This Week in WAC Softball - April 26
Fresno State’s Michelle Moses and Boise State’s Aubray Zell have been named the Verizon Western Athletic Conference Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for April 18-24. This is the third honor of the season and fifth of her career for Moses and the third honor of the season and her career for Zell.
Moses, a junior first baseman/pitcher from Paso Robles, Calif., blasted three home runs, including her third career grand slam, hit an opposite field RBI triple, recorded a 1.333 slugging percentage with nine RBI and scored six runs to power Fresno State to a second-straight WAC sweep on the road at Utah State. She started the series with the grand slam in the Dogs’ 5-3 win over the Aggies and drilled two more home runs as Fresno State downed USU 7-1 in the second end of the Friday doubleheader in Logan. To close the series, Moses’ RBI triple started the scoring in a game where Fresno State scored the most runs (16) in 14 years. Moses added an RBI single later in the game to improve to 5-for-12 (.417) in the three-game series.
Zell, a junior from Lakewood, Calif., went 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA and 12 strikeouts last week. She opened the week with a complete-game victory in the Broncos’ first win against Hawai`i in school history, allowing just one unearned run. Zell came back with another complete-game win on Saturday, allowing just one earned run and striking out eight to help Boise State complete the sweep of the Rainbow Wahine in Honolulu, the first team to do so since 2005. Zell, who used just 153 combined pitches in the two complete games, is now 12-2 overall and 7-1 in WAC play, with her only WAC loss coming in a relief appearance.
Other Hitter of the Week nominees included: Boise State’s Christina Capobianco hit .300 with a pair of home runs on the week … Heather Doiron of Louisiana Tech hit .556 with a pair of multi-hit games last week ... Nevada’s Lauren Lastrapes hit .400 with a homer last week … Tehani Kaaihue of New Mexico State hit .500 with two homers last week … Utah State’s Shasta Tyteca hit .400 with two runs, two RBI and two stolen bases on the week.
Other Pitcher of the Week nominees included: Fresno State’s Mackenzie Oakes was 2-0 on the week … Meghan Krieg of Louisiana Tech held New Mexico State to a .176 batting average in two games … Nevada’s Mallary Darby went 2-1 with a 3.13 ERA … Alex Newman of New Mexico State went 1-0 with a 1.40 ERA on the 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 April 16 against San Jose State. In Oakes’ 15 starts this season, the Bulldogs are 14-1.
NM STATE OFF TO BEST WAC START IN SCHOOL HISTORY
The 14-1 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 .390 as a team in conference games, which would break 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 (0.47) and slugging percentage (1.074). She also ranks second in walks per game (1.16) and on-base percentage (.626), third in RBI per game (1401) and 17th in batting average (.444). 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 789 career strikeouts, the righthander currently ranks fifth all-time in the WAC record books. She is 20 away from fourth place and 62 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 (196) and eighth in total bases (424).
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|
WAC TO STREAM 2011 TOURNAMENT
The WAC, in conjunction with its Web site partner NeuLion, has announced it will stream the 2011 WAC Softball Tournament live from Fresno, Calif. Viewers can sign up by visiting www.WAC.tv. The double-elimination tournament will be held May 11-14 at Bulldog Diamond on the campus of Fresno State with the first game beginning at 4:30 p.m. (PT) on Wednesday. Every game of the tournament can be viewed for a single subscription price of $14.95, which will include on-demand viewing of any of the games the following day. More information and how to subscribe to any of these video streaming events can be found at www.WAC.tv.
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.