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This Week in Fastpitch

DATES TO REMEMBER
April 24: Next USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25
April 24: Next USA Today/NFCA Division II Top 25
April 25: Next USA Today/NFCA High School Top 25
May 1: Next USA Today/NFCA Division III Top 25
PLAYOFF DATES

NCAA Division I

May 16-19: Regionals (at campus sites)
May 23-27: Women's College World Series (at Oklahoma City, Okla.)
NCAA Division II

May 9-12: Regionals (at campus sites)
May 16-20: Finals (at Salem, Va.)
NCAA Division III

May 10-13: Regionals (at campus sites)
May 16-20: Finals (at Eau Claire, Wis.)
NAIA

May 8-10: Regionals (at campus sites)
May 17-22: Finals (at Decatur, Ala.)
NJCAA Division I

May 16-18: Finals (at Kissimmee, Fla.)
NJCAA Division II

May 16-18: Finals (at Phoenix, Ariz.)
NJCAA Division III

May 16-18: Finals (at Joliet, Ill.)
Cal JC

May 11-13: Finals (at Fresno, Calif.)
NWAACC

May 17-19: Finals (at Portland, Ore.)

For tournament dates and team schedules, check the NFCA Calendar.

WEST COAST STREAK...: With a doubleheader sweep over Loyola Marymount last week, Cal State Fullerton extended Division I's longest winning streak to 31 games. The Titans currently are tied for the 11th-longest winning streak in Division I history and are within four wins of matching its school-record 35-game winning streak (1987), which is tied for the fifth-highest. Cal State Fullerton, ranked No. 7 in this week's USA/NFCA Division I Top 25, puts its streak on the line this weekend in a three-game Big West series at No. 18 Pacific.

...EAST COAST STREAK: On March 19, Massachusetts had a record of 15-10. Almost one month later, the Minutewomen are sitting at 34-10, having reeled off 19 consecutive wins. UMass matched a school record last year with a 24-game winning streak. UMass, which is 12-0 in the Atlantic 10 this year, extended its conference winning streak to 37 games as the Minutewomen try to go unbeaten in conference play for the second consecutive year.

DEPAUL'S BOUCK UP 35 POINTS: In her last four games, DePaul leadoff hitter Liz Bouck has seen her batting average jump 35 points from .373 to .408. Bouck has hit .692 (9-for-13) in her last four games, all multi-hit performances. DePaul, which has won 14 of its last 16 games, is ranked No. 17 in this week's USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25.

SHE GETS KNOCKED DOWN, BUT...: Only four days after taking a line drive to the head, Connecticut junior pitcher Barb Cook pitched a one-hit shutout in UConn's 2-0 victory over Yale in the first game of a doubleheader Wednesday. Cook's injury required a running stitch -- equal to that of 14-15 individual stitches -- above her left eye. Cook was last year's Big East Tournament MVP.

THOUSAND-THOUSAND FOR LAIRD: Alabama senior pitcher reached two "grand" milestones in Sunday's game against Mississippi. When Laird retired the side in the third inning, it marked her 1,000th career inning pitched. And a strikeout in the seventh was career strikeout No. 1,000.

FAIRFIELD PITCHER RACKING UP K'S AND AWARDS: Fairfield junior Mellissa Santos has been named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week or Pitcher of the Week in each of the last three weeks. She set a school record for most strikeouts in a seven-inning game with 18 strikeouts on April 11 in the Stags' victory over Hartford. Santos, who ranks eighth in the nation in strikeouts per seven innings, also set the Fairfield single-game record for most strikeouts in any contest with 19 k's in a 10-inning game against Yale earlier this season.

DIVISION II SEASON-ENDING NO. 1 JINX?: If the last four years are an indication, being ranked No. 1 in the final regular-season Division II poll may not be a good omen. Dating back to 1998 when the NCAA still conducted a national poll for Division II softball, the No. 1 team in the final regular-season poll has failed to reach the national finals and, in fact, finished third in its regional. Kennesaw State was No. 1 in the final regular-season NCAA Division II Top 20 in 1998 and finished third in the South Atlantic Region Tournament; Columbus State was No. 1 in the final regular season USA Today/NFCA Division II Top 25 in 1999 and finished third in the South Atlantic Region Tournament; Humboldt State was No. 1 (and defending national champion) in 2000 and finished third in the West Region; North Dakota State was No. 1 (and defending national champion) in 2001 and finished third in the North Central Region. The final regular-season USA Today/NFCA Division II Top 25 will be announced Wednesday, April 24.

GANNON CANNON: Gannon sophomore pitcher Heather Ford recorded 37 strikeouts in 22 innings pitched last week (11.8 strikeouts per seven innings). She struck out 15 batters in an eight-inning win over Ferris State and had 11-strikeout performances against Slippery Rock and Grand Valley State. She posted a 0.00 earned run average and has now pitched 78.1 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.

MORGIS BREAKS RECORD IN STYLE: Merrimack senior Katie Morgis came into Tuesday's doubleheader against Bentley needing four hits to become the Warriors' all-time career hit leader. Morgis hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning of game two for her 252nd career hit, moving her past Rafaello Paparo (1993-96) into first place on Merrimack's all-time career hit list. The home run was the second of the game and third of the day for Morgis.

PACIFIC LUTHERAN TAKES OVER D-III TOP SPOT: Pacific Lutheran, which had been a perennial NAIA power before moving to NCAA Division III, garnered its first D-III No. 1 ranking in this week's USA Today/NFCA Division III Top 25. At 23-0, Pacific Lutheran is the lone remaining unbeaten team in all NCAA divisions. The Lutes' pitching staff -- Melissa Korb (12-0, 0.13 ERA), Amy Evans (4-0, 0.95) and Jewel Koury (7-0, 1.05) -- has a team earned run average of 0.54, allowing only eight earned runs in 134 innings pitched.

BABSON'S KELLY HAS EXPLOSIVE WEEK: The question isn't what did Babson sophomore Colleen Kelly do last week; the question is what didn't she do. In eight games, Kelly hit .517 (15-for-29) with two home runs, eight runs scored and 19 runs batted in. Perhaps the most astounding hitting statistic is she belted nine doubles in the eight games, including a three-double performance against Regis (Mass.). She hit a grand slam home run in an eight-RBI performance against MIT and also had a pair of four-RBI games. And if that wasn't enough, Kelly was 4-1 with one save on the mound, including a perfect game against Regis.

CENTRAL PERFECTA EXACTA: Central pitchers Corrie Schmidt and Libby Hysell tossed back-to-back perfect games for the Dutch. Schmidt pitched a perfect game Saturday against Cornell (Iowa), then Hysell followed up Tuesday with a perfect game against Dubuque. Hysell's perfect game was her second no-hitter of the year.

WILLIAM PATERSON KEEPING OPPOSITION OFF THE SCOREBOARD: William Paterson, which jumped seven spots to No. 9 in this week's USA Today/NFCA Division III Top 25, has won 13 consecutive games and 15 of its last 16. Of the Pioneers' last 15 victories, 13 have been by shutout. William Paterson's streaks of eight consecutive shutouts and 54 consecutive scoreless innings pitched came to an end in Tuesday's 8-3 game two win over Kean.

MOBILE, SPRING HILL SPLIT NAIA 'BAMA TOP 10 BATTLE: Neither team could claim hometown bragging rights as No. 6 Mobile and No. 9 Spring Hill split a doubleheader Saturday at Spring Hill's home field. Spring Hill took the first game 4-0 but Mobile answered with a 7-2 victory in the nightcap. Mobile held at No. 6 while Spring Hill moved up one spot from last week*s No. 10 ranking in the NAIA Top 25 Rating. Both schools are located in Mobile, Ala.

MILESTONES: Portland State head coach recorded win No. 600 Thursday in the Vikings' 4-0 win over Louisiana Tech in game one of a doubleheader.

 

********EXTRA INNINGS********

 

UCLA senior Stacey Nuveman hit her 83rd career home run last week, moving her within two home runs of tying the NCAA career record ... Louisiana-Lafayette senior Alana Addison drove in five runs with two homers in the Lady Cajuns' win over Middle Tennessee State ... Central Michigan pitcher Amber Puchalski recorded 18 strikeouts in a nine-inning three-hit victory over Toledo ... Florida Atlantic pitcher Nikki Myers struck out 15 batters as she pitched her 10th career no-hitter Sunday against Belmont. She also went 3-for-4 with a double, home run and two RBI in the game ... Florida State's Brandi Stuart hit .714 (5-for-7) with seven runs scored in four games last week ... Kansas pitcher/outfielder Serena Settlemeier went 3-0 on the mound and had a pinch-hit game-winning RBI in a 1-0 victory over Texas Tech ... Melinda Moulden's grand slam home run was part of a 3-for-3, six-RBI performance in Michigan's victory over Central Michigan ... DePaul's Lindsay Chouinard tossed her second no-hitter of the season in Saturday's victory over Louisville ... Villanova sophomore Ricci Lugo hit her ninth and 10th home runs of the season Thursday against Penn, tying a school single-season record ... Southern Indiana pitcher recorded shutouts in back-to-back contests against St. Joseph's (Ind.) Sunday to extend her streak to six consecutive shutouts ... First baseman Angela Baird drove in 17 runs in 10 games to lead C.W. Post to a 9-1 record last week ... Daisy Flores' bases-loaded walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth lifted Cal State Dominguez Hills to a 1-0 victory over No. 4 UC Davis ... California (Pa.) pitcher/designated player Daysha Grimes posted a 2-0 record on the mound and hit .444 (8-for-18) with two home runs and eight RBI last week ... New Haven freshman Desiree Hollingsworth had a pair of 3-for-3 performances as she hit .700 (7-for-10) for the week ... Tanya Medina's walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh gave St. Mary's (Texas) a 3-0 victory over Incarnate Word ... Carson-Newman pitcher Marci Mitchell posted a 0.32 earned run average last week as she improved her record to 21-2 ... Hamline freshman Joan Sheedy hit .500 (8-for-16) in seven games last week, including a tie-breaking three-run homer in the top of the seventh in Hamline's 8-5 victory over then Division III No. 8 St. Mary's (Minn.). Hamline, which was 11-23 last year, entered this week with a 15-3 record ... Speaking of St. Mary's, designated player Jackie Huegel went 6-for-7 in the doubleheader against Hamline, including two triples in game one ... Kristen Wallace of Methodist extended her hitting streak to 24 games before going hitless Sunday in a game against Christopher Newport ... Four of Jen Constantino's 10 hits last week were home runs to help lead St. John Fisher to a 9-1 record ... College of New Jersey freshman Kristen Zimmerman hit .688 (11-for-16) during a six-game stretch last week ... Maryville sophomore Missy Taylor went 3-1 with a save and two shutouts, as well as hit .368 (7-for-19) with three two-hit performances ... U.S. Merchant Marine sophomore Jena Jeffries hit safely in all eight games last week for a .461 batting average (12-for-26) ... Western Connecticut State sophomore Sarah Zaslaw struck out 18 batters in a 14-inning complete-game victory over Keene State ... Illinois Wesleyan pitcher Kelly Murray posted a 4-0 record with one shutout and a 0.75 ERA ... Wartburg sophomore Heather Winter hit .615 (8-for-13) in four games last week.