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Softball Prepares To Host Sacramento State

April 24, 2006

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This Week In Gaels Softball:On Tuesday April 25 the Saint Mary's softball team hosts Hawaii in a non-conference doubleheader. The first pitch of game one is slated for 2:00 pm from Cottrell Field. On Friday April 29 the Gaels host Sacramento State in a Pacific Coast Softball Conference doubleheader scheduled for Noon from Cottrell Field. On Sunday April 30 SMC wraps-up the four game series with the Hornets with another Noon doubleheader. All four games will be played at Cottrell Field.

Last Time Out:On Wednesday April 19, the Saint Mary's softball team dropped a 1-0 decision to the No. 5 Stanford Cardinal from Boyd and Jill Smith Stadium. Kate Albaugh threw 6 1/3 innings from the circle, allowing one run on five hits and striking out two to tag her with the loss. The Saint Mary's softball team split their Pacific Coast Softball Conference doubleheader with the Loyola Marymount Lions Saturday afternoon from Cottrell Field. The Gaels defeated the Lions 3-2 in game one with Chelsea Loftis throwing a complete game to earn her second victory of the season. Saint Mary's dropped game two by the score of 6-5 to LMU which improved the Gaels to 5-37 overall and 1-10 in conference. The Saint Mary's softball team suffered a doubleheader loss to the Loyola Marymount Lions Sunday afternoon from Cottrell Field. The Gaels fell 7-3 to the Lions in game one before LMU's Samantha Lavino threw a no-hitter to oust the Gaels 8-0. After the weekend, the Gaels move to 5-39 on the season and 1-11 in PCSC games.

Scouting the Rainbow Wahine:Hawai'i comes off a 23-17 overall record and a 7-4 Western Athletic Conference ledger. The Rainbow Wahine battled with the Fresno State Bulldogs over the WAC first place position but the Bulldogs came out on top, taking all three games of last weekend's series. Hawai'i has two players batting over .400 in WAC play with junior Tyleen Tausaga leading the way with her .484 (15-for-31) average. The first baseman has tallied a team-leading five doubles in 11 conference games played. She also has a home run and five RBI in WAC games. Also batting over .400 is sophomore Valana Manuma who is hitting .410 in conference while posting two doubles, a home run and a team-high seven RBI.

Leading the pitching staff is right-hander Courtney Baughman who has a 2-1 record in conference while posting a 0.82 ERA in 17 innings from the circle. She is also third on the team with 11 strikeouts. Also posting an ERA under 1.00 is freshman right-hander Justine Smethurst who is 4-2 in WAC games with a 0.89 ERA. She has a team-high 38 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings from the circle.

Scouting the Hornets:Sacramento State comes off a 27-18 record on the season while posting a 6-6 PCSC ledger. The Hornets have split all three PCSC series 2-2, including Loyola Marymount, Santa Clara and San Diego.

The Hornet's Lindy Winkler is batting over .400 both in conference and on the season. In PCSC action, she posts a .447 (17-of-38) average with three doubles and a home run. On the season, the senior outfielder posts a team-leading .423 average with 13 doubles, four triples and four home runs.

Leading the pitching staff is Nikki Cinque and Cassie Cervantes, both with 11 wins on the season. Freshman right-hander Cassie Cervantes posts a perfect 5-0 record in PCSC with a 0.76 ERA. She leads the pitching staff with 62 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings from the circle.

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 takes the week off before traveling to Santa Clara for their final Pacific Coast Softball Conference series against Santa Clara. The Broncos host the Gaels in a doubleheader on Saturday May 6 with the first pitch scheduled for Noon. The Gaels return to action that Sunday when they wrap-up the four-game series with SCU with another Noon doubleheader. All four games will be played at Marsalli Park.