This Week in WAC Softball - April 19
New Mexico State’s Tiare Jennings and Hawai`i’s Kaia Parnaby have been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for April 11-17. This is the second honor of the season and third of her career for Jennings and the second honor of the season and third of her career for Parnaby.
Jennings, a junior outfielder from Turlock, Calif. (Pitman HS), led NM State to a 3-0 record against Nevada last week, going 9-for-12 with a double, four home runs and 11 RBI. She posted a .750 batting average, a .786 on-base percentage and a 1.833 slugging percentage. She hit two home runs in game one of the series and hit one homer in each of the doubleheader games Saturday. Jennings has now hit a home run in seven of her last nine games. With her four homers last week, she moved into second place all-time at New Mexico State with 39 career round trippers.
Parnaby, a sophomore from Bilgola Plateau, NSW, Australia, went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in one appearance last week. In a 4-0 complete-game win over Louisiana Tech, she scattered four hits and tied her career high with 12 strikeouts, including the first seven batters she faced. It was her fourth shutout and 13th complete game of the season.
Other Hitter of the Week nominees included: Boise State’s Mackenzie Whyte hit .545 with a pair of doubles on the week … Andrea Ortega of Fresno State hit .700 with two doubles on the week … Hawai`i’s Jenna Rodriguez accounted for seven of UH’s 10 runs scored on the week … Kendra Harmon of Louisiana Tech hit .385 last week, including the game-winning homer in a 1-0 win over Hawai`i ... Nevada’s Erin Jones hit .571 with a pair of doubles last week … Krista Bava of Utah State hit .571 with four runs and two RBI on the week.
Other Pitcher of the Week nominees included: Fresno State’s Michelle Moses had two complete-game victories against San Jose State … Janna Frandrup of Louisiana Tech threw the first-ever shutout by a LA Tech pitcher against Hawai`i 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.
OAKES REMAINS UNBEATEN AT HOME
Fresno State’s Mackenzie Oakes (14-2) remained unbeaten at home with her 11th complete-game win last Saturday against San Jose State. In Oakes’ 13 starts this season, the Bulldogs are 12-1.
NM STATE OFF TO BEST WAC START IN SCHOOL HISTORY
The 11-1 WAC start for New Mexico State is the best in school history and comes just one year after the Aggies started WAC play 2-10. The Aggies are hitting .423 as a team in conference games, which would shatter the WAC’s all-time team batting average record of .381, set 20 years ago by New Mexico.
NOHARA LEADS NATION IN SEVERAL OFFENSIVE CATEGORIES
New Mexico State’s Hoku Nohara currently leads the nation in home runs (20), home runs per game (0.51) and slugging percentage (1.155). She also ranks second in RBI per game (1.51), walks per game (1.18) and on-base percentage (.635), and 16th in batting average (.454). The senior has 18 multiple-RBI games and 13 multi-hit games on the year.
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 774 career strikeouts, the righthander currently ranks fifth all-time in the WAC record books. She is 35 away from fourth place and 77 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 (60), two away from the all-time record of 62 held by Fresno State’s Christina Clark. She’s also third in RBI (195) and eighth in total bases (420).
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.