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This Week In Fastpitch

 CENTRAL FLORIDA NAMES COACH: The University of Central Florida announced that former Texas Tech coach Renee Gillispie has been singled out by the search committee as the recommended candidate for the coaching position. Her hiring will become official after the search is reviewed by University officials and a contract is issued. Gillispie has spent the past nine years building the programs of three different schools. UCF is hoping to revive its own program, which started in 1975, but was disbanded after the 1980 season. Gillispie will have the remainder of 2000 and 2001 to organize the program, which will begin play in the spring of 2002 at a soon-to-be-built on-campus softball complex.

EAST TENNESSEE NAMES DEFEO: East Tennessee State University has named Stephanie DeFeo as its first head softball coach. ETSU will begin play in the spring of 2001. DeFeo, a 1997 graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana, comes to East Tennessee from the University at Buffalo, where she was an assistant coach. She was a three-time All-American and four-time All-Region selection at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette and has played for three years in the Women's Pro Softball League, where she was a member of the 1997 WPSL champion Virginia Wahoos. She was a three-time GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American.

BIG 12 ON THE TUBE:The softball game between the University of Texas and Texas A&M on Wednesday, April 26 will be televised live on the College Sports Southwest Network (CSSW) in conjunction with the Big 12 Conference. The single game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. first pitch at Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin. In the Austin viewing area, the game will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable Channel 62. The game will be shown in the Bryan/College Station viewing area on Cox Cable Channel 15. The College Sports Southwest Network reaches over 675,000 homes.

KIND ISN'T KIND TO OPPOSING BATTERS: University of Wisconsin-Green Bay pitcher Debbie Kind hasn't allowed a run in her last five appearances (38.2 innings), including 14 shutout innings against Loyola (IL) on April 15. Kind leads NCAA Division I pitchers in ERA (0.31).

WASHINGTON'S CLARK GOES YARD AND ALMOST LAKE: Jaime Clark of No. 1 ranked Washington hit her 16th home run of the year in her first-ever plate appearance at Husky Softball Stadium. UW officials report that the home run was a towering shot that could have landed in Lake Washington beyond the left field fence had there not been trees in the way. The Huskies played in front of 2,013 fans on Saturday, their third-largest crowd ever.

THROW OUT THE RECORD BOOK: Oregon State's Tarrah Beyster hit two home runs and had four RBI to break or tie two OSU records in the Beavers' 5-1 win over Portland State on April 19. Beyster's second home run of the game was her 13th of the year, breaking her own single-season home run record. (She had 12 in 1997, 1998 and 1999). Additionally, Beyster's four RBI lifted her season total to 39, which ties the school single-season RBI record held by Jenni Jodoin (set in 1999).

BOILERS SNAP HAWKEYE STREAK: The Purdue Boilermakers ended the 13th-ranked Iowa softball team's 18-game winning streak on April 16 with a 1-0 win over the Hawks. Iowa's winning streak of 18 games was its second largest streak in history. The lone run of the game came in the top of the first when Purdue loaded the bases on two walks and an intentional walk. With two outs, Andrea Roush scored on a wild pitch for the only run of the game.

LADY VOLS PILE UP THE RECORDS: Tennessee won its 200th game on April 20, sweeping Radford University 10-1 and 13-5. In the second game, the Lady Vols hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the third inning.

BUCKEYE BLASTS: Four days earlier, Ohio State hit three homers in the fourth inning (not back-to-back-to-back) of an 8-4 win over Michigan State. One of the homers was a grand slam by Stacy Roth.

COWGIRLS BREAK IN NEW PARK: Oklahoma State's 4-2 win over Nebraska on April 15 was the first game ever played in OSU's new softball facility.

SAMFORD'S MERTENS RACKS UP THE K'S: Brianne Mertens of Samford struck out 11 batters in a 2-0, nine-inning win over Campbell on April 15, breaking the school single-season record. Mertens, who brought her season "K" total to 211, broke the previous record of 201 she set last year.

MOUNT OLIVE TAKES RAIN-SHORTENED CVAC: Mount Olive won its first Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference softball title as the Trojans defeated Longwood 4-0 in the championship game Sunday at Florence, South Carolina. First round games were completed Friday morning before rain wiped out play Friday afternoon and all day Saturday to force the tournament into a single elimination format. Mount Olive's 4-3 semifinal win over Coker ended Coker's bid for an eighth consecutive conference title. Mount Olive pitcher Michelle Matthews was named CVAC Player of the Year and CVAC Tournament MVP. Mount Olive's Bethany Piazza and Barton's Rachel White tied for CVAC Freshman of the Year. Pfeiffer*s Angie Morton was named CVAC Coach of the Year.

CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD TAKES MT. DEW CLASSIC: Cal State Bakersfield beat the two top contenders on April 16 to win its third Mt. Dew Softball Classic Championship in Bakersfield. The 'Runners, ranked No. 2 in the latest NCAA Division II West Region rankings, defeated No. 3 Hawaii Pacific 3-0 in the semifinals and No. 5 Cal State Stanislaus 4-1 in the title game. Junior pitcher Melanie Wood was the story vs. Hawaii Pacific. She four-hit the Seasiders for her second win over HPU in the tournament and the 67th of her career, breaking the CSUB record held by two-time All-American Kristine Karr.

BISON GET BETTER AND BETTER: North Dakota State's 2-0 and 4-0 sweep over Minnesota State-Mankato on April 20 extended the Bison winning streak to a school-record 18 games. NDSU pitcher Julie Fromm picked up her fifth consecutive shutout and has not allowed an earned run in her last 43.1 innings. Jess Christensen's third-inning triple was the team's 20th three-bagger of the season, setting a new school single-season record. Finally, Nikki Flynn-Gregg keeps adding to her Division II career stolen base record. Four stolen bases in a doubleheader against South Dakota State on April 18 boosted Flynn-Gregg's career SB total to 219.

PITTSBURG'S DAVIDSON RACKS UP K'S AND GOOSE-EGGS: Pittsburg State University (KS) pitcher Brooke Davidson hasn't allowed an earned run in her last 43 innings. During that stretch, Davidson is 6-0 with a save. She has four double-figure strikeout games this year, including two last week.

CAN ANYBODY TOP THIS? Wisconsin-Eau Claire's 11-0 win over Wisocnsin-Superior on April 18 is truly amazing considering that all 11 Blugold runs came in the eighth inning after Wisconsin-Superior's Kristi Wilke had pitched a no-hitter through the first seven. Key hits in the big extra inning were run-scoring doubles by Karri Meinen and Sarah Weinke, a two-run double by Becky Bourne and a two-run triple by Tracy Steffens. Blugold starting pitcher Jessie Sharpe, who allowed only one hit, got the complete-game win.

SALISBURY WINS CAC TOURNEY TITLE: Salisbury State's (MD) Stacey Slater pitched a perfect game as the Sea Gulls beat York College (PA) 8-0 in a five-inning game for the Central Athletic Conference Tournament championship. Salisbury State freshman Lisa Gentilella was 9-for-14 for the week with five runs and four RBI. This year, Gentilella has made only two errors in 138 chances playing shortstop and third base.

BIG DAY FOR LE MOYNE: All kinds of good things happened to Le Moyne College (NY) in its 6-0 and 8-1 sweep of Pace (NY) on April 16. In the first game, freshman pitcher Marnie Sundberg pitched her first college no-hitter, striking out 10. In the second game, Julie Edmunds hit her second grand slam home run of the year.

MILESTONES: West Alabama head coach Janet Montgomery eclipsed the 300-winmark last week after victories over Mississippi University for Women (2-1), Spring Hill (7-1) and Lincoln Memorial (3-1). Montgomery now has 301 career victories and is three wins away from becoming the Gulf South Conference all-time wins leader. Former Valdosta State head coach Ron Durante holds the record with 303 wins. Judy Groff posted her 700th career win at American International University (MA) on April 13 as AIC defeated Bryant College. Michelle Krassinger of Okaloosa-Walton Community College (FL) accumulated her 300th career win on April 8 against Manatee Community College.

THIS WEEKEND'S TOURNAMENTS:


Rocky Top Market Lady Vol Classic

April 21-23
Knoxville, TN
Host: University of Tennessee

GLVC/GLIAC Challenge

April 20-22
Edwardsville, IL
Host: SIU-Edwardsville

Jackrabbit Classic

April 21-22
Brookings, SD
Host: South Dakota State University

Missouri Western Invitational

April 21-22
St. Joseph, MO
Host: Missouri Western State College

Sammons Classic

April 21-22
Mount Pleasant, Iowa
Host: Iowa Wesleyan College

Lake Michigan College Invitational
April 21-22
Benton Harbor, Michigan
Host: Lake Michigan College

Warrior Classic
April 19-22
Irvine, California
Host: Woodbridge High School

Lowe's Classic
April 21-22
London, Kentucky
Host: North Laurel High School