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This Week In Fastpitch
GETTIN' DOWN TO BUSINESS:: With seven of its eight teams ranked in the latest USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 (and the eighth team receiving votes), the Pac-10 opens conference play this weekend. Here's the schedule, with the team's Top 25 ranking in parentheses (all times Pacific):
Friday, March 30
MEANWHILE, IN THE BIG 12: The two teams picked one-two in the Big 12 preseason poll meet in a 5 p.m. (Central time) doubleheader on Friday, March 30 in Lincoln, Nebraska. The Huskers are ranked No. 17 in the lastest Division I Top 25 while the defending Women's College World Series champion Sooners are in the No. 6 spot. Both teams are 2-0 in Big 12 play, with Nebraska sweeping a pair of games at Missouri last week while Oklahoma opened with a two-game sweep of Texas A&M.
DON'T FORGET THE MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE: Two MWC teams receiving votes for this week's Top 25, Utah and New Mexico, will clash in a doubleheader in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Friday at 1 p.m. (Mountain time).
HEAR THE IRISH: Fans of the No. 11 University of Notre Dame softball team will have the opportunity to catch a number of upcoming Irish home games live via the internet. WVFI, the student-run Notre Dame radio network, is scheduled to broadcast 10 baseball and softball eventsthis spring live on its website. Members of the WVFI sports staff will handle play-by-play and commentary. A link to the broadcast will be available at Notre Dame's official athletic website. The softball broadcast schedule:
MILESTONE IN SIGHT FOR SWT'S GADDIS: Southwest Texas State's Haley Gaddis needs just 16 more at-bats to take over the school career leadership in that category. Gaddis has 613 at-bats entering this week's play.
COACHING MILESTONES: University of Massachusetts head softball coach Elaine Sortino earned wins No. 700 and 701 as the Minutewomen swept a doubleheader with Atlantic-10 foe La Salle Monday. UMass won the first game, 14-6, and the second, 9-0 in six innings. West Valley College (California) head coach Les Hearn picked up his 800th career win on March 25 as West Valley defeated College of San Mateo 7-1 in the semifinals of the "Bash at Buchanan" at Fresno City College.
OUTSTANDING DIVISION I PLAYER PERFORMANCES
Tiffany Whipple, Fresno State University
In Western Athletic Conference play, Whipple was one of two Bulldogs tohave at least one hit in each game of the doubleheader against LoyolaMarymount. Whipple went 4-for-6 with two runs and a sacrifice against theLions as the No. 2 batter. Against No. 22 Pacific, Whipple also had at leastone hit in each game of the doubleheader after going 3-for-7 with a stolenbase. Against Dartmouth, Whipple went 2-for-5 with four runs, three RBI, adouble, a walk, sacrifice fly and 2-2 in stolen bases. In the past eightgames, Whipple scored two or more runs three times and had three multiplehit performances.
Missy Martin, Louisiana-Lafayette
Martin went 6-for-11 with two home runs and 10 RBI to lead the LadyCajuns to Janette Spell Memorial Tournament championship. She hit her first career grand slam against Nicholls State Sunday and had five RBI in thatgame. She also hit a home run in the following game with Samford to finishSunday games with eight RBI. For the weekend, she had a 1.182 sluggingpercentage.
Jessica Mendoza, Stanford
Mendoza went 5-for-8 (.625) in two shutout wins over Portland State. Shehad a triple and her team leading 11th home run of the year to extend herhitting streak to 12 games. Mendoza also scored five runs, had three RBI andpicked up her 18th stolen base of the year. She is now two home runs shortof tying her career best of 13, which she had as a sophomore. Mendoza also continues to lead the Cardinal in hitting with a .474 batting average, a.916 slugging percentage, 45 hits and 39 runs scored.
Kelly Grundy, Southern Utah University
Grundy had an amazing day in a doubleheader against Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis (IU-PU-I), going 4-for-8 (.500) with onegrand slam home run, two triples, one double, three runs scored and sevenRBI. All seven RBI came in the second game, an 11-1 SUU win. Grundy knockedhome three runs with a double in the third inning and followed with a grandslam home run in the fourth inning.
Yasmin Mossadeghi, Cal State Fullerton
Mossadeghi helped the Titans open the 2001 Big West Conference seasonwith a series sweep of Sacramento State. She hit .600 (6-for-10) with tworuns, two doubles, and one RBI. She slugged .800 for the series and amassedan on-base percentage of .636 against the Hornets. In her last 11 games,Mossadeghi is hitting .424 with a home run, three doubles, and seven RBI. Inthe 18 games that she has batted in the cleanup spot, Mossadeghi has postedan average of .453 (24-for-53) with 14 runs scored, seven home runs, and 19RBI while slugging .906.
Sara Vassmer, Missouri
Vassmer, Mizzou's leadoff batter, reached base in more than half of herat bats. She had a perfect fielding percentage and recorded four putouts inright field, as well as batting .417 (5-for-12).
Jocelyn Forest, California
Forest went a combined 3-0 on the weekend in helping to lead Cal to a 7-0record and a Georgia Tech Buzz Classic Title. Forest defeated No. 21Wisconsin, 4-0, in which she struckout 12 batters while allowing no walks.Sunday, Forest earned two wins for the Bears, defeating North Carolina, 8-0and Harvard, 8-0, with seven and 11 strikeouts, respectively. AgainstHarvard in the championship game, Forest pitched her first career perfectgame, striking out the first seven batters and 10 of the first 12 batters,on her way to her 22nd win with only one loss. For her efforts, she wasnamed the Pac-10 PItcher of the Week.
OUTSTANDING NCAA DIVISION II PLAYER PERFORMANCES
Kristi Bredbenner, Truman State (MO)
Kristi Bredbenner went 13-for-23 (.565) for the week with three doublesand three home runs, along with eight RBI, and did not strike out during thesix-game span. She also ended the week on a six-game hitting streak. Shebegan the week with a 3-for-5 performance at SIU-Edwardsville, whichincluded a pair of doubles. In game two of the doubleheader with SIUE,Bredbenner smacked her first home run of the year, driving in two runs. Shewould end the week with 29 career home runs, adding four to her schoolrecord. Her three doubles for the week put her just three away from theschool record of 50 for a career. Truman State went 6-0 for the week and is16-0-1 for the season.
Tiffany Davis, South Dakota
Tiffany Davis led South Dakota to five wins in six games by hitting .538,including five home runs and 15 RBI in six games. Davis also scored nineruns, had one stolen base and drew 10 walks, including six intentionalwalks. During the week, South Dakota split a doubleheader with Morningside,losing 17-6 and winning 5-4. South Dakota won its own DakotaDome Classic,defeating North Dakota 6-5, Minnesota State-Moorhead 6-3, Minnesota State- Mankato 9-5 and Southwest State. Against Morningside, Davis hit two homeruns in her first two at-bats, then was intentionally walked six times byMorningside the remainder of the doubleheader. For the season (24 games),Davis is hitting .406 with 10 home runs, 23 runs scored and 27 RBI.
Sarah Kane, Gannon (PA)
In five games at the Shippensburg Tournament, Kane batted .583 (7-for-12)with five RBI, two doubles, 47 putouts, one assist and one error. In a 6-1win over Westminster (PA), Kane was 3-for-3 with two doubles and four RBI.Gannon was 4-1 at the Shippensburg Tournament, defeating Edinboro (4-0),Westminster (6-1), Shippensburg (1-0) and Shepherd (10-3) and losing toShippensburg (5-3).
Kathleen Lawlor, New Haven (CT)
For the week, Lawlor was 3-0 with one save and an 0.31 ERA. Her winscame agianst New York Tech, Pace and Bentley and the save was againstBentley. In 22.2 innings, Lawlor gave up only one earned run while walkingone and striking out 16.
Vanessa Sterner, Bloomsburg (PA)
Sterner hit .583 with two home runs and five RBI in four wins last weekfor the No. 1 Huskies. She also scored seven runs, had two doubles and onetriple for 17 total bases for a slugging percentage of 1.410. She has alsohit safely in all 17 games played this season. Bloomsburg is 16-1 and haswon 15 straight.
OUTSTANDING NCAA DIVISION III PLAYER PERFORMANCES
Jill Hocking, St. Mary's University (MN)
Hocking collected three hits in nine at bats during the Cardinals twogames last week, while also pitching an 11-inning complete game four-hitter.SMU defeated William Penn (Iowa) 4-3 in eight innings, before losing aheartbreaking 2-1, 11-inning affair to Central College (Iowa). In the winover William Penn, Hocking went 2-for-4 and drove in two of SMU's three runswith a fifth-inning double. In the loss to Central, Hocking laced one ofSMU's two hits, while also going the distance on the mound. She did notallow an earned run in 11 innings of work, while walking one and striking out nine. SMU,r anked No. 1 in the NFCA Division III Preseason Top 25,improved to 6-2 overall and returns to action Saturday, at crosstown rivalWinona State.
Andrea Runde, Edgewood (WI)
In Edgewood's spring trip to Fort Myers, Florida, (Gene Cusic Classic),she hit .423 (11pfor-26) with six RBI and no errors. For the week, Rundescored four runs, had one double, one triple, two walks, six RBI and noerrors in 25 fielding chances (5 PO, 20 Ast).
Shannon Pedersen, North Central (IL)
Pedersen improved to 5-0 for the season after posting a 4-0 mark andearning her second save of the season this past week. She threw threeconsecutive complete game shutouts and has four straight dating back to lastweek. She threw a one-hit shutout in a 9-0 win over Albright College. Shepitched a two hitter in a 9-0 win over Oneonta State (SUNY). Pedersen alsopitched a three-hit shutout against nationally ranked Wisconsin-StevensPoint. In the three shutouts, she stuck out a combined six batters and didnot walk anyone. She earned win number five on the season in a 8-5 win overMassachusetts College in which she struck out 11. She also picked up herfirst collegiate RBI with a run-scoring single against Albright. NorthCentral is 14-2 and has won 12 consecutive games.
Shanna Fairchild, Western Connecticut State
Fairchild led Western to a 9-1 record at the Rebel Spring Games inOrlando, Florida. She batted .454 (15 for 33) with three home runs andseven RBI.
Nadine Sirianni, Buffalo State (NY)
Sirianni helped lead the Bengals to a 5-5 start, as the team opened theseason with 10 games in five days at the Gene Cusic Classic. The team'svictories were over Augsburg, Lasell, Plymouth St., Southern Maine andAmherst. Sirianni went 15-for-34 (.441) in her first week of collegiatesoftball. Seven of her 15 hits were doubles as she posted a lofty .647slugging percentage. She also recorded five RBI and two stolen bases.
Breezy Hughes, Hendrix College (AR)
In seven games last week (vs. Trinity TX, Northwood (2), Rhodes (4),Hughes batted .250 (5-for-20) with four runs, three walks and 10 of 10stolen bases. For ths season, Hughes has stolen 30 bases. Hendrix is in itsfirst year of intercollegiate softball competition.