This Week in WAC Softball - Feb. 24
Hawai’i’s Kelly Majam and Kaia Parnaby have been named the Verizon Wireless Western Athletic Conference Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for Feb. 15-21. This is the first-ever honor for both.
Majam, a freshman outfielder from Pine Valley, Calif., led the Rainbow Wahine to a 4-1 record at the Louisville-Slugger Desert Classic last week. She hit a WAC-best .750 (12-of-16) with seven RBI, a 1.313 slugging percentage and a .810 on-base percentage. She led the team in runs (10), hits (12), doubles (3) and walks (5). Majam had at least one hit in all five games and multiple hits in four games. She reached base safely 17 of 21 plate appearances, hit 1.000 (5-for-5) with runners on and was 9-for-9 in advancing runners.
Parnaby, a freshman from Bilgola Plateau, NSW, Australia, posted a 3-0 record at the Desert Classic. In 17.0 innings, the southpaw gave up five earned runs with one shutout. She posted a 2.06 ERA while striking out 21 and holding opponents to a .261 batting average.
Other Hitter of the Week nominees included: Boise State’s Christina Capobianco hit .385 with one homer and five RBI last week … Haley Gilleland of Fresno State was 3-for-5 with a homer and stolen base in a pair of games last week … Louisiana Tech’s Amberly Waits hit .500 with nine hits, two RBI and two stolen bases on the week … Hoku Nohara of New Mexico State hit .500 with two doubles, one home run and seven RBI last week … San Jose State’s Brittany McConnell hit .364 with two doubles, one homer and four RBI over four games … Kali Cancelosi of Utah State hit .429 on the week, including a 2-for-3 performance in a win over No. 1 Washington.
Other Pitcher of the Week nominees included: Boise State’s Allie Crump earned the Broncos’ only win of the weekend … Morgan Melloh of Fresno State went 1-1 with a 1.62 ERA and 17 strikeouts on the week … Louisiana Tech’s Meghan Krieg was 2-2 with a 0.99 ERA and 33 strikeouts in five appearances … Torrey Schroeder of New Mexico State went 2-0 with one complete game … Utah State’s Kate Greenough led the Aggies to a win over No. 1 Washington in her only appearance on the week.
BOISE STATE BRONCOS (2-7, 0-0 WAC)
The Broncos went 1-4 at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic, falling to UNLV (11-3), Indiana (7-3), Long Beach State (7-6) and No. 13 Oklahoma (8-4), before defeating San Diego (10-2) ... Christina Capobianco hit her second home run of the year to tie the score at 4-4 with Oklahoma. She also hit three RBI and scored the game-ending run in the Broncos’ 10-2 win over San Diego ... Allie Crump earned the Broncos’ only win of the weekend over San Diego, striking out three ... Capobianco’s five RBI last week gave her a team-leading nine on the year ... Crump has earned both wins for the Broncos this year ... The Broncos are idle until March 5, when they compete in the Texas Tech Tournament.
FRESNO STATE BULLDOGS (7-1, 0-0 WAC)
The Bulldogs went 1-1 at the Stanford Nike Invitational, falling 5-0 to Illinois before defeating UC Riverside, 10-2 ... The Bulldogs’ games on Sunday were cancelled due to rain ... Haley Gilleland hit her first home run of the season with a three-run shot vs. UC Riverside ... For the week, Gilleland was 3-for-5 with a stolen base ... Morgan Melloh had 17 strikeouts in 8.2 inning of work and picked up a win in relief over UCR ... Gilleland is nine stolen bases away from the Fresno State school record of 51 ... The ‘Dogs are 7-1 on the year for the first time since 2001 ... The Bulldogs compete in the Cathedral City Classic this Thursday-Saturday, where they will face No. 14 Texas, Utah, No. 17 Ohio State, No. 2 Arizona and No. 1 Washington.
HAWAI‘I RAINBOW WAHINE (8-3, 0-0 WAC)
The Rainbow Wahine went 4-1 at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic, defeating Utah (11-8), UNLV (11-0), San Diego (16-3) and Cal State Fullerton (12-3), and falling to No. 10 Georgia Tech (11-3) ... Kelly Majam hit .750 (12-of-16) with a 1.313 slugging percentage and .810 on-base percentage. She led the team in runs scored (10), hits (12), doubles (3) and walks (5) ... Kaia Parnaby posted a 3-0 record at the Desert Classic with 21 strikeouts and one shutout in three appearances. She had a 2.06 ERA while holding opponents to a .261 batting average ... On Tuesday, the Rainbow Wahine defeated Loyola Marymount 8-0 in five innings ... Amanda Tauali’i was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and three RBI ... The Rainbow Wahine compete in the Cathedral City Classic this weekend, where they will face Oklahoma State, UC Davis, Oregon, No. 12 Oklahoma and No. 2 Arizona.
LOUISIANA TECH TECHSTERS (3-3, 0-0 WAC)
The Lady Techsters swept a doubleheader with Southeastern Louisiana last Tuesday, then went 1-3 at the Southern Miss Tournament over the weekend, falling to Stephen F. Austin (7-6), Notre Dame (1-0), Southern Miss (5-4) and defeating Alcorn State (3-0) ... Amberly Waits hit .500 on the week with three runs, two RBI and two stolen bases while recording a .591 on-base percentage and a .556 slugging percentage ... Meghan Krieg was 2-2 on the week with a 0.99 ERA. In 26.1 innings of work, Krieg allowed only four earned runs on 16 hits and 13 walks while striking out 33. She tossed her second career one-hitter in a 3-0 win over Alcorn State while recording 10 strikeouts in the victory ... The Techsters compete in the McNeese State Tournament this weekend, where they will face Buffalo and McNeese State.
NEVADA WOLF PACK (3-5, 0-0 WAC)
The Wolf Pack went 1-2 at the Nike Stanford Invitational last weekend, defeating Sacramento State 6-4 before falling to No. 11 Stanford (10-2) and Illinois (7-4) ... Sam Bias drove in four runs over the three games ... Mallary Darby picked up the win in the circle, throwing a complete game and striking out seven with no walks ... The Wolf Pack host the Wolf Pack Classic this weekend, where they will face Southern Utah and Saint Mary’s.
NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES (8-2, 0-0 WAC)
The Aggies went 3-2 at the Troy Cox Classic, defeating Saint Mary’s (6-4), Weber State (13-3) and Cleveland State (9-3), and falling to Bradley (4-2) and No. 21 Tennessee (10-1) ... Hoku Nohara hit .462 for the week with seven RBI, two doubles and a homer ... Tiffany Autry led the team with a .636 batting average on the week ... Torrey Schroeder went 2-1 on the week ... The Aggies host Northern Colorado for a doubleheader on Thursday in their only remaining games this week.
SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (8-3, 0-0 WAC)
The Spartans went 3-1 last week against Cal State Bakersfield ... Brittany McConnell hit .364 for the week with an .818 slugging percentage and .500 on-base percentage ... McConnell had a hit in every game last week and is on a four-game hitting streak ... McConnell hit a walk-off home run to right field in game one of the weekend to give the Spartans a 5-4 win in nine innings. The homer gave her 28 for her Spartan career and sole possession of the San Jose State career record. She entered the season tied for first with Kara Kanney (1996-2000) with 27 ... McConnell also drove in the winning run in game two Saturday with a sacrifice fly ... The Spartans travel to El Paso, Texas, for the UTEP Invitational this weekend, where they will face UTEP, Weber State, New Mexico and Northern Colorado.
UTAH STATE AGGIES (5-3, 0-0 WAC)
The Aggies went 1-2 at the San Diego State Tournament last weekend, knocking off No. 1 Washington (7-4) before falling to Penn State (6-1) and Western Kentucky (13-3) ... Kate Greenough earned the win over UW, pitching 6.1 innings and allowing only three earned runs ... Kali Cancelosi hit .429 on the week, including a 2-for-3 performance with three RBI in the win over the Huskies ... It was USU’s first win over a ranked team since defeating No. 15 Oregon State in 2008 ... The last time that the Aggies had even faced a No. 1 team was 1998 when USU fell to No. 1 Arizona, 19-2 ... With five wins this season, Utah State is already halfway to its 2009 win total ... The Aggies are idle until March 5, when they travel to Fort Collins, Colo., for the Colorado State Tournament.
FRESNO STATE PICKED TO WIN 2010 WAC TITLE
The WAC softball coaches selected Fresno State to win the 2010 WAC regular-season crown. This is the 13th time in the last 15 years that the Bulldogs have been the preseason favorite to win the title.
Fresno State took the top spot in the preseason poll with 48 points and six first-place votes. Nevada came in second, picking up one first-place vote and 41 points, followed by Hawai‘i in third place with 34 points. New Mexico State edged Louisiana Tech for fourth place with 29 points and the remaining first-place vote. San Jose State was picked to finish sixth with 19 points, followed by Boise State in seventh with 18 points. Utah rounded out the poll in eighth place with seven points.
Fresno State junior hurler Morgan Melloh was selected in a vote of the league’s eight coaches as the preseason Pitcher of the Year, while Louisiana Tech senior shortstop Amberly Waits earned preseason Player of the Year honors.
Nevada and New Mexico State placed the most players on the preseason all-WAC team with three each, while Fresno State, Hawai‘i and Louisiana Tech had two apiece. Joining Melloh and Waits on the preseason team are Nevada’s Sam Bias, Katie Holverson and Noelle Micka, New Mexico State’s Tiare Jennings, Hoku Nohara and Angie Ortega, Hawai‘i’s Stephanie Ricketts and Amanda Tauali’i, Haley Gilleland of Fresno State, Louisiana Tech’s Kylie Bassett and Kathy Cox of Boise State.
All but one member of the preseason all-WAC team was named to the 2009 all-WAC team. Nine members were first team all-WAC honorees a year ago (Bassett, Bias, Holverson, Melloh, Micka, Nohara, Ortega, Tauali’i and Waits), while three 2009 second-team honorees are on the team (Gilleland, Jennings and Ricketts).
THREE WAC PLAYERS ON PRESEASON PLAYER OF YEAR WATCH LIST
Three WAC softball players – Morgan Melloh of Fresno State, Amberly Waits of Louisiana Tech and Katie Holverson of Nevada – have been named to the watch list for the ninth annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award.
Melloh, who appears on the list for the second-straight year, was the 2008 WAC Freshman and Pitcher of the Year and a second team All-American. The 2009 WAC Tournament MVP, Melloh became the fourth pitcher in NCAA history to record back-to-back 400 strikeout seasons in her freshman and sophomore campaigns.
Waits earned numerous accolades following her junior campaign after setting program records for single season batting average (.488), hits (81), home runs (17), RBI (62), total bases (155), on-base percentage (.538) and slugging percentage (.934). In addition to being LA Tech’s first-ever WAC Player of the Year, Waits was named the state Hitter of the Year by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, first team all-WAC, first team all-state and to the All-West Region team.
Holverson, the 2009 WAC Pitcher of the Year, is 61-31 with a 2.23 ERA in her career at Nevada. Last year, she went 28-11 with a 1.70 earned-run average in leading the Wolf Pack to its second-straight WAC title and NCAA Tournament appearance.
The award, which is considered the most prestigious honor in Division I women’s collegiate softball, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by collegiate softball players across the country. The list is comprised of 50 players representing 35 schools and 14 different conferences. It includes 27 seniors, 17 juniors and six sophomores. The ASA will announce the 25 finalists on April 7.
RETURNING ALL-WAC PLAYERS
The WAC will feature nine players who were 2009 first team all-WAC performers. Three of the returners come from Nevada - junior catcher Noelle Micka, senior third baseman Sam Bias and senior pitcher Katie Holverson, the reigning WAC Pitcher of the Year. Louisiana Tech (Kylie Bassett and Amberly Waits) and New Mexico State (Hoku Nohara and Angie Ortega) return two players each. Fresno State returns Morgan Melloh, while Hawai‘i returns Amanda Tauali’i.
Second team returnees include: Makani Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu, Hawai‘i; Haley Gilleland, Fresno State; Tiare Jennings, New Mexico State; Meghan Krieg, Louisiana Tech; Kanani Pu’u-Warren, Hawai‘i; Stephanie Ricketts, Hawai‘i; Kelsey Starr, Nevada; Caitlin Stiglich, Fresno State; and Sarah Taylor, San Jose State.
NEW MEXICO STATE TO HOST 2010 TOURNAMENT
New Mexico State will host the WAC Softball Tournament for the first time ever in 2010. The top six teams will advance to the double-elimination tournament, which will be held at the NM State Softball Complex from May 12-15. It is the first time the Aggies have hosted the event.
Top-seeded Fresno State defeated No. 2-seed Nevada 3-2 in eight innings to claim its third WAC Tournament title last season in Fresno and earn the WAC’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.