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This Week in WAC Softball
Courtesy: WAC

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK – Hawai‘i’s Kate Robinson and Justine Smethurst have been named the Western Athletic Conference Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively. This is the third Hitter if the Week honor for Robinson who was named Pitcher of the Week last week. Smethurst has been named Pitcher of the Week four times.

Robinson, a junior from Honolulu, O`ahu (Kamehameha Schools), went on an offensive tear last weekend. She had team highs with a .636 batting average (7-for-11), six runs scored, seven hits, two doubles, two home runs, eight RBI, 15 total bases and slugging percentage of 1.364. In the first game against Utah State, Robinson drilled a two-out, two-run single. She followed that with a 2-for-3 performance in game two, scoring three runs in the game and adding an RBI double. In game three, Robinson was 4-for-4, with a single, double, two home runs, three runs scored, and five RBI. Her first home run tied the school’s single-season record with 17. Then in her final regular season at bat, she came through with her second home run of the game to break the record, previously held by former UH standout Stacey Porter in 2003.

Smethurst, a sophomore from Victoria, Australia (Shelford Girls Grammar), fired her first no-hitter of the year at Utah State this past weekend. It was her fourth of her career after throwing three perfect games last season. It also marked the second time she’s shut down the Aggies’ offense Last season, she threw her second perfect game against USU on May 5, 2006. The sophomore fired 6.0 innings, walked two and struck out 10, retiring the last sixteen batters in a row. She is now 16-7 overall and 4-2 in conference play.

Other hitter of the week nominees included: Merryann Barr of Fresno State hit .625 in a three-game sweep over Louisiana Tech and Amy Schaible of Utah State hit .444 with eight hits in six games for the Aggies.

Other pitcher of the week nominees included: Robin Mackin of Fresno State was 2-0 last week with 13 strikeouts in two appearances.

DOWN TO THE WIRE – In final week of the regular season, seeds three through seven are still up for grabs in the upcoming WAC Tournament which will be held in Fresno, Calif. May 9-12. Last week, Hawai`i sealed the top seed by winning the regular season title. Fresno State will be the second seed. The remaining seeds will be decided in the final three games of the regular season. Utah State travels to New Mexico State, while San Jose State stays in state to face Fresno State. Louisiana Tech will host Nevada. New Mexico State, San Jose State and Nevada are all 6-9. Utah State is 5-10. Louisiana Tech is 3-12.

HAWAI‘I CAPTURES REGULAR SEASON CROWN – Hawai‘i  won it’s second WAC title with a 14-2 win over Utah State at Johnson Field in Logan, Utah on April 28.  Kate Robinson went 4-for-4 with a single, double, and two home runs. She broke UH’s single-season record with her second round-tripper of the game. She passed former UH stand-out Stacey Porter who hit 17 in 2003. It is Hawai‘i’s first conference title since 2003, and third overall with UH taking the Big West title in 1994. The Rainbow Wahine have the best regular season record in school history.

FRESNO STATE’S MACKIN REACHES MILESTONE – Fresno State sophomore right hander Robin Mackin past the 300 strikeout mark for the second consecutive year with 13 Ks against Louisiana Tech over the weekend. Mackin now has 310 this season in 249 innings pitched. Her 310 strikeouts already rank fifth all-time in a season at Fresno State. She has totaled 512 strikeouts in her first two seasons, which ranks eighth all-time.

NCAA ANNOUNCEMENT INFORMATION – The field of 64 teams for the 2007 NCAA Division I Softball Championship will be announced live between 3 and 4 p.m. Eastern time Sunday, May 13, on ESPNews, which is on DirecTV channel 207 and Dish Network channel 142.  Please note that ESPNews cannot be accessed via C Band or KU Band satellite due to the fact that the ESPNews signal is scrambled.  The regional pairings and sites will be announced.  In addition, the ESPNews audio signal is available on the ESPNews channel on XM Radio and SIRIUS Radio.

LIKE THIEVES IN THE NIGHT – This weekend’s series between Utah State and New Mexico State features the top two teams in the WAC in stolen bases, as Utah State leads the league (61-of-81) while New Mexico State is second (55-of-69). Individually, NMSU junior IF Stephanie Herrera is second in the conference (18-of-24) while USU junior shortstop Tara Evans is fourth (13-of-15).

LONG BALL RECORD TIED AGAIN  – The Bulldogs tied a WAC record with six home runs in a WAC game on April 13 against New Mexico State. Not to be outdone, Hawai‘i also tied this record against Fresno State on April 20. Fresno State originally set the record against Nevada in 2004. Hawai‘i also hit six long balls against Loyola Marymount on Feb. 21. In the three-game series, Fresno State hit nine home runs, including two apiece from Haley Perkins, Jenna Cervantez and Kristin Sylvester. Nichole Willis, Shannon Garvin and Ashley White each hit one home run. 

WAC RECORD SHATTERED – Hawai‘i has broken the WAC record for home runs in a season with 79 home runs in 54 games. The record was 50 set by Fresno State in 2004. Last season, the Rainbow Wahine hit a school-record 42 in 54 games. Hawai‘i has 311 RBI through the regular season. Kate Robinson is closing in on former Fresno State All-American Christina Clark’s single-season home run record. Robinson currently has 18 home runs. Clark had 23 long balls in 2004. The Hawai‘i record was 17 by Stacey Porter in 2003.

WAHINE FACTS – Senior Tyleen Tausaga continue to make her way up the UH record books. She surpassed former UH stand out Dana Degen’s mark of 148 career RBI category with 154 and is in the top five in several offensive categories for Hawai‘i. But is Kate Robinson who has rewritten the books for Hawai‘i. Against Utah State, in UH’s last regular season game, Robinson hit her 17th and 18th home run of the season to break Stacey Porter’s former record of 17 set in 2003. Robinson has also shattered the old single-season RBI mark of 48 set in 1994 by Cheyenne Thompson by driving in 65 runs thus far this season. Hawai‘i has now outscored its opponents 342-113. In base hits, UH has 465 against 287. Most notably, UH has 79 home runs, but have allowed only 20 and they’ve driven in 312 runs while holding opponents to 94 thus far in 2007. The pitching staff has an ERA of 1.75 overall and has held opposition to a .214 batting average, while Hawai‘i’s team is now hitting .316 overall.

MACKIN ATTACKIN’ – Fresno State sophomore Robin Mackin has shown no signs of a sophomore slump. She leads the WAC in pitching with a 1.38 earned run and a 29-9 record. She is the first WAC pitcher to reach the 20-win plateau. The Canadian’s 29 wins is fourth in the nation in wins. Mackin has recorded 310 strikeouts in 249.0 innings pitched. She is 32nd in the nation in strikeouts per seven innings, averaging 8.7. Last year, she set the WAC record for strikeouts per seven innings, averaging 10.97.

BEST OF THE BEST – There are several individuals and teams among the leaders in this week’s NCAA statistics. This is the fourth  week of NCAA stats.  Fresno State’s Robin Mackin is fourth in the nation in victories (29). She is also 31st in ERA (1.38) and 13th in saves (4). Hawai‘i’s Kate Robinson is eighth in runs batted in per game (1.19).
 As a team, Fresno State is up to fifth in fielding percentage (.977). Hawai‘i is sixth in win/loss percentage (.833) and seventh in slugging percentage (.527). The powerful Rainbow Wahine are also third in the country in home runs per game (1.46).

HOME RUN EXPLOSION – Brittany Puzey’s grand slam in Nevada’s 14-4 five-inning win over New Mexico State on April 21, was the second career grand slam for Puzey and eighth grand slam Nevada has hit since the 2003 season.  Of the eight grand slams, the Wolf Pack won seven of the games in less than seven innings with one win going the full seven innings.  Puzey, who hit her first career grand slam as a freshman on Feb. 25, 2006, is just the second player in Nevada history to record multiple grand slams, joining Lindsay Hall (2003-06) who finished her career with two.  Sophomore Sarah Hunt is the only other current player who has recorded a grand slam as she hit her first as a freshman on Feb. 17, 2006.  Candice Rainwater (2003-06), Stacy Mueller (2003-04) and Kari Stockstill (2003-06) are the other Pack players who have recorded a grand slam.

NEW HOME FOR WOLF PACK –  Christina Hixson Softball Complex was named after the benefactor whose donation allowed Nevada to purchase the land for the softball complex.  The land for the facility was purchased from Bishop Manogue Catholic High School and is located adjacent to campus. The 23-acre site is also home to the field events for Wolf Pack women’s track and field. The softball facility has 168 permanent chair backs behind home plate. The facility can hold up to 1,000 fans comfortably with room for lawn chairs on the burms behind the first and third base lines. 

FRESNO STATE TO HOST 2007 TOURNAMENT – For the second-straight season, the WAC Softball Tournament will be held in Fresno, Calif. This will be only the second tournament since 1999.  This season, all seven teams will advance to the double-elimination tournament. The tournament will be held at Bulldog Diamond from May 10-12.

Fourth-seeded Nevada captured its first WAC Tournament last season. The Wolf Pack defeated third-seeded Hawai‘i twice on the final day to win the tournament. Nevada was led by pitcher Jordan McPherson who pitched all 41 innings of the WAC Tournament without allowing an earned run.

WAC LEADERS – Hawai‘i’s Clare Warwick leads the WAC in hits with 72. Her teammate, Kate Robinson, leads the conference in RBI with 64. Hawai‘i’s Tausaga has taken the top spot in the WAC in hitting with a .408 batting average.
In the circle, Fresno State’s Robin Mackin leads the conference with a 29-9 record. Mackin already has 310 strikeouts. Last season, Mackin set a WAC record with 400 strikeouts during her rookie campaign. The Bulldog All-America also leads the conference in ERA (1.38) and saves (4).
 
FRESNO STATE PICKED TO WIN 2007 WAC TITLE – The Western Athletic Conference softball coaches selected Fresno State to win the 2007 WAC regular season crown. Fresno State has been picked to take the preseason crown 11 out of the last 12 years. In 2002, Hawai‘i was chosen to win the title. The coaches also voted on 2007 preseason award winners. For the second-straight season Robin Mackin earned preseason Pitcher of the Year honors. Hawai‘i first baseman Tyleen Tausaga earned preseason Player of the Year honors. The last Rainbow Wahine player to earn preseason Player of the Year honors was shortstop Kate Judd who earned the award before the 2002 and 2003 seasons.

Fresno State edged out Hawai‘i with 35 points to the Rainbow Wahine’s 30. Defending WAC Tournament Champions Nevada was picked to finish third with 28 points. This is the second-straight year that the Wolf Pack were picked third in the preseason. The Bulldogs and the Wolf Pack were the only WAC teams to advance to the NCAA Tournament last season. Fresno State is the only team in the nation to play in all 25 NCAA Tournaments. New Mexico State finished fourth with 21 points followed by San Jose State with 14 points. Louisiana Tech was picked to finish sixth with 10 points, while Utah State was picked to finish seventh with nine points.

Fresno State Bulldogs (39-16, 12-3 WAC)
Fresno State has Robin Mackin leading the WAC in pitching with a 1.38 earned run average and a 29-9 record ... Mackin has recorded 310 strikeouts in 249 innings pitched ... Haley Perkins leads the WAC in runs scored with 54, ranks second in hits with 70 and is fifth in stolen bases with 11 ... Perkins also ranks third in batting with a .387 average ... Bulldogs earned the second seed in the upcoming WAC Tournament ... this will be Fresno State’s third WAC tournament and the first time that the Bulldogs have not been the top seed.

Hawai‘i Rainbow Wahine (45-9, 16-2 WAC)
No. 14 Hawai‘i swept the Utah State Aggies in Logan, Utah this past week to win the WAC regular season title ... it is UH’s highest NFCA ranking since 1998, when Bob Coolen’s squad finished the season at No. 14 with a 44-15 record ... the highest ever NFCA ranking for UH was No. 7 in Week Five of the 1998 season ... it is the sixth time that UH has hit the 40-win mark ... the last time the ‘Bows won at least 40 wins was in 2003 when the team went 40-20 and won their first WAC title ... the Rainbow Wahine are now 45-9 overall and 16-2 in  conference—both are school records for Hawai‘i.

Louisiana Tech Lady Techsters (20-24, 3-6 WAC)
Louisiana Tech looks to rebound from a 11-game losing streak ... the Lady Techsters are looking to avoid becoming the seventh seed in the WAC Tournament ... at least one loss by the Lady Techsters and a win by  Utah State will give Louisiana Tech the seventh seed ... the Lady Techsters end the season at home against Nevada.

Nevada Wolf Pack (22-29, 6-9 WAC)
The Pack is 8-0 when the team scores at least seven runs a game ... Nevada is batting .275 to its opponents .285... the Wolf Pack has scored 198 runs while its opponents have recorded 225 ... Nevada has recorded 355 hits to its opponents 389 ... the Wolf Pack has hit 62 doubles while its opponents have 64 ... Nevada has recorded 31 home runs to its opponents 42 ... the Pack has a .338 on base percentage, while its opponents have a .347 on base percentage.

New Mexico State Aggies (27-25, 6-9 WAC)
Junior Ashley Roszkos had two home runs and four RBI Tuesday, May 1 to break the all-time career RBI record at New Mexico State as the Aggies shutout Western New Mexico in both games of twin bill  ... the Aggies downed the Mustangs, 10-0, in five innings in game one and came back in the second game with another shutout, this time, 4-0 ... Roszkos’ four RBI gives her 108 for her career that surpasses Mel Briggs record of 107 ... Roszkos also tied the single-season RBI record with the 42 runners that she has driven in this spring.

San Jose State Spartans (21-23, 6-9 WAC)
San Jose State will conclude the regular season this weekend with a three-game series against the Bulldogs of Fresno State ... the Spartans will travel to Fresno, Calif., for the WAC match-up ... the series will begin with a single game on Friday, May 4 at 6:00 p.m. and will conclude with a doubleheader at 1:00 p.m. on May 5 ... this will be the 71st meeting these two conference rivals. Fresno State currently leads the series, but the Spartans have posted at least one win in the season-series in each of the last two years.

Utah State Aggies (17-31, 5-10 WAC)
Utah State will travel to New Mexico State to end the regular season ... Utah State is 1-5 in road WAC games, while NMSU is 0-6 in home WAC games, getting swept by Hawai‘i and Fresno State, the top two teams in the league, respectively ...  overall, Utah State is 5-13 on the road, while New Mexico State is 12-11 at home, as Tuesday’s wins over Western New Mexico snapped an eight-game home losing skid.


 

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