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This Week In Fastpitch

MOHAVE HIGH SCHOOL TOURNEY: Forty high school softball teams representing five states are set to compete in this year's Mohave High School and Ramada Express Tournament of Champions March 16-18 in Bullhead City, Arizona. Four defending state champions and ten defending league or conference champions will be in the field, along with nine schools that were ranked at some point during the 1999 season in the USA Today/NFCA High School Top 25. Three of the top four high school teams in Cal Hi Sports Preseason State Softball Top 20 will be in the field--No. 2 Foothill (Tustin), No. 3 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) and No. 4 Fairfield. Seventh-ranked Fountain Valley and No. 8 Clovis will also compete. In addition, the No. 1 teams in the Arizona 5A (Tucson Flowing Wells) and 4A (Tucson Sahuaro) rankings will be on hand. as will state champions from Utah (Alta) and Nevada (Galena). New Mexico will be represented by two state tournament qualifiers, Farmington (third in state AAAA tourney) and Rio Rancho (fifth). and, for the first time, a team from Texas (Brenham) will be in the field. Anyone desiring further tournament information should call Dave Kops at 520/758-3916.

ST. CLOUD STATE'S HOEHN HITS 1,000 K'S: St. Cloud State University (NCAA Division II) senior pitcher Karissa Hoehn is the first pitcher in SCSU history and only the fourth in Division II history to chalk up 1,000 career strikeouts. Hoehn hit her milestone in the win over CW Post on March 13, when she struck out 12.

FSU WINS HALLOWELL: Fresno State won its own Hallowell Chevrolet Classic championship with an overall 6-0 record including a 1-0 win over UCLA in the championship game. The Bruins finished second with a 4-2 tournament record. For UCLA, the loss to Fresno was its first shutout this season and the first since May 15, 1999 (1-0 vs. Washington). Fresno's Amanda Scott (pitcher/outfield) was selected tournament MVP.

HOWEVER...Arizona put a damper on Fresno's week by sweeping the Bulldogs, 2-0 and 3-1 on March 14 in Fresno. FSU's Scott was brilliant in defeat in game one, matching her career high in strikeouts with 14. Arizona, ranked No. 2 in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25, has now won 28 straight games.

SUN DEVILS TAKE NIST: Arizona State beat Nebraska 6-2 to clinch the championship of the National Invitational Softball Tournament in San Jose, California. ASU qualified for the championship game with a come-from-behind 6-5 semifinal win over Long Beach State while Nebraska advanced with a 4-1 win over California in the semis. Kirsten Voak (Arizona State), Leigh Ann Walker (Nebraska), Kristi Fox (Long Beach) and Lisa Iancin (California) were named to the All-Tournament team.

USM SWEEPS OU/WORTH INVITE: Southern Mississippi swept the OU/Worth Invitational with a 5-0 record, beating nationally-ranked squads from LSU (2-1) and Oklahoma (5-4, 10 innings). LSU and Oklahoma were each 3-2, while Colorado State was 2-3 (including a 4-2 win over LSU) and Texas-San Antonio and Wichita State were each 1-4. USM swept Conference USA Player of the Week honors. Erin Johnson of the Golden Eagles was named Hitter of the Week while Courtney Blades earned C-USA Pitcher of the Week honors.

GAMECOCKS WIN SPEEDLINE: South Carolina advanced its record to 18-9 by winning the championship of the Speedline Classic in Tampa, Florida. The Gamecocks beat Florida, 9-2, in the title game after edging Mississippi State 2-1 in the semifinals. Florida beat Virginia Tech 7-0 in the other semifinal. South Carolina's Megan Matthews was named Most Valuable Pitcher while Joyce McMillan of USC was selected tournament Most Valuable Player.

LADY CAJUNS WIN JANETTE SPELL MEMORIAL: Louisiana-Lafayette won the first-ever Janette Spell Memorial Tournament with a 4-0 tourney record. UNLV was 2-2 and Eastern Illinois was 0-4. Louisiana-Lafayette's Tiffany Clark led the Lady Cajuns by reaching base in 12 of her 16 plate appearances. she batted .636 and slugged 1.364 while being walked five times. Clark is now batting .444 with six home runs and 28 RBI.

EVANSVILLE TAKES UK INVITE: Evansville won the 2000 Kentucky Invitational with a 3-1 tournament record. Evansville's Maggie Ross was named tournament defensive MVP while Kristy Crain of Evansville earned offensive MVP honors.

EAST CAROLINA JUST KEEPS WINNING:East Carolina, perhaps the best-kept secret in Division I, advanced its record to 19-2 by winning the championship of the Tennessee Lady Vol Spring Invitational. ECU beat Tennessee 3-2 to clinch the title after losing an earlier tourney game to the Lady Vols 7-0.

SO DO THE IRISH: Another Division I team to watch is Notre Dame, which posted its tenth consecutive win, 4-0 over Loyola Marymount on March 14. The Irish, who have shut out six of their last seven opponents, are off to a 14-4 start, the best in the program's history.

SIU WINS MIZZOU ROUND ROBIN TITLE: Southern Illinois took the championship of the University of Missouri Round Robin with a 5-1 tournament mark, one game ahead of Missouri's 4-2.

WATCH FOR MARYVILLE IN DIVISION III: Maryville College (St. Louis, Missouri) was 7-3 at the Rebel Spring games, led by shortstop Olivia Reichert and pitcher/utility player Missy Taylor. Among Maryville's wins: a 7-3 victory over Ithaca (New York), No. 9 in the NFCA Division III preseason poll.

SIMPSON OPENS WITH WINS: Division III defending champion Simpson College opened its season with wins over Coast Guard (9-1) and Anderson (6-0) at the Rebel Spring Games. The Storm, ranked No. 1 in the Division III preseason Top 25, has now won 91 of its last 100 games since the start of the 1996 season.

MILESTONES: Central Michigan's Margo Jonker posted her 700th career victory on March 10 at the National Invitational in San Jose. 1-0 over Baylor. The win advanced Jonker's overall record to 700-384-5 in her 21st season at CMU. Under Jonker's guidance, CMU has won eight Mid-American Conference titles, made nine NCAA regional appearances and one Women's College World Series appearance.Coming into the 2000 season, Jonker was ninth among active Division I head coaches in wins. Missouri Southern's Pat Lipira racked up career win No. 600, a 6-0 decision over Northeastern State (Oklahoma) on March 1. Lipira is in her 19th and final season at Southern. Her teams have won four Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association championships and two Central Region championships. She was named National Coach of the Year in 1992, the year the Lady Lions won the NCAA Division II National Championship. She entered the 2000 season ranked No. five among active NCAA Division II coaches in wins. Ursinus College (Pennsylvania) Head Coach Don Groff garnered his 200th career victory as the Bears defeated nationally-ranked Mount Union, 2-1, on March 4 at the Rebel Spring Games in Orlando, Florida. Groff, in his tenth season at Ursinus, is 205-140 overall. His teams have averaged 22 wins per season and have never won fewer than 16 games in a single year. Ursinus has won three Centennial Conference Championships and two ECAC South titles during his tenure.

Upcoming Tournaments:

KIA Classic March 15-19 Fullerton, California Host: Cal State Fullerton Capital Classic March 16-19 Sacramento, California Host: Cal State Sacramento Missouri Invitational March 17-19 Columbia, Missouri Host: University of Missouri  Clearwater Parks and Rec Tournament March 16-19 Clearwater, Florida Host: Clearwater Parks and Recreation  Oklahoma State Mini-Classic March 17-18 Stillwater, Oklahoma Host: Oklahoma State University CANCELLED, RAIN  Trusler Tournament I March 17-18 Emporia, Kansas Host: Emporia State University  Lady Seminole Invitational March 17-19 Tallahassee, Florida Host: Florida State University  William Woods Tournament March 18-19 Columbia, Missouri Host: William Woods University  Aces Spring Softball Classic March 18-19, 2000 Evansville, Indiana Host: University of Evansville  Tallahassee Democrat Tournament March 17-19 Tallahassee, Florida Host: Tallahassee Community College  Tabb Kickoff Tournament March 17-18 Yorktown, Virginia Host: Tabb High School  Indy Classic March 17-18 Indianapolis, Indiana Host: Indiana Collegiate Softball Association