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Gaels Set To Host Southern Illinois and Southern Utah

March 13, 2006

This Week In Gaels Softball: This week the Saint Mary's softball team hosts back-to-back doubleheaders from Cottrell Field and will compete in one on the road. On Tuesday March 14, the Gaels will host the Southern Illinois Salukis in a non-conference doubleheader. Game one of the doubleheader is set to begin at 1:00 pm from Cottrell Field. SMC will then face the Southern Utah Thunderbirds in a 1:00 pm doubleheader on Wednesday March 15. This weekend the Gaels will travel to Stockton, CA to face the Pacific Tigers in a non-conference doubleheader on Saturday March 18. The first pitch is slated for Noon from Bill Simoni Field.

Last Time Out:This past week the Saint Mary's softball team faced the Number-6 ranked California Golden Bears in a doubleheader from Cottrell Field. In game one of the doubleheader, the Gaels fell 7-0, giving freshman hurler Marlena Green her first loss of the season. SMC dropped game two by the score of 9-2 to California. The pair of losses drops Saint Mary's to 2-16 overall. California improved to 15-2 overall. Offensively, SMC was led by Marcia-Marie Euker and Lauren Mello who both went 2-for-6 on the day.

Scouting the Salukis:Southern Illinois comes off a 14-3 record and a 2-2 tournament record at the National Invitational Softball Tournament this past weekend. The pair of losses came against top 25-ranked teams, including No. 6/7 California and No. 10/11 Arizona State. The Salukis are led by third baseman, Katie Lewis who is batting .353 on the season with 4 home runs and fifteen RBI.From the circle, SIU is led by Cassidy Scoggins who is 7-3 with a 1.19 ERA and Ashley Hamby who has a perfect 6-0 record and posts a 2.26 ERA. Scoggins currently leads the team in strikouts with 64 on the season thus far.

Scouting the Thunderbirds:Southern Utah comes off a 1-17 record with their lone win coming in a doubleheader split against Hawaii on February 16 when the Thunderbirds posted a 5-4 victory. Last week SUU competed in the UNLV Invitational where they were swept by No. 10/11 Arizona State, Nevada, Virginia Tech, Portland State and host UNLV. Southern Utah dropped the last two games of the tournament by only one run, falling 4-3 to Portland State and 5-4 to UNLV.Offensively, the Thunderbirds are led by Tiffany Burt who posted a .315 batting average with a triple a home run and six RBI and Marci Pratt who is batting .305 while tallying three doubles, a triple, a home run and seven RBI on the season so far. From the circle, SUU is led by Corie Jensen who leads the team in strikeouts with 26 and earned the lone win for the Thunderbirds this season.

Scouting the Tigers:Pacific comes off a 10-9 record after earning two big victories against Miami-Ohio (6-5) and Wisconsin (8-2) in the Stanford Classic. Their only loss of the tournament came when host No. 5 Stanford edged the Tigers to a 4-3 defeat.Offensively, the Tigers have two players batting over .400 on the season so far. Gina Carbonatto leads the team with a .467 average, tallying two doubles, three triples and five RBI. Jennifer Curtier is second on the team with a .400 average while posting two doubles, a triple and a team-high three home runs.From the circle, Pacific is led by Briana Santos who posts a 4-2 record and a team leading 1.45 ERA. She is also second on the team in strikeouts with 22.

Second Year Head Coach Jessica Hanaseth: Jessica Hanaseth enters her second season as the head coach for the Saint Mary's softball team. Hanaseth took over the position last year after being a part of the program as a coach and player for the past eight seasons. She served as an assistant coach for the Gaels for three years with her duties varying in all aspects of the game. Hanaseth worked with infielders, outfielders and hitters in her three years as an assistant and was in charge of recruiting and community service. Hanaseth, a 2001 graduate of SMC with a degree in Health Physical Education and Recreation with a teaching emphasis, finished her playing career second in RBI (84), third in doubles (19), and eighth with a .284 career batting average.

Next Time Up For the Gaels:The Gaels return to the diamond next week when they play host to the Princeton University Tigers and the Cal Poly Mustangs. The Gaels will face the Tigers in a non-conference doubleheader on Tuesday March 21. The first pitch of game one is slated for 1 pm. That weekend SMC will host the Mustangs in a doubleheader from Cottrell Field. The doubleheader is slated for Noon on Saturday March 25.