This Week in WAC Softball - April 20
Nevada’s Lauren Lastrapes and Fresno State’s Morgan Melloh have been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for April 12-18. This is the first-ever honor for Lastrapes and the second honor of the season and 10th of her career for Melloh.
Lastrapes, a freshman outfielder from Laguna Nigel, Calif., hit .600 with a double, two home runs (including a grand slam), four runs scored and seven RBI as Nevada won a WAC series at New Mexico State last weekend. She was 6-for-10 at the plate with a 1.300 slugging percentage and .600 on-base percentage. In the first game of the series, Lastrapes belted an RBI double in the second inning, opening the door for a six-run inning that gave Nevada a 6-2 lead as the Wolf Pack went on to an 8-6 win. In game two, she crushed her first career grand slam in Nevada’s six-run sixth inning, which proved to be the difference in a 7-2 victory. Though the Pack fell in the final game of the series, Lastrapes hit her second home run is many days as she went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs and an RBI.
Melloh, a junior from Fishers, Ind., went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA last week. She pitched a complete-game shutout in the second game of the series at San Jose State to earn the series victory for the Bulldogs. Melloh allowed just three hits and no runs while striking out 11.
Other Hitter of the Week nominees included: Boise State’s Christina Capobianco hit .455 with six RBI last week … Michelle Moses of Fresno State hit .400 with three home runs and six RBI on the week … Hawai`i’s Melissa Gonzalez hit .364 with two homers and six RBI in three games last week … Tiare Jennings of New Mexico State hit .500 with five hits, including two home runs, and six RBI on the week.
Other Pitcher of the Week nominees included: Boise State’s Allie Crump went 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA and 15 strikeouts last week … Stephanie Ricketts of Hawai`i went 2-0 on the week with a 1.11 ERA and 19 strikeouts … New Mexico State’s Alex Newman posted a 0.00 ERA in two relief appearances last week ... Jaclyn Imhof of San Jose State pitched just her second shutout of the season in a 1-0 win over Fresno State in the final game of the series.
SAN JOSE STATE TIES SCHOOL HOME RUN RECORD
Breanna Lopez hit her third home run of the season, a shot to left field, to help San Jose State tie the school single-season team home run record last Friday. With Lopez’s home run, the Spartans have now hit 30 home runs this year. That ties the record set by the 2006 team.
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.
WAC TOURNAMENT TICKETS ON SALE
All-session tournament tickets for the 2010 WAC Softball Tournament are available for purchase. The top six teams in the conference will advance to the double elimination tournament, which will be held May 12-15 at the NM State Softball Complex in Las Cruces, N.M.
Ticket prices for the 2010 WAC Softball Tournament are as follows:
All-Session Single Day
Adult $25 $12
Senior (65 years and above) $20 $10
Youth (18 years and under) $10 $5
WAC Students (w/ valid ID) $10 $5
All tickets are general admission.
Tickets can be purchased either online at ticketmaster.com or through the Pan American Center Ticket Office by calling (575) 646-1420. On the Ticketmaster site, search WAC Softball Tournament to find the sales site and make your purchase. There is a $2.75 per ticket service charge applied for online sales.
The Pan American Center Ticket Office is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. (MT).
BOISE STATE BRONCOS (20-25, 7-5 WAC)
The Broncos swept a doubleheader at Idaho State last Tuesday (4-3, 6-4), then swept the series vs. Utah State last weekend (5-2, 5-3 and 8-3) to improve to 6-0 all-time vs. the Aggies ... Christina Capobianco led the team with a .455 batting average and a team-high six RBI ... Allie Crump earned three of the Broncos five wins last week to give her a team-high 12 victories this year and four wins in WAC games ... Lela Work recorded her first career win and save last week ... Crump has 200 career strikeouts, the most by any Bronco pitcher ... Boise State improved its program-record of WAC wins to seven and earned its second series sweep of the season ... The Broncos are 16-9 since starting the season 4-16 ... With a minimum of 11 games remaining, Boise State is two wins shy of its win total from 2009 (22) ... The Broncos, who are riding a season-high five game win streak, host Idaho State for a doubleheader on Tuesday, then play a three-game series at Louisiana Tech on Friday and Saturday.
FRESNO STATE BULLDOGS (30-14, 9-3 WAC)
The Bulldogs went 2-1 at San Jose State last week, winning the first two games 2-1 and 4-0 before dropping the series finale, 0-1 ... Michelle Moses led Fresno State with three home runs, a 1.300 slugging percentage and 13 total bases. She had all six RBI for the team on the week ... Morgan Melloh pitched a complete-game shutout in the second game of the series. She allowed just three hits and no runs while striking out 11 ... The Bulldogs became the second WAC team this season to reach 30 wins ... Fresno State has won all four of its WAC series this season ... Moses has 15 home runs this season and 25 on her career ... The Bulldogs host New Mexico State for a three-game series this Friday and Saturday.
HAWAI`I RAINBOW WAHINE (36-11, 14-0 WAC)
The Rainbow Wahine swept Louisiana Tech last weekend, 3-1, 8-5 and 9-0 (5) ... In the series finale, Melissa Gonzalez hit two home runs and drove in a career-high five RBI. It was the fourth time this season that Gonzalez has hit two home runs in a game ... Stephanie Ricketts went 2-0 last week with a 1.11 ERA in three appearances ... Hawai`i is off to its best start in conference history, while its 14-game win streak is the most in school history, breaking the former record of 13 set by the 1994 team ... The Rainbow Wahine have a WAC record 113 home runs this year and are on pace to break the NCAA record of 126 set by Arizona in 2001 ... Kelly Majam broke the WAC single-season home run record last week with her 24th ... Majam is tied with Tia Morenz for most runs scored in a season (57) ... Jessica Iwata is one double shy of tying Stacey Porter’s single-season record of 18 ... The Rainbow Wahine travel to Nevada for a three-game series this Friday and Saturday.
LOUISIANA TECH TECHSTERS (21-15, 6-6 WAC)
The Lady Techsters went 3-1 last week, beating Grambling State 7-0 last Tuesday, before going 0-3 at Hawai`i over the weekend (1-3, 5-8 and 0-9) ... LA Tech recorded a season-high four home runs in the first game on Saturday ... Heading into the series against Hawai’i, Meghan Krieg had allowed only eight home runs in 163.2 innings of work (or one for every 20.1 innings) this season. Last weekend, she surrendered three homers in 12.0 innings of work (or one every 4.0 innings) ... The Techsters held the Rainbow Wahine to seven homers in three games. The only WAC team to do a better job this season is San Jose State, which held Hawai’i to four long balls over three games ... Krieg currently ranks fifth all-time at Louisiana Tech with 525 career strikeouts ... The Techsters host Boise State for a three-game series this Friday and Saturday.
NEVADA WOLF PACK (16-20, 3-8 WAC)
The Wolf Pack went 2-1 at New Mexico State last weekend, winning the first two games 8-6 and 7-2 before falling 4-10 in the finale ... Lauren Lastrapes hit .600 with a double, two home runs (including a grand slam), four runs scored and seven RBI ... Danielle Patrick has a 12-game hitting streak … Nevada has hit three grand slams in WAC play and they’ve come from three different players: Britton Murdock, Patrick and Lastrapes ... The Wolf Pack was supposed to host UC Davis for a doubleheader on Tuesday, but it was canceled due to inclement weather ... Nevada hosts Hawai’i for a three-game series this Friday and Saturday.
NEW MEXICO STATE AGGIES (20-21, 2-10 WAC)
The Aggies fell 4-1 at Texas-Arlington last Monday, then went 1-2 vs. Nevada over the weekend (6-8, 2-7 and 10-4) ... At UTA, Kylie Randall scored the team’s only run on an error ... Tiare Jennings hit .500 in the series against Nevada ,recording five hits, including a pair of home runs ... Alex Newman finished seven innings of relief -pitching with an ERA of 0.00 while facing down 27 Wolf Pack batters on the weekend. She struck out four and held Nevada to just five hits during her time in the circle ... NM State is 14-3 when scoring in the first inning this year, outscoring opponents 45-27 in the frame ... Jennings has hit three home runs in her last five games ... Four NM State starters are hitting above .350 on the season ... NM State travels to New Mexico for a single game on Tuesday, then plays a three-game series at Fresno State this Friday and Saturday.
SAN JOSE STATE SPARTANS (29-16, 5-7 WAC)
The Spartans went 1-2 vs. Fresno State last weekend, dropping the first two games 1-2 and 0-4, before taking the finale, 1-0 ... Jaclyn Imhof pitched just her second shutout of the season in the final game of the series ... The team tied the school record for home runs in a season with 30 when Breanna Lopez hit a homer in the first game against the Bulldogs, tying the 2006 team ... SJSU has obliterated the school record for walks in a season with 161, 20 more than the record of 141 set in 2008 ... The Spartans play a single game at No. 9 Stanford on Wednesday, then travel to Utah State for a three-game series this Friday and Saturday.
UTAH STATE AGGIES (14-23, 3-10 WAC)
The Aggies went 0-3 last week, dropping the series at Boise State, 2-5, 3-5 and 3-8 ... Utah State is on a season-high eight-game losing skid ... With a doubleheader sweep of Nevada on April 2, the Aggies tied last season’s WAC win total. Last season, USU was 3-17 in WAC play and the team was 2-15 in 2008 ... Nicole Tindall leads the WAC in triples with four ... Shelbi Tyteca is second in the WAC with three saves ... Kate Greenough is fifth in strikeouts looking (36) and 10th in total strikeouts (70) ... In conference games only, the Aggies are fourth in the WAC in batting average, hitting .283. Utah State is also second in WAC games with 13 home runs in 13 conference games ... The Aggies host Utah Valley for a doubleheader on Tuesday, play a doubleheader at Weber State on Wednesday and host San Jose State for a three-game series this Friday and Saturday.
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 – were 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.
RETURNING ALL-WAC PLAYERS
The WAC features nine players this season 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.