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Softball Opens PCSC Play this Weekend

April 2, 2007

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This Week in Softball: The Saint Mary's softball team will open conference play this weekend. The Gaels will host rival Santa Clara for Friday and Saturday doubleheaders. Before Saint Mary's opens conference season, they will host local powerhouse Fresno State for a Wednesday doubleheader.

Last Time Out: Saint Mary's competed in the Nevada Invitational last weekend. The Gaels competed against the Utah Utes and the Nevada Wolf Pack. The Gaels dropped two games to each of their competitors. With the conclusion of the Nevada Invitational, the Gaels completed their invites for the 2007 season.

Homeward Bound: The Saint Mary's softball team just completed a six game road stretch and is ready to return home. When at Cottrell Field the Gaels have an 11-9 record and have won four of their last six games. Molly Bergeson leads the Gaels at home with a .493 batting average and 33 hits. She is second on the team with 12 runs. Lauren Mello is batting .302 at home with a team leading 13 runs. Megan Galloway is batting .315 at home and leads the team with three homeruns. The Gaels look to continue their success at Cottrell Field this week when they play six games at home.

Scouting the Bulldogs: The Fresno State Bulldogs enter the week with a national ranking of No. 22. They have a 29-12 overall record a 4-1 record on the road. The Bulldogs are led by juniors Kristi Sylvester and Jenna Cervantes. Both Sylvester and Cervantes have hit five homeruns while recording more than 40 hits. In the circle the Bulldogs are led by sophomore Robin Mackin. Mackin has a 21-6 record and has pitched 191.2 innings. She has a 1.06 ERA and struck out 245.

Scouting the Broncos: The Santa Clara Broncos enter the week with a 7-30 overall record and a 1-5 record on the road. This weekends games will mark the opening of conference play for Santa Clara. The Broncos are led by Angela Kabanuck. The senior is leading the team in several offensive categories, including average (.400), hits (50), runs (23), homeruns (8), doubles (8) and RBI (16).

The last time Saint Mary's played Santa Clara was in the final four games of the Gaels season in 2006. The Broncos swept all four of the games. The two teams look very different from a year ago. The Gaels have already won 10 more games than they won last season and the Broncos have only won seven games while losing 30. Saint Mary's looks to take advantage of this fact this weekend when the two teams open conference play.

Opening Conference: The Gaels will open Pacific Coast Softball Conference play against Santa Clara this weekend. The Gaels have not had much recent success in conference play. Last year the Gaels went 1-15 in PCSC play. However, this is a much different team ready to compete. The Gaels are looking to open conference play with a win for the first time since joining the PCSC.

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 next week resembles this one. Saint Mary's will play a local powerhouse during the week before hosting two conference doubleheaders. The Saint Mary's squad will travel to Stanford, CA to play in a night game against the Stanford Cardinal. That game will begin at 7:00 p.m. The Gaels will then play in their final home games of the season against Portland State on April 14 and 15. The two doubleheaders will each begin at Noon. Senior Day celebrations will take place on Sunday.