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Softball To Open PCSC Play

April 3, 2006

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This Week In Gaels Softball: This upcoming weekend the Saint Mary's softball team will travel to Portland State to open conference play against the Vikings. The first doubleheader is slated for Saturday April 8 with the first pitch scheduled for noon. The Gaels will return to the diamond Sunday when they wrap-up the four-game series against the Vikings. The first game of Sunday's doubleheader is set to begin at noon. All four games will be played at Erv Lind Stadium.

Last Time Out:The past weekend was busy for the Gaels as they traveled to UNR to take on four teams in five games in just three days. The Saint Mary's softball team suffered two losses in opening day of the UNR Tournament. The Gaels dropped game one 10-5 to the North Texas Mean Green, handing Megan Galloway the loss and dropping the Gaels to 4-21 on the season. In game two, SMC tallied eight hits but was held to just two runs by North Dakota State to hand the Gaels a 5-2 defeat. The Saint Mary's softball team dropped both games in day two of the UNR Tournament to give them a 0-4 record over their tournament stay. The Gaels suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Utah Valley State Wolverines when they were edged 11-10 in eight innings. In game two of the day, SMC fell 6-3 to host Nevada, handing them the number six seed in the tournament. With the pair of losses Saint Mary's advanced to the Consolation Final where they fell by a score of 9-5 to Utah Valley State.

Scouting the Vikings:Portland State comes off a 19-10 ledger and a six-game winning streak after winning the championship of the UNR tournament this past weekend. Portland State shut-out three different opponents during their tournament stay including Nevada (2-0), Utah Valley State (8-0) and North Dakota State (9-0). The Vikings garnered four All-Tournament accolades including Jackie Heide for Most Valuable Player and Michelle Hext for Most Valuable Pitcher. Heide is currently second on the team with a .341 average and posts a team-high eight home runs. From the circle, Hext posts a 2.77 ERA with a 7-5 record and 55 strikeouts on the year.

Who's Hot:Senior Marcia-Marie Euker was named to the All-Tournament team after finishing the weekend with a .436 average with a double, two home runs and three RBI. The outfielder also added two stolen bases on two attempts to her 7-for-16 effort from the plate. Her best performance on the weekend came on opening day when she went 3-for-5 with two home runs, two stolen bases and three RBI.

Home run Rally:Six Gaels combined for eight home runs on the weekend with four coming against Utah Valley State. Seniors Marcia-Marie Euker and Eleni Papailias each had two on the weekend with both of Euker's coming on opening day. Sophomores, Megan Galloway and Chelsea Loftis both hit the first homers of their careers with Loftis' coming against North Dakota State and Galloway's in the consolation final versus Utah Valley State. Senior Shelly Taketa and sophomore Sandra Ruezga both added one on the weekend as well.

Power Surge:Saint Mary's combined for 49 total hits on the weekend including eight doubles and eight home runs. In both games against Utah Valley State, Saint Mary's tallied over 10 hits, including 10 in their first meeting and 11 in the consolation final.

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 week the Saint Mary's softball team will hit the road again, this time to face the No. 24 Fresno Bulldogs on Tuesday April 11. First pitch of the doubleheader is slated for 6:00 pm from Bulldog Diamond. That weekend Gaels will return home to host the San Diego's Toreros in their opening conference homestand on Saturday April 14. The first pitch of Saturday's doubleheader is scheduled for Noon. Sunday April 15 Saint Mary's will complete the four-game series with another Noon doubleheader against the Toreros. All four games will be played at Cottrell Field.