports

    Off day for Aggie men at UCSB

    By Kim Orendor | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie women fall to 4th after lackluster showing

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Lady Devils are on to the SJS semis

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Blue Devil boys expect a spike in production

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Inquiring minds want to know about Aggies

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Encouraging start for DHS boys tennis team

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Late goal lifts Red Wings over Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

     
    Watney struggling at windy Honda Classic

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    International Film Series to present ‘Jaffa’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

     
    Monticello announces March schedule

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    The Artery presents ‘Stepping Into Nature’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    YoloArts’ Gallery 625 presents ‘The Poetry of Dots’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    ‘Focus': A sharply conceived caper

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    The Woodland Opera House announces 2015-16 season

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Nissan’s Z remains an affordable performer

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: B3

     
    Car Care: Simple DIY steps to protect your car through all seasons

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Dieter W. Gruenwedel

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    George Miller Jr.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Death notice: Celia E. Recchio

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Vernon E. Burton

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, February 27, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B5