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Non-Conference Play Wraps up With Titans

March 26, 2007

Briefly...
The Lions wrap up non-conference action with a doubleheader against Cal State Fullerton at Smith Field on Tuesday beginning at noon. The games will mark the final tuneup before PCSC play begins on Saturday against San Diego at Smith Field at 11:00am.

Looking at the Lions...
LMU is now 26-13 on the year after going 2-2 last week. LMU's 12 game winning streak was halted in the second game of the doubleheader against Ohio State, as the Lions fell 4-1. The 12 game streak tied the longest winning streak in school history. LMU finished the 1996 season with 12 straight wins to finish the season with a 44-27 record.

Streaking No More...
Several streaks came to an end last Wednesday when the Lions played Ohio State. Kirsten Slouber's 17 game hitting streak came to a halt in game one when she was 0-for-4. Her best chance came in the third inning when she hit a hard ball headed for right field, but the OSU second baseman used every inch of her 5-1 frame to snag the ball out of the air.

The second streak came to an end in game two, as the Buckeyes handed LMU its first loss since March 4th. During the streak, the Lions were doing everything well. The team hit .336 and had an ERA of 1.04. The Lions did what was needed to win, claiming victory in several tight contests. Seven of the 12 games were with margins of victory by two or fewer runs, including four one-run victories.

Three players hit over .400 during the winning streak, led by Christine Foley who hit .483. Margo Pineda was very close behind at .472 and Kirsten Slouber had a .452 batting average over those 12 games.

Pitching was phenomenal, with Tiffany Pagano leading the way with a 0.65 ERA. She had 48 strikeouts in 32.1 innings. Melissa Dykema was extremely consistent, recording six complete game victories and her first collegiate save with 53 strikeouts in 47.2 innings and a 1.32 ERA. She walked just six batters over eight appearances.

Using All Seven Innings...
The Lions have figured out that runs scored in the first and seventh inning all count the same at the end of the day. Twice last week LMU used late inning comebacks to record one run wins. The Lions scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to earn a 3-2 win over Ohio State in game one of the doubleheader. LMU was down to its final out on Sunday against UCSB before a three-run rally gave the Lions a 4-3 win. The Lions are now 4-6 when trailing after five innings. Conversely, the Lions know how to hold onto a lead and are now 12-1 when leading after five innings.

About Cal State Fullerton...
The Titans are 17-14 overall, but have faced stiff competition the entire season. CSUF has played nine games against Top 25 programs, going 4-5 against ranked teams. Early in the season, CSUF defeated then-#4 Northwester 2-0, and the Titans handed then-#8 Stanford a 1-0 setback. The Titans beat then-#11 Oregon State 1-0 and handed then-#24 Florida State a 4-3 loss. The team is led by standout pitcher Candice Baker who has a 10-8 record and a 2.06 ERA. She has carried most of the pitching load this season, starting 19 of the team's 31 games and pitching 132.2 of the team's 216.1 innings. She has recorded 158 strikeouts and hitters are batting just .190 against her. Ashley Van Boxmeer leads the team in hitting, batting .329 with five home runs and 15 RBI.

Looking Ahead...
The Lions will open PCSC action on Saturday with games against the University of San Diego. The Toreros are the only other PCSC program with a winning record at this point, improving to 16-13 on the season with a sweep of Brown over the weekend.

- GO LIONS! -