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Softball Prepares to Host Two Doubleheaders

March 20, 2006

This Week In Gaels Softball: This week the Saint Mary's softball team will host two doubleheaders, one against the Princeton Tigers and another against the Cal Poly Mustangs. On Tuesday March 21 the Gaels will take on the Tigers in a 1 pm doubleheader from Cottrell Field. SMC will return to action on Saturday March 25 when they play host to the Mustangs. The first pitch of game one is slated for Noon from Cottrell Field.

Last Time Out: Last week the Saint Mary's softball team hosted one-of-two scheduled doubleheaders while one was canceled due to severe weather conditions. The canceled doubleheader against the Southern Illinois Salukis will not be rescheduled. Saint Mary's earned their third victory of the season in a 4-1 decision over Southern Utah, Wednesday from Cottrell Field. In game one, the Gaels were downed 11-0 in five innings by the Thunderbirds who out-hit SMC 8-2. The Saint Mary's softball team dropped a doubleheader to the University of the Pacific, Saturday afternoon from Bill Simoni Field in Stockton, CA. The Gaels were shut-out 3-0 in game one by opposing pitcher, Chelsea Engle who gave up just two hits and struck out nine SMC batters in 6 2/3 innings from the circle. In game two, the Gaels started strong, bringing in one runner in the first inning but still dropping the game by a 4-2 decision.

Who's Hot This Week:Outfielder, Lauren Mello batted .455 (5-for-11) on the week, smashing two doubles and tallying three RBI. She is now second on the team boasting an overall average of .340 with five doubles on the season. She led the team, going 2-for-3 against both Southern Utah and Pacific. In Saturday's doubleheader performance against the Tigers, she finished 3-for-6 on the day, posting a double and an RBI. At home, she went 2-for-3 in game two against the Thunderbirds, tallying a double, two RBI and a run scored.

Loftis Earns Her First Victory This Season:The Saint Mary's softball team earned their third victory of the season in a 4-1 decision over Southern Utah, Wednesday March 15. Sophomore hurler, Chelsea Loftis (1-5) picked up the win for the Gaels, her first of the season. In her third complete game this season, Loftis allowed five hits and just one earned run while striking out one. The sophomore right hander led the team with a 1.56 ERA in nine innings pitched on the week. She started one game from the circle and tallied one complete game against Southern Utah when she earned the victory. Overall, Loftis is second on the pitching staff with a 3.61 ERA and a 1-5 record. She's tallied five starts from the circle, three complete games and five strikeouts in 33 innings pitched.

Offensively, she is third on the team with a .273 (3-for-11) average on the season. At the Indiana State Invitational on March 5, she led the team batting 2-for-3 with a run scored in Saint Mary's second match-up against Eastern Illinois.

Scouting the Tigers:Princeton comes off a 6-3 record and a five-game winning steak. Last week, the Tiger's earned a 10-0 victory over Nevada in five innings while senior right-hander Erin Snyder became Princeton's career strikeout leader with an even 600 strikeouts, ten coming against Nevada. Offensively, Princeton is led by senior Amanda Erickson who is third on the team with a .360 (9-for-25) overall average, first on the team with a minimum of 20 at-bats. She currently posts two doubles, a home run and five RBI on the season

Scouting the Mustangs:Cal Poly comes off a 11-16 record with a big tenth-inning victory over Radford University last weekend. Emily Hively (2-0) added to her streak pulling off the win for the Mustangs and adding two strikeouts to her seven on the season. Sophomore Robyn Kontra leads Cal Poly from the circle with a 3.24 ERA in 106 innings pitched. She is currently first on the pitching staff with 48 strikeouts in 14 starts from the circle.Offensively, the Mustangs are led by junior, Lisa Modglin who is batting .376 on the season with a team-high nine doubles, three triples and 21 RBI. She is also tied for first on the team with four home runs.

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: Next weekend the Gaels will travel to Reno, NV to compete in the UNR Tourney. SMC will face four teams in two days, along with a semi-final contest on the final day of the tournament. Saint Mary's will kick off opening day of the tournament with a Noon game against North Texas on March 31. With the first pitch slated for 2:30 pm, the Gaels will close opening day with a game against North Dakota State. On day two of the tourney, SMC will face both Utah Valley State and host Nevada at 9:30 am and 2:30 pm respectively. All tournament games will be played at Idlewild park or another location to be announced.