This Week in WAC Softball - May 12
The WAC will send two softball teams to the NCAA Tournament as WAC Tournament champion Fresno State will be joined by Nevada in the postseason this year.
The Bulldogs (36-18) will travel to the Los Angeles Regional to face Mountain West Conference foe UNLV (31-19) at 1 p.m. Friday. UCLA (41-9) will take on Long Beach State (34-19) in the other game on Friday. Fresno State remains the only team to be selected to all 28 NCAA Tournaments.
Nevada (39-17) received its second consecutive at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and will take on Cal Poly (39-10) in the Palo Alto Regional at 3 p.m. Friday. Nevada shared the WAC regular-season title with Fresno State and fell to the Bulldogs in the title game of the WAC Tournament. Nevada and Cal Poly join Stanford (44-9) and Portland State (29-24) at the Stanford location.
FRESNO STATE CLAIMS 2009 WAC TOURNAMENT
Haley Gilleland singled to left field in the bottom of the eighth inning to drive in the winning run as top-seeded Fresno State defeated No. 2 Nevada 3-2 in the title game of the WAC Tournament. The Bulldogs defeated Boise State 4-0 and Louisiana Tech 5-0 earlier in the tournament and posted a 3-0 record. It was Fresno State’s third WAC Tournament championship in program history. Morgan Melloh earned MVP honors after going 3-0 with 27 strikeouts and allowing just two hits in three complete games.
2009 WAC Softball All-Tournament Team
Lisamarie Coronado, Fresno State
Kelli Fangonilo, San Jose State
Haley Gilleland, Fresno State
Katie Holverson, Nevada
Noelle Micka, Nevada
Hoku Nohara, New Mexico State
Danielle Patrick, Nevada
Kylie Randall, New Mexico State
Kelly Sweeney, Boise State
Amberly Waits, Louisiana Tech
MVP: Morgan Melloh, Fresno State
2009 ALL-WAC TEAMS
The 2009 all-WAC softball teams and individual awards as selected by the league’s head coaches were announced May 6. Louisiana Tech junior Amberly Waits was named WAC Player of the Year, while Nevada junior Katie Holverson was named Pitcher of the Year and Stephanie Ricketts of Hawai‘i earned Freshman of the Year honors. Meanwhile, Fresno State’s Margie Wright was named WAC Coach of the Year.
Waits, a junior shortstop from Cleburne, Texas (Cleburne), led the WAC with a .433 batting average in WAC play. In 20 conference games, she tallied 29 hits, 17 runs, 18 RBI, six doubles, 57 total bases and six home runs. She had multiple hits in 10 of 20 WAC games.
Holverson, a junior right-hander from Anthem, Ariz. (Cactus), posted a 12-2 record with a 1.07 ERA in WAC play. She had 79 strikeouts and just 21 walks over 104.1 innings of work, surrendering just 16 earned runs. She posted three shutouts in conference games and led the WAC in innings per game.
Ricketts, a right-handed pitcher from San Jose, Calif. (Archbishop Mitty), led the conference in wins (13) and innings pitched (118.1) in WAC play. She started 15 games and had 69 strikeouts. She also tossed a pair of no-hitters against conference opponents.
Wright earned Coach of the Year honors for the sixth time (1996, ‘98, ‘99, ‘01, ‘05) after leading her team to its 10th WAC regular-season title and the top seed in the WAC Tournament. In WAC play, the Bulldogs led the conference in hits, at-bats, opponent batting average and strikeouts.
Nevada and Hawai‘i led the way with six total players on the all-WAC teams, while Louisiana Tech had five and Fresno State and New Mexico State had four apiece. Nevada led the way with four players on the first team. Ten of the players were repeat selections from a year ago, while six of the eight schools were represented.
MELLOH RECORDS 400TH STRIKEOUT OF SEASON
Fresno State sophomore Morgan Melloh’s third strikeout of the game vs. Louisiana Tech, which came in the bottom of the fourth inning, was her 400th on the season. In doing so, she became just the fourth pitcher in NCAA history to record back-to-back 400 strikeout seasons in her first two years in college. The other three were Monica Abbott (Tennessee), Cat Osterman (Texas) and Angelica Selden (UCLA). Melloh stuck out the side to end the inning and now has 414 on the year, good for second place all-time in WAC single-season history.
Boise State Broncos (22-30, 4-16 WAC)
The Broncos went 1-2 at the WAC Tournament last week, defeating San Jose State 8-4 in nine innings before falling to Fresno State (0-4) and Hawai‘i (2-10) ... In the win over the Spartans, Kelly Sweeney was 3-for-5 with four RBI, giving the Broncos the lead in three separate at-bats. Her bases loaded single in the ninth inning brought in the eventual winning run, giving the Broncos the upset win ... In the loss the Fresno State, Allie Crump retired the first eight batters she saw ... In the loss to Hawai‘i, Kellie Caplan led off the fifth inning with a single and came into score on Lexi Straton’s one-out double to right center. Straton later scored on an error ... Sweeney was named to the all-tournament team after posting a .333 batting average and four RBI over the three games.
Fresno State Bulldogs (36-18, 15-5 WAC)
The top-seeded Bulldogs went 3-0 at the WAC Tournament last week, shutting out Boise State (4-0) and Louisiana Tech (5-0), before defeating No. 2 Nevada 3-2 in eight innings to claim their third WAC Tournament title ... Morgan Melloh was named tournament MVP after going 3-0 and allowing just two runs in three complete-game appearances ... Haley Gilleland and Lisamarie Coronado were also named to the all-tournament team. Gilleland hit .444 with three RBI and had two stolen bases, while Coronado hit .400 with two RBI ... Fresno State is on an eight-game winning streak, its longest of the season ... The Bulldogs earned the WAC’s automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament and play UNLV in the UCLA Regional on Friday. UCLA and Long Beach State are the other two teams in the regional.
Hawai‘i Rainbow Wahine (30-24, 15-6 WAC)
The Rainbow Wahine went 1-2 at the WAC Tournament last week, falling to Louisiana Tech (1-7), defeating Boise State (10-2) and losing to Nevada (4-2) in 10 innings to close out the season ... In the loss to the Techsters, pinch hitter Julie Franklin accounted for Hawai‘i’s only run, an opposite-field home run ... The Rainbow Wahine had 17 hits, including a home run, a triple and four doubles, in the win over Boise State ... In the season-ending loss to Nevada, Stephanie Ricketts threw all 10 innings, giving up four runs, three of which were unearned ... The WAC Freshman of the Year finished the season with a total of 239.2 innings, good for fifth place all-time in a single season at Hawai‘i. She had 27 complete games in 30 starts ... Franklin and Clare Warwick were named second team Academic All-District last week.
Louisiana Tech Techsters (34-23, 12-8 WAC)
The Lady Techsters went 2-2 at the WAC Tournament last week, defeating Hawai‘i (7-1) and Nevada (4-0), before falling to Fresno State (0-5) and Nevada (1-2) to close out the season ... WAC Player of the Year Amberly Waits was named to the all-tournament team after hitting .692 with two doubles, one home run and four RBI over the four games. She recorded a 1.077 slugging percentage and a .714 on-base percentage, both tournament bests ... Meghan Krieg picked up her 19th and 20th wins of the season during the tournament, giving up just one run and striking out 12 in her two complete-game wins ... Waits set six Lady Techsters single-season records this year in hits (81), batting average (.488), home runs (17), RBI (62), total bases (155) and slugging percentage (.934).
Nevada Wolf Pack (39-17, 15-5 WAC)
The Wolf Pack went 4-2 at the WAC Tournament last week, defeating New Mexico State (5-4) on the first day, falling to Louisiana Tech (0-4) and beating New Mexico State (4-1) on day two, beating Hawai‘i (4-2) and Louisiana Tech (2-1) in extra innings on day three and losing 2-3 to top-seeded Fresno State in the championship game ... WAC Pitcher of the Year Katie Holverson, Noelle Micka and Danielle Patrick were named to the all-tournament team. Holverson went 4-1 with 35 strikeouts in 33.2 innings of work, while Micka hit .391 with three RBI and Patrick hit .353 with two doubles and a triple ... The Wolf Pack earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament and face Cal Poly in the Stanford Regional on Friday. The Cardinal and Portland State are the other two teams in the regional.
New Mexico State Aggies (33-21, 11-9 WAC)
The Aggies went 1-2 at the WAC Tournament last week, falling to Nevada (4-5), defeating San Jose State (6-1) and losing to Nevada (1-4) ... In the win over the Spartans, the Aggies belted 11 hits, including four by Hoku Nohara, who was 4-for-4 with three RBI ... Kim Watson earned the win on the mound, pitching the complete game and striking out five ... Nohara and Kylie Randall were named to the all-tournament team. Nohara hit .444 with four RBI over the three games, while Randall hit .500 with two stolen bases ... NM State concluded the season with a 33-21 overall record, the most wins in the Kathy Rodolph era ... As a team, the Aggies set single-season records for runs (329), RBI (314), home runs (68), total bases (603) and slugging percentage (.542).
San Jose State Spartans (19-37, 6-15 WAC)
The Spartans went 0-2 at the WAC Tournament last week, falling to Boise State (4-8) and New Mexico State (1-6) ... Kelli Fangonilo was named to the all-tournament team after hitting .714 with two doubles and three RBI. She also posted a 1.000 slugging percentage and .625 on-base percentage ... Fangonilo’s 12 doubles this season ranks sixth on the program’s single-season list and her four hits against Boise State tied a school single-game record ... Sarah Taylor currently ranks fifth nationally in triples (5) and 10th in triples per game (0.13) ... Fangonilo ranks 17th in triples (5), while Amanda Pridmore is 24th in saves (3) ... Fangonilo has a career batting average of .307 and .438 slugging percentage, which rank sixth all-time at SJSU. She is also eighth in slugging percentage (.369) and 10th in runs scored (73).
Utah State Aggies (10-37, 3-17 WAC)
The Aggies dropped a pair of games to Fresno State, 0-10 and 0-9, to close out the season ... Freshman Jasmine Harris led the team this season in batting average (.296), runs (21), hits (37), doubles (8), home runs (7), RBI (19), slugging percentage (.528) and on-base percentage (.389) ... Lindsey Benson led the team with 112 strikeouts and one save on the year ... The Aggies led the WAC in batters struck out looking (81) and runners picked off (4), were second in stolen bases per game (1.04) and tied for third in stolen bases (49) ... Benson ended her ranked career third all-time in the Aggie record books in strikeouts with 412.