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Softball Prepares For UNR Tournament

March 27, 2006

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This Week In Gaels Softball: The Saint Mary's softball team will kick off this week with a home doubleheader on Tuesday before traveling to Reno to compete in the UNR Tournament. On Tuesday March 28, the Gaels will host the UC Riverside Highlanders in a 1 pm doubleheader from Cottrell Field. Softball will return to action Friday March 31 when they begin play at the UNR tournament where they 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.

Last Time Out: This past Tuesday the Saint Mary's softball team defeated Princeton 6-1 to earn their fourth victory of the season and snap the Tiger's six-game winning streak. Megan Galloway earned the victory for the Gaels in game two, her first of the season and the Gaels third at home. Saint Mary's dropped game one of the doubleheader 7-3 with starting pitcher Chelsea Loftis getting tagged with the loss. With the split, the Gaels improve to 4-20 on the season while Princeton advances to 7-4 on the year. Saint Mary's had another doubleheader scheduled for Saturday against the Cal Poly Mustangs but were forced to cancel due to weather conditions. The home game has yet to be rescheduled.

Galloway Posts Her First Win This Season:Sophomore hurler, Megan Galloway led the SMC pitching staff this week, earning her first victory this season and snapping Princeton's six-game win streak in a 6-1 decision in game two of Tuesday's doubleheader. She held the Tigers' to a measly one run in her third complete game this year and her seventh in her career. She was first on the pitching staff with a 1.00 ERA and seven innings pitched on the week.

Who's Hot This Week:Short-stop Justine Larsen finished the week batting .600 and going 3-for-5 in two games against Princeton last Tuesday. She tallied two RBI and a double, her first of the season. At short-stop, she posted four put-outs in her last two starts at the position. Over the past week, she led the team with an .800 slugging percentage and a .667 OBP. In game two of the doubleheader against Princeton, she went 2-for-2 with an RBI.

Offensively, Chelsea Loftis finished game one against Princeton going 2-for-3 with a run scored. She was also perfect on the base-paths stealing two bases in two attempts against the Tigers. She improved her average to .357 (5-for-14) overall, second on the team. She currently boasts a .400 on-base percentage and a .977 fielding percentage.

Scouting the Highlanders: UC Riverside comes off a 19-7 overall record after sweeping a non-conference doubleheader against the USD Toreros. Saint Mary's is 0-2 against UCR, dropping two games to them in the UCR Tournament in February. Saint Mary's was edged 5-4 in their first meeting with the Highlanders, before falling 9-8 two days later.

Riverside is led by infielder, Melissa Sanchez who is batting .486 (36-for-74) with a team-high eight home runs. From the circle, freshman Stephanie Marshall is 11-3 with a team-high 1.54 ERA and is second on the team with 51 strikeouts.

Scouting the Mean Green:North Texas comes off a 11-15 record after falling 7-0 to No. 15 Oklahoma last Wednesday. The Mean Green is now 0-8 in their series against Oklahoma and 0-5 against ranked opponents.

The Mean Green are led by Susan Waters who is batting .357 (30-for-84) on the season with a team-high nine homeruns and 25 RBI. She has also tallied eight doubles, two triples and 17 runs scored. From the circle, North Texas is led by Kristina Fowler who posts a 9-6 record and 11 complete games on the year. She's tallied 81 strikeouts in a team-high 102.1 innings.

Scouting the Bison: North Dakota State comes off a 9-19 record after winning their last two games 1-0 to Ball State and 4-1 against Loyola (Ill.) at the Hawkeye Classic. NDSU is currently running on a four-game winning streak.

The Bison are led by outfielder Lynnas Foshag who is batting .306 (26-for-85) on the season with a team-leading six doubles. She also tallies eighteen runs scored and two stolen bases on two attempts. From the circle, North Texas is led by Amber Garrett who is 5-5 on the season with a team-high 66 strikeouts in 81.2 innings. The senior right hander boasts a 2.40 ERA and five complete games this year.

Scouting the Wolverines:Utah Valley State comes off a 7-21 record after splitting a adoubleheader against Harvard on Monday. They took game one by the score of 3-2 in eight innings before dropping game two 12-4.

The Wolverines are led by outfielder Chris Jimenez who is batting .360 (32-for-89) in 28 games played. Jimenez has tallied seven doubles, a triple and a home run. She has also posted 13 RBI and 14 runs scored. The senior also leads the team with seven stolen bases. From the circle, UVSC is led by Jackie Roberts who posts a 3.47 ERA in 80.2 innings pitched. She is second on the team with 91 strikeouts in 16 appearances from the circle. The junior pitcher tallies a team-high eight complete games.

Scouting the Wolf Pack:Nevada comes off a 12-21 record after beating No. 23 Fresno State 2-1 in game three of their series on Saturday. With the victory, Nevada improves to 1-2 in WAC play.

UNR is led by third baseman Sarah Hunt who is batting .274 (23-for-84) on the year with three doubles, two home runs and 14 RBI. She is also tied for second on the team with two stolen bases on two attempts. From the circle, Nevada is led by Jordan McPherson who is 8-11 in 25 appearances. She leads the team with 116 strikeouts in 129 innings from the circle. She's posted a team-high 13 complete games in 20 games started.

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: The Saint Mary's softball team returns to action Saturday April 8 when they open conference play at Portland State. The Gaels will play one doubleheader against the Vikings on Saturday with the first pitch slated for Noon. The teams will meet again for a second doubleheader on Sunday April 9 with game one set to kick off at Noon. All four games will be played at Erv Lind Stadium.