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This Week in Fastpitch

DATES TO REMEMBER
April 10: Next USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25
April 10: Next USA Today/NFCA Division II Top 25
April 11: Next USA Today/NFCA High School Top 25
April 17: Next USA Today/NFCA Division III Top 25

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

ADDITIONAL NATIONAL TEAM CAMP INVITEES ANNOUNCED: As reported on NFCA Home Plate on the Web, USA Softball announced the addition of 20 invitees to its National Team camp May 30-June 3 at Arco Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. The additional athletes include members of the 1996 and 2000 gold medal-winning U.S. Olympic Teams and members of last year's U.S. National Teams. They join 22 athletes who received invitations after a camp in January. USA Softball plans to invite an additional 10-18 players during the first week of May. Click here for the complete list of invited players.

STANFORD ASSISTANT OVERCOMES TWO BOUTS WITH HODGKIN'S TO EARN CAMP INVITE: Notable among Sunday's list of inivted athletes includes Stanford assistant coach Sara Pickering. What makes her invitation remarkable is she has overcome two battles with Hodgkin's Disease over the last two years. She was first diagnosed in March, 2000, and underwent 12 weeks of chemotherapy and four weeks of radiation treatment. She was rid of the disease, but then suffered a recurrence in December, 2000. She underwent a stem cell transplant and has been free of the disease since. The NFCA extends congratulations and good luck wishes to Sara Pickering and to all of the athletes invited to the camp.

STREAKS CONTINUE, STREAKS END: This season has seen more streaking since we purchased a bottle bargain window cleaner. (Sorry, we already used the Ray Stevens reference a few weeks ago.) Cal State Fullerton now owns the nation's longest winning streak at 24 consecutive wins. Nebraska's school-record 23-game winning streak came to an end Friday in a 1-0 loss to Baylor, which helped propel the Bears into the top 25 (No. 24). Cal State Fullerton is now 11 wins away from matching its school-record of 35 (1987), which is tied for the fifth-highest in NCAA history. The longest winning streak is 47 by Arizona (1997). Speaking of streaks and Arizona, the Wildcats put their 68-game home winning streak on the line this weekend against UCLA and Washington. And Arizona pitcher Jennie Finch extended her NCAA-record winning streak to 59 games.

ARMY'S ROBBINS SIZZLING AT THE PLATE: Army senior outfielder Nikki Robbins earned Patriot League Player of the Year honors in each of the last two years and seems to have picked up this year where she left off. Through 24 games, she is hitting .443 (31-for-70) with 10 doubles, four home runs and 19 runs batted in. She has hit safely in 22 of her first 24 games and currently has an 11-game hitting streak.

CLARK GOES "5-4-3": Washington junior Jaime Clark had a big RBI week last week, finishing with 12 runs batted in. Clark had five RBI in game one against Pacific, then followed with four RBI in game two. She was shut out in game one against top-ranked UCLA, but followed with three RBI in Washington's game two victory.

USC'S MATTHEWS IS "GRAND": South Carolina pitcher Megan Matthews recorded strikeout No. 1000 Tuesday in the fourth inning in a game against Tennessee. Matthews becomes the second Gamecock to reach the 1,000-strikeout mark, joining Trinity Johnson. Matthews is also the second SEC pitcher to record her 1,000th career strikeout this year, joining LSU's Britni Sneed who reached the milestone in March.

DECEPTIVE W-L RECORD FOR TENNESSEE TECH: Tennessee Tech's won-lost record of 17-15 doesn't tell the whole story for the squad. Seven of the Golden Eagles' losses have come against teams that were either ranked or received votes in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25, and four of those losses were in extra innings: 10 innings vs. Fresno State, nine innings vs. San Diego State, nine innings vs. Pacific and eight innings vs. Pacific. In addition, Tennessee Tech owns a victory over No. 24 Baylor. Junior Lee Ann Mongar was named Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week after hitting .800 (8-for-10) last week, while sophomore Lori Bayless shared OVC Pitcher of the Week honors.

ALPHABET SOUP: After releasing its first Division I regional rankings last week, the NCAA released its first Division II regional rankings this week. The rankings are listed alphabetically, rather than in rank order. No truth to the rumor that schools are lining up to change their name to "Aardvark University."

LUCKY 13 FOR LADY LIONS: Missouri Southern State capped its 13-game winning streak in style, posting a 4-3 win over No. 1 Nebraska-Omaha to win the UNO/Red Lion Softball Tournament at Omaha, Neb. The Lady Lions have not lost since a 2-1 defeat against North Dakota State March 3 at the NFCA/Schutt Sports Division II Leadoff Classic in Irving, Texas. Two Missouri Southern State players -- Hailey Stanley and Erin Turner -- have already earned Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II National Player of the Week honors.

BITTERSWEET DAY FOR COBRAS: Coker (S.C.) began last week with the news that it was ranked No. 8 in the USA Today/NFCA Division II Top 25, marking the Cobras' first appearance in the top 10 since a No. 7 ranking in the final poll of 1999. But the same day the Cobras returned to the top 10, they split a doubleheader at Longwood for their first loss in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference play since 2000.

EMORY ON FIRE: Emory University (Ga.) has emerged as one of the hottest teams in the nation as evidenced by its jump from No. 23 to No. 4 in this week's USA Today/NFCA Division III Top 25. Emory is currently 25-2, the best start in school history. The Eagles posted a 5-0 record at last weekend's Bridgewater Tournament and recorded an 8-0 mark at the University Athletic Association Tournament in early March. Freshman Allison Bouknight leads the team with a .485 batting average and eight doubles, while Melissa Roberts is hitting .431 with 27 runs batted in.

WARTBURG LOOKS TO STAY ATOP IOWA MOUNTAIN: Three teams from the state of Iowa are either ranked or received votes in this week*s USA Today/NFCA Division III Top 25. No. 17 Wartburg is the highest-ranked of the three teams and the Knights will be on the road to face the other two teams this week. Today, Wartburg plays a doubleheader at Simpson, which finished as the 30th-highest vote-getter in the poll. Saturday, the Knights travel to No. 23 Coe for a doubleheader.

MORAVIAN SOPH BREAKS 16-YEAR-OLD SCHOOL RECORD: Moravian sophomore Janelle Brey set a school single-season record with her 10th home run of the year, breaking the previous record of nine, set in 1986. Brey's 10th homer was a grand slam against Susquehanna. She finished last week with 12 RBI in her last four contests.

STREAKING CRUSADERS: Point Loma Nazarene, ranked No. 4 in this week's NAIA Top 25 Rating, is 33-4 overall, including a 20-2 mark in its last 22 games. The Crusaders swept a doubleheader at NCAA Division II No. 9 UC San Diego last week and also posted a 5-0 record at the Redlands Tournament in mid-March, outscoring its opponents 69-0.

"BONDS-ESQUE" GAME: St. Louis Community College-Meramec*s Glennis Donnelly had a day to remember on March 28. Donnelly slugged three home runs in a game against East Central. For the season, she is hitting .558 with eight home runs and 25 RBI in 25 games.

FOOTHILL TOPS FIRST HIGH SCHOOL POLL: Foothill (Calif.) is ranked No. 1 in this year*s first USA Today/NFCA High School Top 25. The poll will be published in USA Today and posted on the NFCA web site every Thursday through June 6.

MILESTONES: Lewis head coach George DiMatteo reached the 600-win mark in the Flyers* 3-0 victory over Indianapolis on March 24 ... Missouri head coach Jay Miller recorded win No. 700 on March 31 as the Tigers defeated Kansas 2-1 ... Coe head coach Bob Timmons picked up his 500th career victory on March 29 with an 8-0 win over University of the Ozarks.

 

EXTRA INNINGS

 

Georgia's Nichole Barber extended her streak of consecutive stolen bases to 52, moving her into fifth-place on the NCAA all-time list. She is 41-for-41 in stolen bases in 2002 ... DePaul's Lindsey Chouinard posted a 4-0 record with two shutouts, one of which included a 12-strikeout performance against Charlotte. Chouinard also hit .308 with a home run ... Cal State Fullerton's Jodie Cox had two doubles, a triple and seven RBI in a game against Utah State ... Louisiana-Lafayette senior Jerie Alexander hit .667 (10-for-15) last week, including a four-hit game against Sam Houston State ... Oklahoma's Jennifer Stump hit two home runs and drove in four against Tulsa ... Kelsey Kollen went 5-for-8 with five runs scored in Michigan*s doubleheader sweep over Ohio State ... LSU's Britni Sneed had a 15-strikeout performance and a nine-strikeout performance against Georgia over the weekend ... Penn pitcher Nicole Borgstadt pitched 31.1 innings in five appearances last week, posting a 3-1 record ... UCLA pitcher Keira Goerl tossed back-to-back one-hitters against Fresno State and Washington ... Southeastern Oklahoma State's Annette Ropp tossed a pair of complete game shutouts against Northeastern State, throwing a three-hitter and a four-hitter ... South Dakota State's Mandi Geis hit .722 (13-for-18) in five games last week, including a 4-for-4 performance against Northern State and a pair of four-RBI performances ... UC Davis pitcher Amy Rosson was 2-0 with one save and a 0.00 ERA in three appearances last week ... New Haven sophomore Shannon Reynolds hit a game-winning double against American International and extended her hitting streak to 11 games ... Minnesota-Duluth junior Tamara Anderson belted two home runs and had seven runs batted in against Mary ... Delta State pitcher Nikki Genre went 4-0 in five appearances last week ... Maryville senior Missy Taylor hit .833 (5-for-6) in three games at the rain-shortened Washington University (Mo.) Midwest Regional Tournament and had a three-RBI performance against No. 17 Wartburg. On the mound, she posted a 1-0 record with 9 strikeouts in 12 innings pitched ... Salisbury junior Katie Mullinix hit .833 (10-for-12) with seven runs scored and seven RBI. She also posted a 3-0 record on the mound with three shutouts ... Western Connecticut junior Cherie Bailey, who has hit safely in all 12 games this season, had three three-hit performances in eight games last week ... Sophomore Jena Jefferies became the first player in the history of U.S. Merchant Marine Academy to hit for the cycle, hitting a single, double, triple and home run in a 4-for-4 seven-RBI performance against SUNY Maritime ... Rowan pitcher Julie Undercuffler tossed a pair of complete-game shutouts last week, including a nine-inning three-hitter against Wesley ... Alma sophomore Stephanie Smith hit .636 (7-for-11) with eight RBI in four games last week ... Illinois Wesleyan freshman Colleen Schuster earned all-tournament honors at the Washington University (Mo.) Midwest Regional Tournament, hitting .750 (6-for-8) in three games.