This Week in WAC Softball - May 15
After winning the WAC Tournament, Brigham Young (43-13) earned the WAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and will travel to Eugene, Ore., where it will face Mississippi State (33-22) in the Eugene Regional on Thursday, May 17. No. 11 overall seed Oregon (39-15) will host Portland State (28-23) in the other game.
HAWAI‘I RECEIVES AT-LARGE BID, WILL PLAY AT TUCSON REGIONAL
WAC regular-season champion Hawai‘i (44-7) earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and will travel to the Tucson Regional to face Notre Dame (38-14) on Friday, May 18. No. 13 overall seed Arizona (35-17) will host North Dakota State (37-20) in the other game on Friday.
BRIGHAM YOUNG WINS FIRST-EVER WAC TOURNAMENT
The Cougars defeated Fresno State 8-3 in the championship game to earn their first-ever WAC Tournament title last Saturday. BYU went 3-0 at the tournament, defeating Louisiana Tech (6-1) and No. 11 Hawai‘i (6-4) in earlier rounds. Stacie Toney was named tournament MVP after hitting .545 with a stolen base and two RBI over the three games.
Tori Almond, Brigham Young
Dacia Hale, Louisiana Tech
Jessica Iwata, Hawai‘i
Meghan Knowles, Louisiana Tech
Lauren Lastrapes, Nevada
Kelly Majam, Hawai‘i
Vonnie Martin, Fresno State
Michelle Moses, Fresno State
Amanda Pridmore, San Jose State
Stacie Toney, Brigham Young (MVP)
Delaney Willard, Brigham Young
LA TECH’S HALE TIES NCAA RECORD FOR RBI IN A SINGLE GAME
Louisiana Tech’s Dacia Hale tied the NCAA single-game record with 11 RBI in the Lady Techsters’ 17-7 win over Fresno State at the WAC Tournament last week. She was 3-for-4 with three home runs, including a grand slam. She also set the WAC Tournament record for most RBI by a player throughout an entire WAC Tournament.
ALL-WAC TEAMS ANNOUNCED
Brigham Young’s Delaney Willard was named WAC Player of the Year, while Hawai‘i’s Stephanie Ricketts was named Pitcher of the Year. Meanwhile, Hawai‘i’s Leisha Li‘ili‘i was named Freshman of the Year and Bob Coolen was named Coach of the Year.
Willard, a senior rightfielder from Camarillo, Calif. (Adolfo Camarillo), earned WAC Player of the Year after leading all players in WAC games with 33 RBI, 51 total bases and a .911 slugging percentage. She also ranked second in batting average (.429), home runs (7) and on-base percentage (.514), and fourth in doubles (6). Willard also broke the WAC single-season record and currently ranks second nationally with 83 RBI.
Ricketts, a senior righthander from San Jose, Calif. (Archbishop Mitty) earned WAC Pitcher of the Year honors for the third year in a row. In WAC play, she posted a 12-1 mark with a 1.07 ERA and four shutouts, holding opponents to a .172 batting average and tallying 79 strikeouts.
Li‘ili‘i, a designated player from Kane‘ohe, O‘ahu (Castle), posted a .305 batting average in WAC play with four doubles, three home runs and 12 RBI.
Coolen earned Coach of the Year honors for the third time in his career after leading his team to its fourth WAC regular-season title and the top seed in the WAC Tournament. In WAC play, the Rainbow Wahine went 17-3 and led the conference in slugging percentage, runs, hits, RBI, home runs, total bases, plate appearances, wins, opponent batting average, strikeouts, hits allowed, runs allowed and home runs allowed.
Hawai‘i led the way with eight players on the all-WAC teams, followed by Brigham Young with five and Nevada with four. Five of the players were repeat selections from a year ago, while all eight schools were represented.
JC Clayton, Brigham Young
Jessica Dugas, Brigham Young
Makani Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu#, Hawai‘i
Melanie Goff, Louisiana Tech
Jessica Iwata@$, Hawai‘i
Kelly Majam&$, Hawai‘i
Michelle Moses@$, Fresno State
Sara Parsons, Nevada
Amanda Pridmore, San Jose State
Stephanie Ricketts@$#, Hawai‘i
Sarah Robinson, Hawai‘i
Christine Thomsen, Utah State
Delaney Willard, Brigham Young
Alex Aguirre&, Hawai‘i
Tori Almond, Brigham Young
Chelsea Barilli, Nevada
Michelle Cox, San Jose State
Karley Hopkins, Nevada
Shaleese Javillo, New Mexico State
Karlyn Jones, Nevada
Leisha Li‘ili‘i, Hawai‘i
Katie Manuma, Brigham Young
Vonnie Martin, Fresno State
Courtney Moore, Fresno State
Kaia Parnaby, Hawai‘i
Briana Tovio-Asato, New Mexico State
@2011 first team All-WAC
&2011 second team All-WAC
$2010 first team All-WAC
#2009 second team All-WAC
2012 WAC Player of the Year: Delaney Willard, Brigham Young
2012 WAC Pitcher of the Year: Stephanie Ricketts, Hawai‘i
2012 WAC Freshman of the Year: Leisha Li‘ili‘i, Hawai‘i
2012 WAC Coach of the Year: Bob Coolen, Hawai‘i
HAWAI‘I CLAIMS FOURTH WAC REGULAR-SEASON TITLE
Hawai’i captured the 2012 WAC regular-season crown with an emphatic, 18-0 five-inning win over Utah State on May 6. The Rainbow Wahine finished WAC play with a 17-3 mark to claim their fourth WAC regular-season title (2003, 2007, 2010).
FRESNO STATE’S WRIGHT TO RETIRE
After 27 years as the Fresno State head coach, Margie Wright has announced her retirement effective June 30, 2012. Wright, the NCAA Division I all-time winningest softball coach and second all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division I history regardless of sport, steps down after guiding the university to its first NCAA Division I team title (1998). Under her direction the Bulldogs have appeared in every NCAA Tournament, while becoming the second all-time winningest softball program in Division I history.
FIVE WAC PLAYERS NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT
Five WAC softball players were voted to the Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District teams. Hawai’i’s Kelly Majam and Stephanie Ricketts, Brigham Young’s Stacie Toney, Fresno State’s Brooke Ortiz and Louisiana Tech’s Erin Kipp were all named to the first team and now advance to the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration.
WAC HAS FOUR TEAMS IN TOP 100 RPI
In the most recent NCAA RPI, four WAC schools are in the top 100, led by Hawai‘i at 20. Also ranked in the top 100 are Brigham Young (33), Fresno State (59) and San Jose State (94).
WILLARD BREAKS WAC RBI SEASON RECORD
Brigham Young’s Delaney Willard tied and then broke a 14-year-old WAC single-season RBI record. The senior drove in her 77th run of the season against Utah Valley on May 2, tying the record set by Fresno State’s Nina Lindenberg in 1998. Willard then broke the record with three RBI in the first game against Nevada on May 4. She now has 88 RBI this season, good for second nationally.
HAWAI‘I WINS 40 GAMES FOR NINTH TIME IN PROGRAM HISTORY
With its three victories against Fresno State April 27-28, Hawai‘i hit the 40-win mark for the ninth time in program history. The Rainbow Wahine have now outscored their opponents 322-79 in 51 games.
NEVADA’S JONES LEADS NATION IN WALKS ALLOWED PER SEVEN INNINGS
In the most recent NCAA statistics released May 14, Nevada pitcher Karlyn Jones leads the nation in walks allowed per seven innings at 0.57. The sophomore had just nine walks this season compared to 89 strikeouts.
FRESNO STATE WINS 30 GAMES FOR 30TH CONSECUTIVE SEASON
When it defeated New Mexico State on April 21, Fresno State notched its 30th win of the season. This is the 31st consecutive season the Bulldogs have reached the 30-win mark.
RICKETTS BECOMES HAWAI‘I CAREER SHUTOUT LEADER
Stephanie Ricketts set the Hawai‘i career shutouts record in the series finale against Fresno State when she tossed her 33rd complete-game shutout and sixth career no-hitter. She fanned seven, faced just two batters over the minimum and did not allow a runner past second base. Ricketts is now Hawai‘i’s career leader in wins (102), strikeouts (810), shutouts (33), innings pitched (926.2), appearances (162) and starts (138).
EAKIN NOTCHES 400TH VICTORY
Brigham Young shut out Louisiana Tech 5-0 on April 20 to give head coach Gordon Eakin his 400th career victory. Eakin, whose 27th wedding anniversary was also the same day, is now 414-173 (.705) in his 10-year career.
BYU’S WILLARD ONE OF 25 FINALISTS FOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Brigham Young senior outfielder Delaney Willard was one of the Top 25 finalists for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. This year’s Top 25 is comprised of 13 seniors, seven juniors, four sophomores and one freshman. The student-athletes selected represent 17 NCAA Division I universities and eight athletic conferences. The USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award is voted on by coaching representatives from 11 Division I Conferences in the 15 ASA Regions as well as members of the media who consistently cover Division I Softball across the country.
RICKETTS ONE OF 10 FINALISTS FOR LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD
Hawai‘i pitcher Stephanie Ricketts is one of the 10 student-athletes selected as finalists for the 2012 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. The two-time reigning WAC Pitcher of the Year was named an Easton All-American last season and is Hawai‘i’s all-time strikeout leader. A three-time All-West Region honoree, she has been named an NFCA Scholar-Athlete and Academic all-WAC three times.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as a senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. Lowe’s will announce the Senior CLASS Award® winner during the Women’s College World Series, which will be held May 31-June 6.
The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the original list of 30 candidates.
JENNINGS CLOSES OUT CAREER ON FOUR WAC CAREER CHARTS
New Mexico State senior Tiare Jennings closed out her career ranked in the top 10 in four WAC career offensive categories. She ranks fourth all-time in RBI (185), fifth in home runs (48), sixth in runs scored (188) and seventh in total bases (431).
RICKETTS LEAVING MARK ON WAC CAREER PITCHING MARKS
Three-time WAC Pitcher of the Year Stephanie Ricketts ranks in the top 10 in three different WAC career pitching categories. She is third all-time in wins (102) and innings pitched (926.2), and fifth in strikeouts (810).
MAJAM BECOMES ALL-TIME HOME RUNS LEADER AT HAWAI‘I
On March 24 in the series finale against San Jose State, Hawai‘i’s Kelly Majam went 3-for-3 with a single, a double and a home run. It was her fifth homer of the season and the 45th of her career, which broke the Hawai‘i career record of 44 previously held by former UH All-American Kate Robinson in 2008. She now has 52 career rounder trippers, good for fourth all-time in WAC history.
SIX NO-HITTERS THROWN IN THE WAC THIS SEASON
There have been six no-hitters thrown in the WAC this season. The first was by Fresno State’s Mackenzie Oakes on Feb. 19, when she threw her third career no-hitter in an 8-0, six-inning victory over Cal State Fullerton. The next two no-hitters, on Feb. 23 against Iowa State and March 3 vs. State Joseph’s, were by the Bulldogs’ Michelle Moses. They were Moses’ second and third no-hitters of her career. In the 3-0 win over Iowa State, Moses struck out 17 batters, one off of the school record that she set herself in 2010. Hawai‘i’s Kaia Parnaby fired her second career no-no on March 14, with a career-high 14 strikeouts in a 6-0 win over Marist. Stephanie Ricketts no-hit San Jose State on March 24, with five strikeouts, then repeated the feat on April 28 against Fresno State. Ricketts now has six no-hitters on her career.
HAWAI‘I HANDS NO. 1/2 CAL ITS FIRST LOSS OF SEASON
Jessica Iwata hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Rainbow Wahine over No. 1/2 California, 3-1, on March 15. Stephanie Ricketts earned the complete-game win over the previously unbeaten Golden Bears. The win ended Cal’s 23-game win streak.
The last time UH defeated a No. 1 team was in 2007, when it beat No. 1 Tennessee 9-6 at the Super Regional in Knoxville, Tenn. Alabama, which UH defeated in the 2010 Super Regional, was ranked No. 4 at the time, but was seeded No. 1 in the NCAA Tournament.
SAN JOSE STATE’S COX BREAKS SCHOOL HITTING STREAK RECORD
San Jose State freshman Michelle Cox broke the program’s hitting streak record when she hit in 19 consecutive games before the streak ended against Stanford on March 11. Cox broke the old record of 17 games set by Pat Martinez during the 1995 season.
HAWAI‘I SETS SCHOOL WIN STREAK RECORD
On March 10, Hawai‘i defeated Radford 4-0 to break its previous win-streak record of 18 set in 2010. The Rainbow Wahine extended the streak to 21 games before losing to No. 6 Texas on March 13.
PRIDMORE BECOMES SJSU’S CAREER SAVES LEADER
San Jose State junior Amanda Pridmore tied and then broke the San Jose State career saves record on March 9. Pridmore now has 10 saves in her three-year career. The previous record of eight was held by Carol Forbes. Her 10 career saves is tied for second all-time in the WAC record books, one away from the record.
UH’S IWATA NAMED TO PRESEASON PLAYER OF YEAR WATCH LIST
Hawai’i shortstop Jessica Iwata was one of 50 student-athletes selected to the watch list for the 11th annual USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award. A two-time WAC Player of the Year, she led the Rainbow Wahine last season with a .355 batting average, a .663 slugging percentage and a .447 on-base percentage.
RICKETTS SELECTED IN NPF DRAFT
Hawai’i softball pitcher Stephanie Ricketts was the 10th overall pick in the third round of the 2012 National Pro Fastpitch Senior Draft. Ricketts was selected by the defending league-champion Chicago Bandits. She is just the second Rainbow Wahine to ever be drafted by the NPF.