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This Week in WAC Softball - March 15
Courtesy: Denver
PATRICK, CRUMP NAMED WAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Nevada’s Danielle Patrick and Boise State’s Allie Crump have been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for March 6-13. This is the first honor of the season and second of her career for Patrick and the first-ever honor for Crump.

Patrick, a senior shortstop from Chino Hills, Calif., recorded two doubles and a home run during the week while going 8-for-17 (.471) from the plate. She was at her best in a win over New Mexico as she went 3-for-5 with a double, home run and a career-best six RBI in handing the Lobos their only loss in five games at the Nevada Classic on Sunday. For the week, Patrick had a .765 slugging percentage and a .474 on-base percentage.

Crump, a junior from Elk Grove, Calif., went 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA last week. In her first appearance, she threw a two-hit shutout in a 7-0 win over Santa Clara, striking out 10. She posted another shutout against UC Davis, striking out four. In her final outing of the week, Crump struck out a school-record 14 batters vs. Albany. For the week, she allowed one unearned run on 12 hits while striking out 28. Crump has not allowed an earned run in the last 20 innings and has earned the win in her last seven appearances. She also eclipsed 300 career strikeouts this week.

Other Hitter of the Week nominees included: Boise State’s Devon Bridges hit .467 with one double and seven RBI on the week … Brooke Ortiz of Fresno State hit .294 with five hits on the week … Hawai`i’s Jessica Iwata hit .417 with a triple, a home run and three RBI on the week … Meghan Knowles of Louisiana Tech hit .462 with three doubles and four RBI on the week … New Mexico State’s Vanessa Valles was 2-for-3 with a home run in a win over UTEP … Amanda Schatz of San Jose State hit .500 with two doubles and three RBI last week.

Other Pitcher of the Week nominees included: Fresno State’s Mackenzie Oakes went 2-0 with a 0.93 ERA in three appearances last week … Stephanie Ricketts of Hawai`i went 2-1 with a 0.37 ERA and 18 strikeouts … Louisiana Tech’s Meghan Krieg went 2-1 with a 1.91 ERA and 40 strikeouts on the week ... Alex Newman earned a shutout win over UTEP, striking out six … San Jose State’s Elyssa Fox went 1-0 with nine strikeouts in her only appearance of the week.

FOUR NO-HITTERS THROWN IN THE WAC THIS SEASON

Four different WAC pitchers have thrown no-hitters this season, including one perfect game. Boise State’s Aubray Zell started things off on March 4, when she pitched a five-inning no-hitter in the second half of a doubleheader vs. Southern Utah. The following day, Hawai`i’s Kaia Parnaby tossed a perfect game in a 6-0 victory over Weber State. The day after that, March 6, Nevada’s Mallary Darby threw a no-hitter vs. Boston College, as the Wolf Pack won 9-0 in five innings. The final no-hitter this season was last Saturday, when Stephanie Ricketts of Hawai`i tossed a no-hitter in a five-inning win against South Dakota State.

MOSES HITS FIRST CYCLE IN FRESNO STATE HISTORY
Michelle Moses hit the first cycle in Fresno State softball history in the first game of a doubleheader against Sacramento State on Feb. 12. She opened her production at the plate with a two-run home run in the third inning, then followed with a double in the fifth, a single in the seventh and a triple in the ninth inning.

FRESNO STATE TO HOST 2011 TOURNAMENT
Fresno State will host the 2011 WAC Softball Tournament for the second time in the last three years. The top six teams will advance to the double-elimination tournament, which will be held at Bulldog Diamond from May 11-14. It is the fifth time the Bulldogs have hosted the event.

Top-seeded Hawai`i defeated No. 2-seed Fresno State to claim its first-ever WAC Tournament title last season in Las Cruces, N.M. and earn the WAC’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

HAWAI`I PICKED TO WIN 2011 WAC TITLE

The WAC softball coaches selected Hawai`i to win the 2011 WAC regular-season crown. This is the third time the Rainbow Wahine have been the favorite to take the crown (2002, 2008).

Reigning WAC champion Hawai`i took the top spot in the preseason poll with 48 points and six first-place votes. Fresno State came in second, picking up two first-place vote and 43 points, followed by Boise State in third place. New Mexico State edged Louisiana Tech for fourth place. Nevada was picked to finish sixth (24), followed by San Jose State in seventh with 13 points. Utah State rounded out the poll in eighth place with eight points.

PRESEASON ALL-WAC
Hawai`i junior hurler Stephanie Ricketts was selected in a vote of the league’s eight coaches as the preseason Pitcher of the Year, while teammate sophomore outfielder Kelly Majam earned preseason Player of the Year honors.

Hawai`i placed the most players on the preseason all-WAC team with five, while Fresno State had three and New Mexico State had two. Joining Ricketts and Majam on the preseason team are Hawai`i’s Melissa Gonzalez, Jessica Iwata and Jenna Rodriguez, Fresno State’s Haley Gilleland, Michelle Moses and Caitlin Stiglich, New Mexico State’s Tiare Jennings and Hoku Nohara, Meghan Krieg of Louisiana Tech, Allie Crump of Boise State and Amanda Pridmore of San Jose State.

All but one member of the preseason all-WAC team was named to the 2011 all-WAC team. Ten members were first team all-WAC honorees a year ago (Gilleland, Gonzalez, Iwata, Jennings, Krieg, Majam, Moses, Ricketts, Rodriguez and Stiglich), while two 2010 second-team honorees are on the team (Crump and Nohara).

TWO WAC PLAYERS ON PRESEASON PLAYER OF YEAR WATCH LIST
Two WAC softball players – Hawai`i’s Melissa Gonzalez and Kelly Majam – have been named to the watch list for the 10th annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award.

Gonzalez, a 2010 first team NFCA All-American, had a breakout season last year as a junior, posting career highs in batting average (.394), hits (81), doubles (13), home runs (25), RBI (60) and slugging percentage (.807). She was ranked fourth nationally in home runs (25) and 17th in slugging percentage (.457) while leading UH with 25 multiple-hit games, five in which she hit two home runs.
 
Majam, an NFCA and ESPN.com All-American and reigning WAC Freshman of the Year, had one of the best individual seasons in UH history. She finished the season as the NCAA home run leader while setting new WAC and UH single-season home run records with 30. Nationally, she ranked fourth in runs per game (81), fifth in slugging percentage (.919), 27th in on-base percentage (.519) and 42nd in batting average (.400). Majam broke the UH single-season records for runs scored (88) and walks (44).

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 2011 Watch List is comprised of 50 players representing 36 schools and 15 different conferences.

A list of 10 finalists will be named and released on May 11. The three finalists will be announced May 25, while the winner of the 2011 USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award will be announced prior to the start of the 2011 NCAA Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City.

MAJAM NAMED ESPN.COM PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN

After leading the nation with 30 home runs last year, Hawai`i’s Kelly Majam was selected to the ESPN.com Preseason All-America first team.

Majam has also been named to the USA Softball Player of the Year Award “Watch List,” is the WAC Preseason Player of the Year and was selected to the preseason all-WAC team.

RETURNING ALL-WAC PLAYERS

The WAC will feature 10 players who were 2010 first team all-WAC performers. Five of the returners come from Hawai`i - senior third baseman Melissa Gonzalez, sophomore shortstop and reigning WAC Player of the Year Jessica Iwata, sophomore outfielder and reigning WAC Freshman of the Year Kelly Majam, junior pitcher and reigning WAC Pitcher of the Year Stephanie Ricketts and senior outfielder Jenna Rodriguez. Fresno State returns three players (Haley Gilleland, Michelle Moses and Caitlin Stiglich). New Mexico State returns Tiare Jennings, while Louisiana Tech returns Meghan Krieg.

Second team returnees include: Kellie Caplan, Boise State; Allie Crump, Boise State; Kandis Jones, New Mexico State; Hoku Nohara, New Mexico State; Andrea Ortega, Fresno State; Danielle Patrick, Nevada; and Kylie Randall, New Mexico State.
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