May 20, 2007
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The historic 2007 season of LMU softball came to an end on Sunday when the Rainbow Wahine downed the Lions, 9-0, in the regional final at UCLA's Easton Stadium. A day after picking up the first NCAA Tournament wins in program history, including knocking UCLA out of the postseason, the Lions couldn't find an answer for the Hawaii bats. LMU finishes its season with a school record 47-18 record.
Senior Margo Pineda finished her brilliant LMU career by setting the school's career batting average record. She hit .400 in 2007, and finished her career with a .354 mark (198-for-559). She is 0.003 higher than the previous record of .351 set by Heather Hollis (1996-00). Pineda hit .222 as a freshman in just 27 at-bats and had a breakout season in 2005. The 2005 PCSC Player of the Year hit .351 to lead the Lions to the PCSC title and the program's first trip to the NCAA Tournament. She followed with a solid .325 batting average in 2006 and capped it off with an outstanding .400 average in 2007.
In addition, freshman Christine Foley finished the season with a .416 batting average, breaking the single season mark of .410 set by Danielle Kaminaka in 2004. Foley, the 2007 PCSC Player of the Year, was 72-for-173 with a school-record 17 doubles, five home runs and 37 RBI.
Hawaii (49-11) got on the board quickly, taking advantage of a leadoff error and four singles to take a 3-0 lead after the first inning.
The Lions had a hard time with UH starter Justine Smethurst. The Australian native struck out seven Lions and allowed just four hits in the game.
LMU's best scoring opportunity came in the sixth inning, when seniors Kirsten Whitt and Pineda recorded singles in their final collegiate at-bats. But a strikeout ended the game after six innings.
Whitt was 2-for-2 in her final collegiate game, finishing her phenomenal senior year with a .324 batting average. Foley was 1-for-2 in the game, as she was outstanding in her first NCAA Tournament. The freshman was 5-for-10 with three runs scored and an RBI.
Tiffany Pagano (21-10) had a rough start to the game, getting just one out and allowing three runs in the first inning before being replaced by Melissa Dykema. Dykema was strong in relief, but struggled in the fifth and sixth innings before being replaced by Pagano. The junior pitcher finished the game for LMU. Pagano allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits with no walks and no strikeouts in 1.1 innings. Dykema finished with six runs (four earned) on 10 hits with one strikeout and no walks.
Smethurst scattered four hits with no walks, striking out seven to improve to 19-9 on the year. Six different UH player had multiple hits, led by Tyleen Tausaga and Kate Robinson who had three hits each.
Hawaii will now head to Knoxville to face the University of Tennessee in the Super Regionals.
The Lions lose three seniors to graduation - Pineda, Whitt and Kylie Conroy. LMU will return the 2007 PCSC Player of the Year, 2005 and 2007 PCSC Pitcher of the Year and the 2007 PCSC Freshman of the Year to its lineup next season.
- GO LIONS! -