This Week in WAC Softball - March 25
Hawai`i’s Kelly Majam and Fresno State’s Michelle Moses have been named the Verizon Wireless Western Athletic Conference Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for March 15-21. This is the second honor of the season for Majam and the first-ever honor for Moses.
Majam, a freshman outfielder from Pine Valley, Calif., racked up eight hits with five home runs and one double last week en route to MVP honors at the Chevron Spring Fling Tournament. She hit at least one homer in each of the last four games, including two in Hawai`i’s second game against Lipscomb. She also got at least one hit in all six games and started two straight games with a lead-off home run. Against Lipscomb on March 18, Majam went 3-for-3 with two home runs, a double and three RBI. Majam is currently on an eight-game hitting streak, her second longest of the season. She has 15 home runs this season, tied for fourth all-time in UH single-season record books.
Moses, a sophomore from Paso Robles, Calif., went 2-0 with a 0.74 ERA on the week. She pitched a team-high 19.0 innings, allowed a team-low three runs, two earned, and struck out a team-high 24 batters. Against No. 23 Louisiana-Lafayette, Moses entered in relief and in 5.0 innings, allowed six hits and only one run while striking out six in a no decision. Moses earned her first complete game and first shutout of her career in a 1-0 victory over Virginia. She allowed just three hits and no runs and no walks with six strikeouts. Moses pitched her second career complete game and the second of the weekend in an 8-2 win over New Mexico. In 7.0 innings she allowed just two hits and two runs, only one earned while striking out a career-high 12 batters.
Other Hitter of the Week nominees included: Boise State’s Kathy Cox hit .467 with seven hits, including one double and two homers last week … Haley Gilleland of Fresno State hit .524 with 11 hits, including two doubles … Nevada’s Noelle Micka hit .583 for the week and extended her hitting streak to 17 straight games … Ashley Maroda of New Mexico State hit .857 in a doubleheader against Minnesota, recording six hits in seven at-bats, including the game-winning three-run home run in game two.
Other Pitcher of the Week nominees included: Boise State’s Aubray Zell threw her first career shutout in an 11-0 win over Weber State … Kaia Parnaby of Hawai`i threw in four of UH’s six games this past week, holding opponents to .191 batting average with a 1.47 ERA … Louisiana Tech’s Meghan Krieg was 1-0 on the week with a 0.70 ERA while striking out a career-high and WAC-season high 17 batters … Katie Holverson of Nevada recorded a 1-1 mark with a 2.15 ERA and tossed the first no-hitter of her career … New Mexico State’s Sydney Williard pitched a complete-game shutout and posted a 0.00 ERA in her lone appearance last week against Minnesota, allowing just five hits and striking out four.
HOLVERSON TOSSES FOURTH NO-HITTER IN THE WAC THIS SEASON
Katie Holverson tossed her first career no-hitter as the Nevada softball team blanked Colorado State 1-0 last Friday at the Capital Classic. Holverson’s no-hitter is just the fourth in Nevada history and the first seven-inning no-hitter since the program was brought back in 2003. Holverson struck out six and walked just two as she faced only one batter over the minimum. It is the first time since the 2005 season that there have been four no-hitters in the WAC.
WAITS STRIKES OUT SEASON-HIGH 17 BATTERS
Louisiana Tech junior Meghan Krieg struck out a career- and WAC-season high 17 batter in a 10-inning 3-2 win over Mississippi Valley State last week. She threw all 10 innings, allowing only four hits, two walks and one earned run on a solo home run for a 0.70 ERA. Krieg struck out at least one batter in nine of 10 innings and had two innings where she struck out the side. With Tech trailing 2-1 in the top of the 10th and a runner on third with only one out, Krieg struck out the next two batters to get out of the frame. The Lady Techsters plated two runs in the bottom of the frame to win the game.
MAJAM INCHING TOWARD UH SINGLE-SEASON HOME RUN RECORD
Hawai`i freshman Kelly Majam currently has 15 home runs this season, good for a tie for fourth in the UH single-season record books. With a minimum of 21 games remaining this season, at her current pace, Majam would finish the season with 25, well ahead of the current record of 21, set by Kate Robinson in 2008.
OAKES THROWS PERFECT GAME
Fresno State pitcher Mackenzie Oakes threw the first perfect game of her career in a 3-0 win over Georgetown last Saturday. It was the first perfect game by a Fresno State pitcher since Jamie Southern threw one on March 25, 2005. This is the 14th perfect game in Fresno State history and Oakes is the eighth different Bulldog to pitch one.
Oakes pitched a perfect 7.0 innings and struck out five. It was the second no-hitter of the season for Oakes, who became the first Bulldog since Robin Mackin in 2006 to throw two no-hitters in one year and the first since Southern in 2005 to throw a perfect game and a no-hitter in the same season.
MELLOH THROWS NO-HITTER
Fresno State junior Morgan Melloh became the 17th Bulldog and the first since Robin Mackin on March 8, 2007, to throw a no-hitter in game one of the Fresno State Kick-Off Feb. 13, a 1-0 win over Pacific. It was the 63rd no-hitter in school history. Melloh had 10 strikeouts and three walks in the game.
NM STATE PLATES 28 RUNS IN WIN OVER UT-SAN ANTONIO
New Mexico State set school records for runs scored in a game (28), hits in a game (26) and doubles in a game (6) as the Aggies defeated UTSA 28-7 on Feb. 13. Tiare Jennings led the attack, going 4-of-5 with four hits, four runs scored and one RBI. Tehani Kaaihue went 3-of-4 with four runs and four RBI, while Ashley Maroda hit two home runs, going 3-of-4 with four runs and four RBI. Amber Olive also did her part in the Aggies’ win, going 2-of-2 at the plate, with a home run and five RBI to lead the team. The Aggies tallied four home runs in the game.
OAKES TOSSES NO-HITTER
Fresno State sophomore Mackenzie Oakes made history at Bulldog Diamond on Feb. 14 in the Fresno State Kick-Off as she led the Bulldogs to a 6-0 win over Sacramento State and pitched the first no-hitter of her career. Oakes became the 18th Bulldog in school history to throw a no-hitter. It was the 64th total no-hitter at Fresno State and came one day after teammate Morgan Melloh threw a no-hitter. Oakes and Melloh became the first Fresno State pitchers since Kristen Hunter and Amanda Scott in 2000 to have two different pitchers threw no-hitters in the same season. It was also the first time since Carie Dever and Marcie Green in 1990 that two different pitchers threw no-hitters in back-to-back days.
WAITS SELECTED IN NATIONAL PRO FASTPITCH DRAFT
Louisiana Tech’s Amberly Waits recorded another program first on Feb. 10 when the senior shortstop was selected by the Chicago Bandits with the eighth overall pick in the 2010 National Pro Fastpitch College Senior Draft. Waits was taken by the Bandits with the final pick of the second round of the five-round draft, which was held in Kissimmee, Fla.
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 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.