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NCAA Division II Championship - Day One

PRE-TOURNAMENT NOTES

NO. 1 JINX: This year marks the fourth consecutive year that the team ranked No. 1 in the final regular season NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll has failed to reach the national finals. Top-ranked and defending national champion was eliminated in the North Central Region tournament. Last year, No. 1 Humboldt State (Calif.) was eliminated in the West Region. No. 1 Columbus State (Ga.) was knocked out in the 1999 South Atlantic Region tournament, and top-ranked Kennesaw State (Ga.) came up short in the 1998 South Atlantic Region tournament.

 

NO. 1 SEEDS GO .500: Four of the eight No. 1 seeds won their respective regions as top-seeded Alabama-Huntsville (South Region), Bloomsburg (Mid-Atlantic), Kennesaw State (South Atlantic) and Lewis (Great Lakes) all advanced to nationals. Three No. 2 seeds -- Dowling (Northeast), Humboldt State (West) and Nebraska-Omaha (North Central) advanced, as did No. 3 seed Eastern New Mexico (South Central). Since the tournament expanded to 32 teams in 1998 (eight four-team regions), no more than four No. 1 seeds have advanced to nationals in any one year.

TWO YEARS, TWO APPEARANCES, TWO SCHOOLS: Kennesaw State catcher Blake Baskin is making her second consecutive appearance at the national finals, but she's in a different uniform this year. Baskin transferred to Kennesaw State from West Florida, which reached the national finals last year.

NUCLEAR ARM: To say Humboldt State senior pitcher Jessame Kendall has carried the pitching load for the Lumberjacks might be a bit of an understatement. Kendall has been the pitcher of record in each of Humboldt State's last 21 games, dating back to April 10. She has a 16-5 record during that time and an overall record of 36-10. For the season, she has pitched 327 innings.

HUSKY "ONE-THREE" PUNCH: Bloomsburg (Pa.) seniors Vanessa Sterner and Erica Miller have 15 home runs apiece and have combined for 90 runs batted in. Sterner is the Huskies' lead off batter and Miller bats in the No. 3 spot. In the Mid-Atlantic Region championship game against Indiana (Pa.), Sterner drove the first pitch of the game out of the park for a home run.