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This Week In Fastpitch

STRIKEOUT MILESTONE: Samford University pitcher Brianne Mertens picked up her 500th career strikeout on April 1 against Stetson. The Tucson, Arizona, junior, whiffed eight in game one and 11 in game two to bring her school-record career total to 512. This year, Mertens has 156 K's in 144 innings.

HIT MILESTONE: Boston University junior designated player Robyn King rapped out her 100th career hit, a fifth-inning single against Vermont in a 3-0 Terriers win on April 2. King is the 12th BU player to achieve that milestone. King led off the second inning with her fifth home run of the season and her fourth game-winning hit in the last five games.

UTES WIN NO. 725: Utah posted the softball program's 725th win on April 2, 14-3 over UNLV. The win was the sixth in a row for the Utes, who were 23-15 going into this week's action.

BREAKING NEW GROUND: Delaware is off to its best start in school history (20-5) and is 8-0 in conference play for the first time ever. The Blue Hens have won their last eleven in a row, the most recent of which was a 2-1 win over Drexel that was pitcher Susan Dugan's 11th straight win.

OKLAHOMA IS OK FOR RECORDS: Both and Oklahoma State established school records on the same day last week. Oklahoma broke the school single season home run record in an 8-2 win over Iowa State on April 2. The Sooners now have 45 round-trippers in 45 games, breaking the previous school mark of 43 set three years ago. Oklahoma State's 21 runs in a 21-11 win over Baylor the same day was a Cowgirl single-game record. OSU's Lezli Leathers' two home runs helped her team tie the school single game home run record of four.

STREAK STOPPED: Texas Woman's University snapped Southeastern State's (Oklahoma) 49-consecutive scorless innings streak on April 4. Cathy Jacobson's sixth-inninig triple drove in pinch-runner Julie Murphy. Southeastern held on to win the game, 2-1.

COLD HOUSEWARMING: The Iowa Hawkeyes spoiled Minnesota's debut in its new Minnesota Softball Statdium on March 31, sweeping the Gophers 6-3 and 3-2. Minnesota's Jordanne Nygren provided one bright moment for the home fans, hitting her Big 10-leading 10th home run of the year. The losses snapped a 12-game Gopher winning streak and extended Iowa's win string to nine.

THE LONGEST DAY: Bradley's 4-2, 18-inning win over Southern Illinois, the second game of a doubleheader, was the longest game (by innings) in the history of both teams and the longest in Missouri Valley Conference history. Bradley freshman pitcher Cristin Evans pitched all 18 innings, walking one and striking out 13 while throwing 224 pitches. Her SIU counterpart, Carissa Winters, pitched a complete game in the first game and came on to pitch the final eleven innings of the second contest.

WOOD WON'T ALLOW MANY HITS OR RUNS: Cal State Bakersfield junior pitcher Melanie Wood's 9-0 five-inning win over UC Riverside on April 1 marked the 13th time in 17 complete-game starts this year that Wood has given up four or fewer hits. Wood hasn't given up a run in her last 28.2 innings and has held CCAA opponents scoreless for her last 30 innings.

MILESTONES: Notre Dame Head Coach Liz Miller picked up her 300th win at that school with a 3-0 win over Connecticut in the second game of a Big East Conference doubleheader on March 31. Overall, Miller is 841-286 in her 25th season of coaching, 300-144 in her tenth season at Notre Dame. Michigan posted its 300th Big Ten victory on April 1, 3-2 over Purdue. The Wolverines are now 300-132 in their 18th season of Big Ten competition. Coach Carol Hutchins, in her 16th year at the school, has coached the Maize and Blue to 249 of those wins. Brad Pickler of Cypress College (California) posted his 600th win at that school, beating Golden West College 11-0 in Huntington Beach, CA. Pickler, who has led his teams to the last three California State Junior College championships and four state titles overall, is 600-170 in his 14th season at Cypress.

PARTY POOPER: Notre Dame's Liz Miller might have had her 300th Fighting Irish victory about two hours earlier had it not been for Connecticut pitcher Barb Cook. Cook, who has twice been named Big East Conference Pitcher of the Week this year, handed the Irish their first conference loss in two years, 5-4, in the opening game of that March 31 twin bill.

THIS WEEK'S TOURNAMENTS:

Augustana Tournament April 9-10*Sioux Falls, SD Host: Augustana College *Postponed from April 7-8.  OCU Classic April 7-8 Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Host: Oklahoma City University  April Shootout April 7-8 Alexander City, AL Host: Central Alabama CC  UW-Stout Tournament April 8-9 Stout, Wisconsin Host: University of Wisconsin-Stout  Titan Invitational April 8-9 Oshkosh, Wisconsin Host: University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh