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Softball Prepares To Host First Conference Homestand

April 11, 2006

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This Week In Gaels Softball: This week the Saint Mary's softball team travels to Fresno, CA to take on the No. 23 ranked Fresno State Bulldogs in a 6 p.m. doubleheader on Tuesday April 11. Both games will be played at Bulldog Diamond. On Friday April 14 the Gaels will host San Diego in their first conference homestand. The first game of the doubleheader is slated for Noon from Cottrell Field. On Sunday April 15, Saint Mary's will wrap-up the four-game series with another Noon doubleheader from Cottrell Field.

Last Time Out:Last Week the Saint Mary's softball team traveled to Portland to take on the Portland State Vikings to open PCSC play. The Vikings who won 10 of their last 11 games, swept the Gaels of all four games and are the only team to post an undefeated PCSC record after opening weekend. On Saturday the Gaels were edged by the score of 2-0 in game one with sophomore Chelsea Loftis taking the loss. In game two, Saint Mary's fell 10-1 with starting pitcher, Megan Galloway getting tagged with the loss. On Sunday, Saint Mary's suffered a 4-0 shut-out in game one before falling 9-2 in the second game. With the sweep, Saint Mary's drops to 4-29 on the season and 0-4 in conference. Portland State moves to 23-11 overall and 4-0 in PCSC.

Who's Hot:Sophomore, Bronwyn Russell led the way in game two on Sunday, adding a stolen base to her perfect 3-for-3 effort from the plate, including a double, RBI and a run scored. Her run scored was the Gael's second on the weekend and the first on Sunday. She currently leads the team with a .396 average on the season and is second on the team with six doubles.

Scouting the Bulldogs:The No. 23 Fresno State Bulldogs come off a 24-13 overall record and 4-1 Western Athletic Conference ledger after winning 15 of their last 19 games. The Bulldogs are led by senior Christina Clark who is batting .442 with 13 doubles, four triples and three home runs on the season.

In the overall WAC statistics, Fresno State leads is tops in pitching (2.26) and fielding (.969) while second in batting (.297). Individually, the Bulldogs have three of the top 10 batters in the WAC in Clark (.444, 1st), Perkins (.358, 6th) and Sylvester (.350, 7th).

Freshman, right-hander, Robin Mackin was named the Xbox Live WAC pitcher of the week and currently boasts a 1.46 ERA in 31 appearances from the circle. With her 19-8 record, she also posts a team-high 278 strikeouts in 178 innings pitched.

Scouting the Toreros:USD comes off of a 14-16 overall record and a 2-2 Pacific Coast Softball Conference ledger after splitting with Santa Clara on opening weekend. The Toreros have four players batting over .300 with junior Virginia Fritsch (.339) leading the way. Kathleen Bonja is batting .327 and posts a team-leading seven doubles, three triples and three home runs. Senior Sara Mason (.321) and senior right-hander, Gina McFarland (.317) also post seven doubles on the season.

From the circle, Erin Harmonson leads the pitching staff with a 8-7 record and a 3.26 ERA. She posts a team-leading 63 strikeouts in 86 innings pitched.

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 travel to Stanford on Wednesday April 19 to play the Cardinal in a single non-conference game. The game is slated for 7:00 pm from Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium. That weekend the Gaels will resume conference play when they host Loyola Marymount for a pair of doubleheaders on Saturday April 22 and Sunday April 23. Both doubleheaders against the Lions are slated for Noon from Cottrell Field.