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This Week In Fastpitch

Washington Wins KIA 
Washington won the annual KIA Klassic hosted by Cal State Fullerton with a 7-6 victory over top-ranked Arizona in the championship game. The Huskies sprinted to a 5-0 lead and held off an Arizona rally. It was Washington's second KIA title. Also, it was the Wildcats' first loss of the season, as Arizona was the lone remaining unbeaten in Division I softball. 

Streaking in the South Atlantic 
Division II does sport an unbeaten, as Kennesaw State is off to a 35-0 start. Not far behind are two of the Owls' Peach Belt Conference and South Atlantic region rivals. North Florida is 36-2 and currently riding a 23-game winning streak. Armstrong Atlantic is 27-2. The Pirates have won 18 consecutive games. 

Bobcats are Prowling … 
Texas State is off to an impressive 26-8 start, including a 12-0 mark in the Southland Conference. A year removed from making a deep run in the regionals (as Southwest Texas State), the Bobcats are poised to compete for Oklahoma City once again, as they have already defeated five Top 25 teams this season. Bobcat pitcher Nicole Neuerburg went 3-0 last week, as Texas State posted a pair of wins over McNeese State and a win over 10th-ranked Louisiana-Lafayette. Neuerburg scattered eight hits over 19 innings and posted a 0.74 ERA last week. 

Hollowell Has It 
Arizona's Alicia Hollowell is once again off to a great start. Last week, she posted a 5-0 record with wins over three ranked opponents. She allowed just two runs and struck out 68 batters in 35 innings of work at the KIA Klassic. She narrowly missed a perfect game against Louisiana-Lafayette and pitched a one-hitter with 18 strikeouts against Oklahoma. 

So does Southern 
Fresno State's Jamie Southern was named the Louisville Slugger/NFCA National Player of the Week after another great pitching performance at the KIA Klassic. Southern registered her 900th strikeout earlier in the week, and moved to 25th on the all-time career strikeout list. She also made her 100th career start and registered her 75th career victory. 

Speaking of Southern … 
The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 has a unique Southern charm to it this season. In addition to featuring all eight Pac 10 schools, ten southern teams are ranked among the nation's best, including five of the top 10. Both the SEC and Pac 10 feature four teams each in the top 12, with the Pac 10 holding down the top three spots. 

Breaking down the Poll 
All eight Pac 10 schools are ranked, loosely followed by the SEC, which features six nationally-ranked squads. The Big XII has three ranked teams while the ACC and Big Ten each have two. The Sun Belt, WAC, Big West and Conference USA each have one ranked team. 

A Big Jump for the "Dawgs" 
Washington and Georgia each jumped three spots in this week's USA Today/NFCA Top 25. Georgia moved from eighth to fifth while the Huskies moved from ninth to sixth after their win over Arizona. Pacific went 1-4 last week and made the biggest drop in the poll, moving down five spots to 18th. 

Another Husky Hustler 
Connecticut's Jessica Gurney had a good week for the East Coast Huskies from Uconn. The junior from Williamstown, Mass., went 4-0 and struckout 30 batters as the Huskies took games from UNC Greensboro and UNC Wilmington and upset ACC foes Georgia Tech and North Carolina State. She threw complete games against all three North Carolina schools and in Uconn's 5-4 upset of 24th-ranked Georgia Tech, went 3 1/3 inning while scattering four hits. Gurney was named the Big East Pitcher of the Week. 

A "Golden" Panther 
Jennifer Owens led Florida International in hitting for the second straight tournament, going 9-for-18 (.500) with four RBIs and a home run. With 241 career hits, Owens is now just two hits away from breaking the school's all-time career hits mark, held by current student assistant coach Stephanie Wolter. Owens has reached base in nine-straight games and had three multiple hit games in the tournament. She had three hits against both Akron and Kent State, and had at least an RBI or a run scored in each tournament game. Owens raised her team-leading batting average to .344 and is now tied for the team-lead in RBIs with 13. 

Down In Charleston… 
College of Charleston outfielder Amanda Cone had a great week for the Cougars, posting 17 hits in 27 at-bats (.630), while belting four doubles and four home runs and 17 RBIs. In CofC's two wins (by a combined score of 63-0) over Savannah State, Cone went 5-for-7 with seven runs scored, three home runs and 11 RBIs. Cone is the College of Charleston career leader since the program went Division I in hits (212), home runs (33), RBI (158), Doubles (48) and runs scored (138). Cone has been named Southern Conference Player of the Week twice so farthis season. She leads the team with a. 474 batting average and is tops on the team with eight home runs and 38 RBI this season. 

Another Milestone for Wright 
Fresno State head coach Margie Wright posted her 1100th NCAA Division I win at home against Long Island on March 16. The NCAA's all-time winningest fastpitch coach has 1,103 career victories, 940 coming as head coach of the Bulldog program.