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WAC Softball Race Heats Up
Courtesy: WAC

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK – Nevada’s Kym Silagyi and Louisiana Tech’s Krissi Oliver have been named the Western Athletic Conference Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively. This is the first career honor for Silagyi, and the second honor for Oliver.

Silagyi, a junior 2B/OF from Chino, Calif., (Pomona Catholic) hit .636 as Nevada swept a three-game series against No. 15 Hawai‘i and took over sole possession of first place in the WAC. The second baseman went 7-for-11 with three runs, a double and an RBI in the series. She recorded a .727 slugging percentage and did not strike out. She went 1-for-3 in the first victory over Hawai‘i. In game two, Silagyi went 4-for-4 with an RBI and also scored the winning run as Nevada scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh for the victory. In game three, she went 2-for-4 and scored two more runs. Both hits came in Nevada’s five-run fifth inning as the Wolf Pack took a 12-8 lead that it would not relinquish.

Oliver, a junior from Glendale, Ariz. (Ironwood) was 3-0 last week with a 0.78 earned run average. Oliver pitched two complete-game shutouts during the week (2-0 over McNeese State and 1-0 over Utah State). She allowed 17 hits and two walks in 18.0 innings of action while striking out five. Oliver also defeated Utah State 7-2 as the Aggies scored a lone run in the first inning to snap Oliver’s 14-inning scoreless streak. Oliver was instrumental both offensively and in the circle against Utah State with two wins and two game-winning RBI. The wins helped Tech move into fourth place in the WAC.

Other hitter of the week nominees included: Kate Robinson of Hawai‘i hit .455 with five RBI for the Rainbow Wahine ... Krissi Oliver of Louisiana Tech hit .267 but had two game-winning hits for the Lady Techsters ... Kristi Randall of New Mexico State hit .500 as the Aggies went 2-1 against Cal State Bakersfield.

Other pitcher of the week nominees included: Morgan Melloh of Fresno State went 3-0 as the Bulldogs swept San Jose State ... Katie Holverson of Nevada went 2-0 with a 3.50 ERA, leading the Wolf Pack to a three-game sweep of Hawai‘i ... Kim Watson went 1-0 with a 2.52 ERA pitching 8.1 innings in three appearances.

NEVADA’S GARDNER REACHES MILESTONE – Michelle Gardner is now the winningest coach in Nevada history as she improved to 175-172 with last week’s sweep over Hawaii. Her 175th win came with a 13-10 victory on Sunday against the Rainbow Wahine and she passes Pat Hixson (174 wins from 1980-1989) for the record. Gardner is the only coach Nevada has known since the program was reinstated in 2003.

IN THE POLLS – This is the second time this season that three teams in the WAC are ranked in the National Fastpich Coaches Association top 25 poll. Fresno State, Hawai‘i and Nevada are all ranked this week. The last season that three WAC teams were ranked in the NFCA poll was March 2, 1998 when Fresno State (No. 2), Hawai‘i (No. 11) and Colorado State (No. 23) were all ranked. The NFCA poll began in 1995 and is the most established of the softball polls.

Fresno State is ranked No. 10 this week in both USA Today/NFCA top 25 poll and No. 11 in the Softball poll. The Bulldogs are an impressive 42-8 overall and 8-3 in conference action. This week, Fresno State will take on No. 24/19 Hawai‘i.

The Rainbow Wahine are ranked No. 24 in the NFCA poll and No. 19 in the USA Softball poll this week. Hawai‘i is 33-14 this overall this season and 7-4 in conference action. The Rainbow Wahine are in third place in the WAC.

Nevada is first in the WAC with its 32-14 record and 10-2 WAC record. In the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25, Nevada received votes last week but was not in the Top 25. This week, the Pack is ranked No. 20. In the ESPN/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25, Nevada debuted at No. 25.

ON DECK – In an important three-game series No. 24/19 Hawai‘i will travel to Fresno to take on the No. 10/11 Bulldogs. Fresno State has won four-straight games and is 1.5 games behind first-place Nevada. This week, the No. 20/25 Wolf Pack host Louisiana Tech. The Lady Techsters are on a roll winning five-straight games. San Jose State looks to break a seven-game conference losing streak on the road against New Mexico State. Utah State takes the week off from conference action to take on a Northern Colorado in a pair of doubleheaders.

LADY TECHSTERS MAKING PROGRESS – Louisiana Tech is having one of its strongest season since joining the WAC for the 2002 season.  This season, Sarah Dawson’s Lady Techsters are 29-23 overall and 7-7 in conference action. Louisiana Tech is looking for its first .500 or better conference season.  The Lady Techsters best finish was 10-11 in 2004.

UH’S ROBINSON BREAKS RAINBOW WAHINE HOME RUN RECORD – Hawai‘i’s senior All-American, Kate Robinson continues to have a strong season, leading the ‘Bows in eight offensive categories, including batting average (.393), runs (37), hits (55), home runs (16), and runs batted in (43). Against Nevada, Robinson tied and then broke UH’s career home run record with her 38th and 39th homer respectively. Last season, she also set a new mark for single-season home runs with 19. In the WAC, Robinson is hitting an even .400 and leads or is tied for team highs in runs (nine), hits (14), doubles (two), home runs (4), and RBI (12).

GALINDO NAMED TO U.S. OLYMPIC SOFTBALL TEAM – San Jose State assistant coach Vicky Galindo, a members of the U.S. National Softball Team, was named to the squad that will travel to Beijing, China this summer. The United States softball team has won the past three gold medals.

WAC LEADERS – Louisiana Tech’s Amberly Waits leads the conference in batting average (.413). She is the only player in the WAC hitting over .400. Nevada’s Noelle Micka is second in the WAC in hitting with a .395 average. Waits is also tops in the WAC in hits (64). Fresno State’s Haley Perkins is first in runs scored (39), while teammate Caitlin Stiglich is first in RBI (45). Once again, Hawai‘i’s Kate Robinson leads the league in home runs with 16. She is over half way to the WAC record of 23 by Christina Clark in 2004. Robinson is also hitting .393. In the circle, yet another Fresno State pitcher is dominating. Freshman Morgan Melloh is first in wins (31), and strikeouts (325). Melloh is the sixth Bulldog pitcher and the first since Robin Mackin last season to surpass the 300-strikeout mark.

THE HITS JUST KEEP ON COMING – Utah State’s Kayla Dunn has the WAC’s longest active hitting streak at 12 games, while Amy Schaible is on an 11-game hitting streak, which is the league’s second longest active. Kelley Kaneshiro’s 13-game hitting streak was snapped against Idaho State on April 9, as she has the third longest streak in the WAC this season.

FANTASTIC FRESHMEN – Nevada freshman Noelle Micka is now tied for third in single season runs with 33. She trails Jiliane Hartfiel (41 in 2004) and Elkins (39, 2006) for the record. Micka is now fourth in single-season hits (60) behind Hartfiel (69, 2004), Schafer (63, 2007) and Stacy Mueller (63, 2004). Freshman Britton Murdock is now sixth in single-season RBI with 31. Freshman Danielle Patrick is on a nine-game hitting streak, the longest of her career.

SIMPLY THE BEST – In the fifth set of NCAA statistics, several WAC teams and players stand out. Freshman sensation Morgan Melloh of Fresno State is second in the nation in wins (31) only behind Florida’s Stacey Nelson (33). Following in the footsteps of outstanding Bulldog pitchers like Jamie Southern and Amanda Scott, Melloh is also among the nation’s best in ERA. Melloh is 19th in ERA (1.04). Fresno State’s Haley Perkins is third in triples per game (0.18), while Louisiana Tech’s Amberly Waits is first in the nation in triples with nine. Nevada’s Katie Holverson is sixth in the nation with five saves.
 As a team, Fresno State is 11th in fielding percentage (.976) and ninth in win/loss percentage (.840). New Mexico State is sixth in double plays per game (0.46).

ROBINSON FINALIST FOR AWARD – The Amateur Softball Association, the National Governing Body of Softball in the United States, announced today the 25 finalists for the 2008 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award. Senior All-American Kate Robinson became the first Rainbow Wahine to ever be named a finalist for the national honor.

This award, which is considered one of the most prestigious honors in women’s collegiate softball, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country. Earlier this year, Robinson was selected to the 2008 Pre-Season Division I Watch List. From that list the ASA evaluates players on the watch list, as well as other nominees during a mid-season review to determine the 25 finalists. The Top 25 is comprised of players representing 18 colleges and ten different NCAA Division I Conferences. Among the list are eleven seniors, six juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen.

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 Fresno State captured its second WAC Tournament last season at home in Fresno. The Bulldogs were outstanding in the tournament not dropping a single game.

Fresno State Bulldogs (42-8, 8-3 WAC)
Freshman pitching sensation Morgan Melloh also earned her 31st win on the year, to rank her fifth in a single-season and her 42nd appearance on the year in game two ranks her ninth in school history for a single-season ... Melloh leads the WAC in seven of 10 pitching categories and ranks second in the NCAA in wins. Melloh also earned her 31st win on the year, to rank her fifth in a single-season and her 42nd appearance on the year in game two ranks her ninth in school history for a single-season ... this week, the Bulldogs host third-place Hawai‘i.

Hawai‘i Rainbow Wahine (31-14, 7-4 WAC)
No. 18 Hawai‘i looks to right the ship after a rough weekend in Reno, Nev. ... the Rainbow Wahine will take on Santa Clara in a non-conference doubleheader before heading to Fresno State for a pivotal conference series against the No. 10 Bulldogs ... the Rainbow Wahine fell six spots in this week’s National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll to No. 24 after getting swept at Nevada in a three-game WAC series. With just eight games left in the regular season, the Rainbows look to finish strong down the stretch.

Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (24-23, 4-7 WAC)
Krissi Oliver had a stellar week last week in the circle and at the plate ... she was also instrumental offensively in Tech posting a perfect 5-0 mark on the week, recording two game-winning hits ... Oliver hit a solo home run in the 1-0 win over Utah State and recorded a two-out game-winning single in the bottom of the seventh in the Lady Techsters 3-2 win over Utah State Saturday ... she was 3-0 with a 0.79 ERA ... she recorded two complete-game shutouts during the week.

Nevada Wolf Pack (32-14, 10-2 WAC)
Nevada is riding a five-game winning streak ... entering the series against Hawaii, the Rainbow Wahine had the best pitching statistics in the WAC ... Nevada batted .413 as a team and pounded out 13 extra-base hits ... freshman Danielle Patrick is on a nine-game hitting streak, the longest of her career ... Nevada is undefeated at home this year and is 16-4 at Christina M. Hixson Park since it opened last season ... senior Tyler Schafer moved into second all-time in career at-bats with 568. She trails Cindy Elkins by 41 ... Schafer also moved into second on the all-time hits list and now has 162 in her career.

New Mexico State Aggies (24-28, 6-6 WAC)
The New Mexico State softball team won two of its three games over Cal State Bakersfield throughout the weekend, as the Aggies picked up their second series win of the season. NMSU fell, 5-3, in the opening game between these two squads, but came out in the second game of the double header, on fire as they scored six runs in the first inning to beat the Roadrunners, 6-2.  The Aggies capped off the series with a, 4-3, win, Sunday, that went a complete seven innings and took until the bottom of the seventh to determine a winner.

San Jose State Spartans (23-28, 3-9 WAC)
The Spartans look to recover from being swept by Fresno State last week at home ... things don’t get any easier for the Spartans this week ... on Tuesday, April 22 they travel up the penninsula to face No. 7 Stanford before heading to Las Cruces, N.M. to resume WAC play with a weekend series against New Mexico State ... Sarah Taylor is first on the Spartans in multiple-hit games with 15, including three five-hit games ... Taylor also has 10 multiple-RBI games ... Taylor also has the teams longest hitting streak this season at nine games/

Utah State Aggies (11-27, 2-12 WAC)
Utah State softball takes a break from conference action this week and wraps up action at home, hosting Idaho State in a doubleheader on Thursday, April 24 at 2 p.m. and then hosts Northern Colorado in a four-game series on Saturday and Sunday, April. 26-27.... USU is led by junior designated Kayla Dunn’s .373 average which is seventh in the conference, while freshman shortstop Kelley Kaneshiro ranks eighth in the league with a .366 average... junior pitcher Lindsey Benson leads the team with a 4.57 ERA and has recorded 113 strikeouts in 161.0 innings of work.





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