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First Place Lions Return To Smith Field

April 20, 2007

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The Lions return to Smith Field this weekend for a four game series against defending PCSC Champs Portland State. Doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday are scheduled to begin at 11:00am. LMU is on a roll this season and sits in first place in the conference with a 6-2 record in PCSC play and a 33-16 record overall. Christine Foley is the reigning PCSC Player of the Week, improving her batting average to .415 overall. She is second on the team in batting behind senior Margo Pineda who is hitting .439.

Comeback Queens
The Lions continue to prove that they never give up, coming from behind for two wins last weekend at Sacramento State. The most heartwrenching rally came on Monday, as the Lions were trailing 6-3 entering the seventh inning. LMU scored four runs in the top of the seventh to take the 7-6 lead, and Tiffany Pagano sat the Hornets down in order in the bottom of the inning for the win. This season, LMU has won three games when trailing following the sixth inning, and is 6-1 when tied after the sixth inning. The Lions have outscored their opponents 24-12 in the seventh inning this season.

Foley Ties School Record
With two doubles last weekend against Sacramento State, Christine Foley tied the LMU single season record for doubles with 16. This season, the freshman from Los Angeles is hitting a phenomenal .415 and is second in the PCSC in batting average. She has 25 RBI and has scored 25 runs.

Lions Continue to Be Honored
Two Lions recently were honored for their outstanding recent play. Christine Foley was named PCSC Player of the Week for the second time this season following the Sacramento State series. In addition, Tiffany Pagano has been named the LMU Female Student-Athlete of the Month.

This Is Why They're Hot
It's not really a secret why LMU has been on a roll lately - hot hitting and fantastic pitching. Looking at the stats since March 4th, the Lions are hitting .309 with a .459 slugging percentage. The Lions hit 16 home runs over a 25 game stretch and outscored their opponents 130-68. The pitching staff has turned things up a notch, with a 1.68 ERA over the same 25 game stretch. LMU has seven shutouts during that stretch and was 20-5 overall. Leading the way is freshman Christine Foley, who hit .456 over the 25 game stretch. Senior Margo Pineda batted .420 over that stretch, and Megan Ackerman has been hot, hitting 348 with four home runs. In the circle, junior Tiffany Pagano has taken her game to a new level and has a 1.13 ERA in her last 80.1 innings of work.

Just the Numbers
Looking at the PCSC stats, it's clear to see why LMU is the top team in the conference. The Lions lead the league in almost every category- batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs, hits, RBI, doubles, triples, home runs, ERA, opposing batting average, strikeouts, and wins. Individually, the Lions are just as dominant. Margo Pineda leads the conference in several offensive categories including batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, hits, RBI and total bases. Tiffany Pagano leads the PCSC in strikeouts and Melissa Dykema leads the conference in wins.

Gary Ferrin Reaches Win No. 450
With the final win against San Diego on Sunday, April 1st, LMU head coach Gary Ferrin reached the 450 win mark. Now in his 13th season, Ferrin's career record stands at 453-334-1. He has the most wins of any LMU coach in any sport.

To Be The Best, You Need To Play The Best
LMU played 13 games against teams that participated in the 2006 NCAA Tournament and earned six wins in the process. The Lions recorded wins against Southern Utah (8-1), BYU (8-3), Long Island (2-1), Ohio State (3-2), UC Santa Barbara (4-3) and Cal State Fullerton (2-0). Senior Margo Pineda excelled against the top opponents, hitting .410 with two home runs and eight RBI. Christine Foley also hit well in those games, batting .324 with four doubles. Melissa Dykema's ERA of 2.10 against 2006 Tournament teams is actually lower than her overall ERA of 2.54. Dykema earned five of the team's six wins against 2006 Tournament teams.

Looking Back
The Lions stayed atop the PCSC standings with a 3-1 series win at Sacramento State. After rain cancelled games on Saturday, LMU and Sac State were forced to play a tripleheader on Sunday. The Lions rallied for a 4-3 game one win. LMU pulled ahead and held on for a 7-5 game two win. Game three was a heartbreaker as the Lions fell to the Hornets in 12 innings. The series finale on Monday was a thriller, as the Lions scored four runs in the top of the seventh to win 7-6.

Pagano Climbs the Charts
Tiffany Pagano had two outstanding seasons with LMU and she continues to shine. In fact, the junior has moved into the LMU career top-5 for several pitching categories, including career wins, strikeouts and shutouts. Pagano is closing in on the LMU career record for strikeouts and needs just 23 more to break the record. She currently holds the LMU single season record for strikeouts and could break her own record this year.

Awards Recap
LMU's pitching staff has dominated the PCSC Pitcher of the Week award, with Tiffany Pagano and Melissa Dykema winning the award three times, and twice, respectively. In addition, Christine Foley has earned the PCSC Player of the Week honors twice, and Margo Pineda earned it one time. Those two were named to the New Mexico State All-Tournament team as well.

About Portland State
The Vikings are 18-27 on the season, and are 3-4 in PCSC play. Last year, PSU won its first PCSC title. Last weekend, PSU went 1-3 against Saint Mary's, and the Vikings have lost seven of their last eight games. Mandy Hill has pitched a majority of innings for the Vikings, throwing 219.2 out of the 291.0 innings this year. She has a 2.29 ERA and a 16-15 record. At the plate, Brandi Scoggins leads the team with a .325 average. Hill is PSU's top power threat at the plate with a team-high 10 home runs.