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Softball to Compete in Nevada Invitational

March 26, 2007

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This Week in Softball: The Saint Mary's softball team will travel up past Donner Pass this weekend to compete in their final tournament of the season, the Nevada Invitational. The Gaels will match up against Nevada and Utah from Reno, NV. The Gaels will play against each team on both Saturday and Sunday.

Last Time Out: Saint Mary's ended the longest home stand in program history last week when they played Pacific. The Pacific Tigers won game one of a doubleheader before the Gaels won game two. This marked the first time that Saint Mary's has defeated Pacific since 1995 and gave the Gaels a 9-7 record on the home stand. On the weekend, the Gaels traveled to San Luis Obispo to play Cal Poly. Cal Poly won both games of a doubleheader including a thrilling game two that went into the tenth inning.

Who's Hot: Senior southpaw Lauren Gardner leads the team with five wins. She has thrown 43.1 innings and has a 3.88 ERA. Gardner has thrown three complete games this season. In her last outing she pitched 7.0 innings and did not give up an earned run while earning her fifth win of the season.

Scouting the Utes: The Utah Utes enter the week with a 17-10-1 overall record. They are no stranger to invitational play. 23 of the 27 Utes games have been in invitational style play. The Utes are led by junior Dianna Phillips and sophomore Hailey Davenport. Both Phillips and Davenport boast plus .400 averages. Phillips has a team leading 27 runs while Davenport has hit 10 homeruns.

Scouting the Wolf Pack: The Nevada Wolf Pack enter the week with an 8-24 overall record. The Wolf Pack have also competed in several invitationals this season. Nevada has competed in 24 neutral site games. The Wolf Pack are led by sophomore Kim Silagyi. She leads the team with a .341 average and has 10 runs and 10 RBI.

Walk it Out: The Saint Mary's softball team has shown a habit for the exciting this season. The Gaels have won four games in the last at-bat. The most notable walk off this year came against the No. 17 Oregon Ducks. The Ducks took a 0-1 lead in the top of the ninth inning. With a runner on second and first, freshman Jenna Smith doubled in both runners to give the Gaels the 2-1 lead. The most recent walk off came against New Mexico State. The Gaels fell behind early but managed to tie up the game in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs and two strikes in the ninth inning, Sandra Reuzga hit a walk off single that scored Lauren Mello to give the Gaels a 7-6 lead.

Third Year Head Coach Jessica Hanaseth: Jessica Hanaseth enters her third season as the head coach for the Saint Mary's softball team. Hanaseth took over the position two years ago after being a part of the program as a coach and player for eight seasons. As head coach of the Gaels she will work with all aspects of the game. Hanaseth works with infielders, outfielders and hitters as well as 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.

Up Next for the Gaels: The Gaels will compete in one more doubleheader against Fresno State before beginning conference play. The match against Fresno State will be held on April 4, and begin at Noon. The Gaels will then host rival Santa Clara for back-to-back doubleheaders on April 6 and 7. The competition will begin at Noon from Cottrell Field on both days.