This Week in WAC Softball - April 12
New Mexico State’s Tiare Jennings and Boise State’s Aubray Zell have been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for April 4-10. This is the first honor of the season and second of her career for Jennings and the second honor of the season and of her career for Zell.
Jennings, a junior outfielder from Turlock, Calif. (Pitman HS), led NM State to a 2-2 record on the week, including a 2-1 mark against No. 23 Fresno State. She was 5-for-9, with all five of her hits being extra-base hits, and drew five walks. Jennings posted a double and four home runs on the week for a .556 batting average, a .714 on-base percentage and an amazing 2.000 slugging percentage. She hit two home runs in game three of the series, including the game-winning walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the sixth. Meanwhile, her home run on Friday was the lone run scored by the Aggies.
Zell, a junior from Lakewood, Calif., went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 12.0 innings of work last week. For the week, she allowed just two unearned runs and struck out nine while walking one. In a series-opening 6-2 win over the Lady Techsters, she threw 7.0 innings, allowing two unearned runs while striking out five. She tossed her school-record fourth shutout of the season in the series finale, allowing four hits while striking out four. Zell, who has not lost since the first day of the season, lowered her ERA in WAC games to 0.95 and is now 9-1 on the season.
Other Hitter of the Week nominees included: Boise State’s Holly Bourke hit .500 with four RBI on the week … Courtney Moore of Fresno State hit .333 with a home run and double on the week … Hawai`i’s Sarah Robinson hit .375 with a home run last week … Cheryl Freitas of San Jose State hit .385 with two multi-hit games last wee ... Utah State’s Joreigh Landers hit .571 with a pair of doubles and four RBI on the week.
Other Pitcher of the Week nominees included: Fresno State’s Michelle Moses had 19 strikeouts in 18.1 innings and earned a complete-game win … Kaia Parnaby of Hawai`i went 1-0 and earned a save last week ... Celisha Walker of New Mexico State went 1-0 with a 0.54 ERA and eight strikeouts last week.
FIVE NO-HITTERS THROWN IN THE WAC THIS SEASON
Five 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. On March 12, Stephanie Ricketts of Hawai`i tossed a no-hitter in a five-inning win against South Dakota State. The most recent no-hitter was thrown by Fresno State’s Michelle Moses on April 1, when she no-hit No. 20 Hawai`i in a 5-0 victory.
NOHARA LEADS NATION IN HOME RUNS, HOMERS PER GAME, SLUGGING PERCENTAGE
New Mexico State’s Hoku Nohara currently leads the nation in home runs (19), home runs per game (0.51) and slugging percentage (1.191). She also ranks second in walks per game (1.22) and on-base percentage (.647), and third in RBI per game (1.51). The senior has 17 multiple-RBI games and 12 multi-hit games on the year.
WORK THIRD IN NCAA IN SAVES
Boise State sophomore hurler Lela Work currently ranks tied for third nationally with six saves this season. In just two seasons, she has seven saves, which ranks tied for seventh all-time in WAC history.
KRIEG RECORDS 700TH CAREER STRIKEOUT
On March 23, Louisiana Tech senior Meghan Krieg tallied her 700th career strikeout in a win over McNeese State. With 753 career strikeouts, the righthander currently ranks sixth all-time in the WAC record books. She is 18 shy of fifth place, 56 away from fourth and 98 strikeouts shy of third place.
NOHARA CLIMBING WAC CAREER CHARTS
New Mexico State’s Hoku Nohara is inching towards several WAC career records. She currently ranks second in home runs (59), three away from the all-time record of 62 held by Fresno State’s Christina Clark. She’s also third in RBI (192) and eighth in total bases (414).
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.
WAC TOURNAMENT TICKETS ON SALE NOW
All-session tickets for the 2011 WAC Softball Tournament are on sale now. The all-session pass is good for all 10 games (11 if the second game on Saturday is necessary).
Tickets can be purchased online by clicking HERE, over the phone at (559) 278-3647, or by downloading this PDF and submitting the order form to the address indicated. Tickets can also be purchased at the Bulldog Diamond ticket booth starting one hour prior to the first game each day. (Cash only accepted at Bulldog Diamond).
Single day tickets go on sale to the general public beginning Tuesday, May 11.
Ticket prices are as follows:
|Lower Box (Reserved)||$40||$15|
|Adult General Admission||$15||$6|
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.
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 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 features 10 players who were 2010 first team all-WAC performers. Five of the returners are 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 has three returning all-WAC 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.