GRAND CANYON'S SMITH, DENHART NAMED WAC ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Grand Canyon's Shea Smith and Ryan Denhart have been named the Western Athletic Conference Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for March 11-17. This is the second honor of the season and fifth of her career for Smith and the first-ever honor for Denhart.
Smith, a senior infielder from Waddell, Ariz., hit .450, with a .700 slugging percentage and a .500 on-base percentage last week. She tallied eight runs, two doubles, a home run, four RBIs and a stolen base over six games. Smith was a spark in the Lopes offense in an extra-innings win over Ohio State and posted three multi-hit games as Grand Canyon went 6-0 on the week.
Denhart, a sophomore right-hander from Los Alamitos, Calif., went 3-0 with a 0.57 ERA last week. She allowed just one earned run and six hits in 12.1 innings pitched and held the opposition to a .140 batting average. She opened the week with a complete-game two-hitter against Lehigh, then picked up a win in relief over Ohio State, giving up one run on two hits over 3.1 innings. She closed out the week by picking up the win over Weber State when she threw four scoreless innings, giving up just two hits.
Other Hitter of the Week nominees included: Mackenzie Budinger of California Baptist hit .348 with one double, two home runs, seven RBIs and three multi-hit games ... Kansas City's Madason Shaw hit .438 with two doubles, two homers, four RBIs, one stolen base and a hit in all five games ... Ally Choate of Seattle U hit .526 with one double, two RBIs, two stolen bases and four multi-hit games on the week.
Other Pitcher of the Week nominees included: Kellye Springstead of California Baptist went 4-2 with a 2.17 ERA and 19 strikeouts over 29.0 innings pitched last week ... Kansas City's Mia Hoveland was 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA and 13 strikeouts over 15.1 innings ... Andie Larkins of Seattle U went 3-0 with a 0.74 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 19.0 innings of work.
SEATTLE U'S SMITH SETS PROGRAM RECORD FOR STRIKEOUTS
On March 17, Seattle U sophomore pitcher Shianne Smith set a Division I program record with 11 strikeouts in eight innings against North Dakota.
CSUB PLAYS MARATHON RECORD AGAINST SAN DIEGO
On March 17, CSU Bakersfield defeated San Diego 4-3 in 11 innings. The game took 3:21. It tied for the second-longest game in Division I history by innings (12 innings vs. Saint Mary's in 2009) and broke the record for longest game by time (previous record was 3:15 at Pacific on March 12, 2011).
SEATTLE U POST BEST START IN PROGRAM HISTORY
Seattle U currently sits atop the WAC standings with an 18-10 record. The Redhawks are off to their best 28-game start in Division I program history, having won 18 games heading into WAC play this weekend.
GCU DEFEATS NO. 1 AND PREVIOUSLY UNBEATEN FLORIDA STATE
The Grand Canyon softball team became GCU's first Division I-era team to beat a team with a No. 1 national ranking on March 6 when it stunned defending national champion and previously unbeaten Florida State 5-3. With the tying run at the plate for Florida State, GCU sophomore pitcher Yesenia Morrison finished off her complete-game win by inducing a pop out and a fly out to end the game. Morrison had given up back-to-back home runs to start the game but only allowed four hits over the final six innings to the nation's top hitting team. She allowed three runs on seven hits and one walk. The Lopes got to Florida State ace Meghan King, whose earned run average of 0.72 ranked 14th in the nation before the loss. The Lopes scored all five runs on seven hits against King in her 5 2/3 innings of work. Savannah Tourville gave the Lopes their first lead of the game in the sixth inning, doubling to left field to score pinch runner Christine Bellavia. It marked only the third time Florida State even had trailed in a game this season. Tourville finished the game 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs.
NM STATE'S HORTON BECOMES PROGRAM TOTAL BASES LEADER
Kelsey Horton became the NM State career leader in total bases, moving her total to 452. She also ranks first in batting average (.386) and slugging percentage (.778), second in home runs (62), third in RBIs (187) and runs (178), fourth in doubles (40) and fifth in hits (224). The senior is three home runs shy of becoming the all-time WAC leader in home runs.
SEATTLE U EARNS FIRST-EVER WIN OVER TOP 25 TEAM
On March 2, Seattle U picked up its first-ever win over a nationally-ranked team, beating No. 25 Illinois, 5-2. The Illini were ranked No. 25 in the USA Softball poll and were the first team outside the Top 25 in the National Fastpitch Coach Association (NFCA) poll.
UMKC'S ROLLOW MOVES INTO 10TH PLACE IN CAREER HOMERS
Kansas City senior outfielder Maegan Rollow belted a pair of homers at the Wildcat Classic to move into 10th place in the UMKC career record books with 10 career home runs.
HIPA CLIMBING CSUB CAREER HOME RUN CHARTS
CSU Bakersfield senior Chris Hipa hit a pair of homers in two games at the rain-shortened Red Desert Classic to move her career total to 11. The native of Aiea, Hawai'i now ranks fourth in CSUB's Division I history.
CSUB'S CURRAN SETS PROGRAM RECORDS FOR TRIPLES
On Feb. 22 against Santa Clara, CSU Bakersfield junior Cydney Curran hit two triples setting a CSUB Division I single-game record. Curran already has six triples this season, which ranks her third in the nation and places her first in the CSU Bakersfield Division I single-season record books.
KANSAS CITY'S PACKARD THROWS FIRST NO-HITTER IN WAC SINCE '17
On Feb. 23, Kansas City freshman right-hander Kailyn Packard threw a no-hitter in a 7-0 win over Grambling State at the Black and Gold Tournament in Montgomery, Ala. Packard tossed all seven innings for the Roos, allowing no hits, while striking out 10. It was the first no-hitter thrown in the WAC since Seattle U's Alyssa Reuble threw a perfect game on March 10, 2017.
THREE PLAYERS RANK IN WAC CAREER TOP 10
NM State senior Kelsey Horton currently holds the all-time WAC record for career slugging percentage (.778), ranks second in home runs (62), fifth in RBIs (187) and total bases (452) and tied for 10th in batting average (.386). Seattle U junior Madison Cathcart ranks eighth in slugging percentage (.706), while Grand Canyon senior Sierra Smith is tied for 10th in triples (12).
UVU'S HUBBARD PICKS UP 200TH CAREER VICTORY
With his team's 11-3 victory over Seton Hall on Feb. 9, Utah Valley head coach TJ Hubbard picked up his 200th career victory. In his ninth season as a head coach, Hubbard boasts a 205-226-1 (.476) career record. He is 44-65 (.404) in three seasons at Utah Valley.
CSUB'S BUCK-ZIEGLER EARNS 100TH CAREER WIN
CSU Bakersfield head coach Crissy Buck-Ziegler earned her 100th career victory on Feb. 10 when the 'Runners defeated Montana 3-2. In her eighth season at the helm, Buck-Ziegler is 106-255-1 (.294).