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Tommies' Streak Halted At 43 Games, Illinois State's Stake Into Record Books

The Streak Is Over 
Defending Division III national champion St. Thomas finished last season on a 39-game winning streak. The streak came to a halt this past weekend as Wisconsin-Eau Claire scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a 8-7 win over the Tommies, ending the streak at a Division III-record 43 games. The streak began nearly a year before it ended, March 23, 2004, with a win over Otterbein. 

History In The Polls! 
Michigan is ranked No. 1 in this week's USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll. The Wolverines are off to a school record 27-1 start. Michigan becomes the first non-Pac 10 school to be ranked No. 1 since Oklahoma won the 2000 national championship and finished atop the poll. U-M also becomes just the seventh team ever to be ranked No. 1 in the NFCA's Division I poll. Conversely, 12 teams have been ranked atop the football coaches' poll since 1995 and six teams were No. 1 in the volleyball coaches poll this past season. 

Triple Play 
The always rare triple play was accomplished last week by Seton Hall in a game against Hofstra. In the bottom of the second inning, the Pride's Ashley Lane singled to lead off the inning, and when Hailey Clark bunted and was safe at first, Lane got to third when Lindsay Trottier’s throw to first got away. Tara Ulrich then grounded to shortstop, and Katie Pierce flipped to D'Arcy Djakalovic to get the force, Djakalovic threw home to nail Lane. Seton Hall sophomore catcher Danielle Steinseifzerfired to Taylor at first and Laura Taylor threw to Djakalovic to gun down Ulrich trying for second base. 

Iron Bowl, Softball Style! 
No. 25 Auburn and No. 10 Alabama got together on the softball diamond for one of the fiercest rivalries in college sports. The Tigers took the first game by erasing a 2-0 deficit with two runs in the sixth and another pair in the seventh for a 4-2 win. The second game started with Auburn taking a 1-0 lead before tornadoes in the area halted play. Alabama took a 5-1 lead when play continued, only to hold Auburn off for a 6-4 win. Alabama struck in the first inning of game three, but Auburn took a 3-2 lead in the fifth. Bama scored two runs in the seventh to win 4-3 and take the series. 

Wildcat Surge 
Northwestern has quietly put together a nice start to its 2005 season. The Wildcats are 15-6 and ranked 23rd in the nation. NU has posted impressive wins over Long Beach State, Washington, Stanford and California. Against Cal, Jamie Dotson hit a game-winning two-out two-run homer to win a 2-1 contest from the Golden Bears. The Wildcats narrowly missed in a 4-3, extra-inning loss to Arizona earlier this season. 

NaviGATOR 
Lindsay Cameron was Florida's top hitter in the three-game series sweep vs. Arkansas. Her most Important contribution of the weekend was her game winning hit in the eighth inning in the first game of the series. She was a perfect 4-for-4 in Sunday's 5-inning mercy rule victory. Cameron had a 1.083 slugging percentage and a .750 on base percentage on the weekend. She had only one strikeout in her 12 at bats on the weekend. She was also perfect in left field for the Gators. 

A Career Day for Stake 
Illinois State's Kate Stake had a career day against Loyola last week, moving into the NCAA record books and setting an Illinois State record. The second baseman from Buffalo Grove, Ill., hit a solo home run in each of her first three at bats. Her three home runs ties for No. 2 all-time in the NCAA Softball Records Book for home runs in a game. Stake also tied for second all-time in the NCAA for total bases in a game with 13. She finished the game four-for-four with four runs scored and three RBI. Meanwhile, her seven consecutive hits (from March 15-17) is also tied for No. 4 all-time in the NCAA Softball Records Book. In six games last week, her four hits, four runs, three homers and 13 total bases are also personal bests. Stake hit .647 with 11 hits including four extra-base hits, 21 total bases, six runs and a 1.235 slugging percentage. She is currently riding a six-game hitting streak. 

Super Sophomore 
Tennessee's Monica Abbott struck out 15 South Carolina batters on Tuesday, the sixth-highest strikeout total of her career, and tossed a one-hitter. She followed that up with another one-hit performance versus Mississippi State on Saturday with 11 strikeouts and then earned a relief win with four innings of one-hit ball in the second game of the doubleheader. She completed the week with an impressive four-hit 11-strikeout win over MSU. For the week, Abbott compiled an astounding walks-to-strikeouts ratio by not allowing a single bases on balls and striking out 41 in her 24 innings of work. 

A Great Star for Coe 
Amy Ernst is 9-0 and has helped Coe to a school-record 12-0 start in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. She has pitched 47 innings, allowed just 13 hits and no runs, and struck out 72 batters while walking just seven. Ernst recorded three victories over ranked opponents - #4 Muskingum (2-0), #11 Cortland State (2-1 in relief) and #20 Methodist (8-0). She pitched three or more innings in nine of 10 appearances and allowed more than two hits just twice (3 vs. Baldwin-Wallace in 5 innings and 4 vs. Muskingum in 7 innings).