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WAC Softball Action Heats Up
Courtesy: WAC

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK – Fresno State’s Caitlin Stiglich and Nevada’s Jordan McPherson have been named the Western Athletic Conference Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively. This is the first honor this season for both.

Stiglich, a freshman from Newhall, Calif. (William Hart), led the Bulldogs to a solid week, batting a team-high .476 with also a team-high 12 RBI and 10 hits. She had two RBI, a double, a hit and a run in two five-inning sweeps over Northern Colorado last Tuesday at home. She also had two runs, three hits, including a double and a home run, and four RBI against No. 6 Michigan on the opening day of the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif. She had three hits and three more RBI against Utah, two hits, a run and an RBI against Illinois and a home run and two RBI against Cal State Fullerton.

McPherson, a senior from Simi Valley, Calif. (Royal) pitched 11 innings of shutout ball as Nevada swept a WAC-opening series over Utah State. McPherson started game two of the series and pitched a complete game shutout in the 6-0 victory. She gave up just four hits and two walks, while striking out six in the game. In Saturday’s game three, McPherson started and went four innings for the victory, improving to 9-7 on the year. She gave up just two hits and walked one while striking out a pair. Opponents batted just .176 off of her in the series.

Other hitter of the week nominees included: Kaulana Gould of Hawai‘i hit .500 with four runs scored last week ... Noelle Micka of Nevada hit .500 for the Wolf Pack, including two home runs ... Emily Reilly of Utah State hit .357 with five hits in the Aggies’ WAC opener.

Other pitcher of the week nominees included: Morgan Melloh of Fresno State won her 20th game last week ... Courtney Baughman of Hawai‘i went 1-1 with a 1.24 ERA in 11.1 innings last week.

IN THE POLLS – Hawai‘i and Fresno State are both ranked in both polls. The Rainbow Wahine are No. 21 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches’ Poll and No. 17 in the Softball poll. Fresno State is ranked No. 13 in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches’ Poll  and No. 12 in the poll. Nevada is receiving votes in the NFCA poll.

ON DECK – By the end of this week, all seven teams will have started WAC play. Fresno State will begin conference play on the road against Utah State. The doubleheader on March 28 will only be the Aggies second doubleheader in Logan this season.  Nevada looks to remain perfect in WAC action on the road against New Mexico State, while Louisiana Tech hosts 2007 WAC Champion, Hawai‘i. San Jose State will take the week off from conference play after starting 2-1 against Louisiana Tech last week.

WAC LEADERS – Nevada’s Noelle Micka leads the conference in several categories, including batting average (.445), hits (49) and is second in total bases (77). Once again, Hawai‘i’s Kate Robinson leads the league in home runs with 12. Robinson is also hitting. 391. In the circle, yet another Fresno State pitcher is dominating. Freshman Morgan Melloh is first in wins (20), ERA (1.05) and strikeouts (204). Melloh also adds three saves.

ROBINSON LEADS RAINBOW WAHINE TO WIN – Senior Kate Robinson lifted the No. 17/21 University of Hawai`i softball team (26-11, 2-1 WAC) to a 1-0 conference win over New Mexico State tonight at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium. Robinson (11-3, 2-0) fired a four-hit shut-out with no walks and six strike outs. She also went 2-for-4 at the plate and drove in the winning run with a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded.
 It was a pitcher’s duel between Robinson and NMSU’s Kim Watson (13-13, 1-1) who also gave a complete game effort in the loss. Watson gave up nine hits with a pair of walks and four strike outs. Although UH was able to get on base with hits, Watson was able to get out of jams to hold UH scoreless through the first six innings. Hawai`i was able to get at least two runners on base each of the last six innings. But Watson was able to squash rally after rally, stranding a total of 12 UH runners on base, until the bottom of the seventh inning.

FRESNO STATE’S MACKIN COMPETES FOR TEAM CANADA – Fresno State junior pitcher Robin Mackin was named to the 2008 Canadian Softball Olympic Team. Mackin will redshirt this season as she prepares to play for her country. 

Mackin, an All-American as a sophomore, pitched for Canada during the summer and pitched during tryouts in October at the China Cup. Mackin is the ninth Fresno State player to make an Olympic team. She is also the third to make an Olympic team from a country outside the US. 

The junior will continue to go to school in the fall, but will leave in the spring to join the Canadian team as they prepare for the Beijing Olympics in August. She will have two years left of eligibility when she returns next year. 

This will be the last year softball will be played in the Olympics, an even bigger opportunity for Mackin. Canada is one of eight teams competing. 

The Canadian team will travel to Las Vegas in late January to begin centralized training and play several games against NCAA competition. They will then travel to Australia in March where they will continue their training at the site of the 2000 Olympic Games in Blacktown, Australia and will play against the Australian and Japanese national teams.
HAWAI‘I TO HOST 2008 TOURNAMENT – For the first time ever the WAC Softball Tournament will be held in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. This will be only the third tournament since 1999.  All seven teams will advance to the double-elimination tournament. The tournament will be held at the Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium from May 7-10. Second-seeded Nevada captured its second WAC Tournament last season at home in Fresno. The Bulldogs were outstanding in the tournament not dropping a single game.

SIMPLY THE BEST – In the first set of NCAA statistics, several WAC teams and players stand out. Freshman sensation Morgan Melloh of Fresno State is first in the nation in walks allowed per seven inning. Following in the footsteps of outstanding Bulldog pitchers like Jamie Southern and  Amanda Scott, Melloh is also among the nation’s best in wins. With 20 wins already this season, Melloh is second in the country behind Florida’s Stacey Nelson. Fresno State’s Haley Perkins is fifth in triple per game (0.17). Nevada’s Katie Holverson is sixth in the nation with four saves.
 As a team, Fresno State is seventh in fielding percentage (.979) and 11 in batting average (.318). Nevada is also in the top 25 in batting average, standing at 20th (.310).  With 30 wins, Fresno State is ninth in the nation in win/loss percentage (.857).

FRESNO STATE CAPTURES TOURNAMENT TITLE – Going a perfect 5-0 at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif. The No. 14 Fresno State softball team won the tournament as the only undefeated team, capturing the win with a 2-0 shutout over No. 20 Long Beach State.

With the win, the Bulldogs reached three milestones, a 30-win season for the team, a 20-win season for freshman pitcher Morgan Melloh and with nine strikeouts in the game, Melloh picked up her 200th strikeout of the year.

Lisamarie Coronado would be the fourth Bulldog to hit her first home run of the season in the tournament as she hit a two-out solo shot to left field for a 1-0 Bulldog lead after two. Fresno State would add to its lead in the top of the sixth with her second home run of the year, a solo shot to left field for a 2-0 Bulldog advantage.
 The tournament field included No. 1 Arizona State, No. 8 Arizona, No. 6 Michigan, No. 15 Louisiana-Lafayette, No. 18 DePaul, No. 20 Long Beach State and No. 22 San Diego State, among others.

Fresno State Bulldogs (30-5 0-0 WAC)
Freshman sensation Morgan Melloh is second in the nation wins with 20 ... Melloh is also first in walks allowed per seven inning and sixth in saves with four ... this week, the Bulldogs start conference play on the road against Utah State  ... the Bulldogs are the final WAC team to begin WAC action ... the three-game series with the Aggies are the only games for the Bulldogs this week.

Hawai‘i Rainbow Wahine (26-11, 2-1 WAC)
Hawai‘i’s senior All-American first baseman/pitcher Kate Robinson continues to lead the ‘Bows with a .391 batting average ... she also has team-highs in runs (29), hits (45), home runs (12), and runs batted in (32) ... junior rightfielder Tanisha Milca is right behind Robinson with a .391
batting average ... Milca leads the team with six doubles and two triples and is second on the team with 21 runs scored and 44  hits ... freshman second baseman, Melissa Gonzalez has made a strong impact on the team, starting the last 15 games.

Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (17-16, 1-2 WAC)
Louisiana Tech plays its first home game in two weeks as the Lady Techster softball team hosts Nicholls State in a softball doubleheader ... Tech (17-16) will host nationally-ranked Hawaii in a three-game Western Athletic Conference series this weekend with a 1 p.m. doubleheader Saturday and a 3 p.m. single game Sunday ... the Lady Techsters lost two of three at San Jose State last weekend in the WAC opening series and hope to return to the win column Thursday afternoon against the Colonels (14-17) out of the Southland Conference.

Nevada Wolf Pack (20-26, 4-8 WAC)
Junior Kym Silagyi is the Queen of Steals for the Nevada softball program ... on March 14 against No. 19 Ohio State at the Capital Classic, Silagyi stole second base in the sixth inning ... that marked the junior’s 25th career stolen base, which passed Jiliane Hartfiel (2004-05) for the record ...   junior Brittany Puzey has hit more doubles than any other player who has ever work a Nevada uniform ... the outfielder connected on career double No. 36 off of Lindsey Benson in the third inning against Utah State on March 22nd ... that two-bagger moved Puzey past Brittany Lorenzen (2003-06) for the career record.

New Mexico State Aggies (17-22, 1-2 WAC)
New Mexico State returns home after winning one of three games against WAC Champion, Hawai‘i ... the New Mexico State softball team laid it all out on the line in a seven inning thriller against No. 17 Hawai’i, but fell in the bottom of the seventh, 1-0, Sunday, March 25, in the final game of the first conference series of the season, at the Rainbow Wahine Stadium in Honolulu, Hawai’i.

San Jose State Spartans (19-19, 2-1 WAC)
Junior Deanna Mauer established a new single-game strikeout record when she set down 15 Saint Mary’s Gaels in a game on February 23 ... her 15 strikeouts is the most in the WAC this season ... she broke the previous mark of 14, which was held by Sabrina Quintero from a game against Texas Tech in 1999 ... the Spartans are taking the week off from conference play for non-conference competition ... San Jose State will take on Sacramento State on March 25  and Saint Mary’s on March 29.

Utah State Aggies (5-17, 0-3 WAC)
The Aggies snapped a 10-game losing streak with a sweep of Utah Valley on March 25 ... Utah State also made its home debut with a 3-1 win over Utah ... heading into the doubleheader with Utah, the Aggies were ninth in the WAC in hitting (.233) and pitching (2.61 ERA) ... Utah State will host Fresno State this weekend in Logan for its home WAC opener.




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