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Lions Head to San Diego

May 4, 2006

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The LMU softball team heads down to San Diego for a four game series with the Toreros. LMU is still alive in the race for the conference title, and the Lions are looking to sweep the Toreros this weekend. LMU is 27-19 on the season and sit in third place in the PCSC with a 7-6 record.

Pagano Nears Record
Tiffany Pagano has had 188 strikeouts this season, and is just eight strikeouts away from breaking the LMU single season record. The sophomore righthander is averaging over 1.2 strikeouts per inning in her starting appearances. She has also never allowed a home run in any of her 24 starts this season. She has 302 strikeouts in her two year career.

Bennett Among Nation's Leaders
When the national statistics came out this week, Hillaree Bennett's name was listed in four places. Most impressively, she is ranked 2nd in the nation in walks per game, averaging 1.0 per contest. She is 16th in slugging percentage at .800, as well as 30th in home runs per game (0.26). Her .400 batting average is 49th in the country.

April Showers May Bring May Makeup Games
LMU and Portland State were only able to play one of the scheduled four games last weekend. The two teams will play the remaining three games if they will play a factor in deciding the conference champion on the weekend of May 12th and 13th. If Portland State wins at least three games over Sacramento State next weekend, they will clinch their first PCSC Championship.

Bennett Earns Monthly Honor
Hillaree Bennett earned the LMU March Student-Athlete of the Month award. Bennett was spectacular in March, hitting .385 to lead the team to a 13-8 record in March. She had six home runs and two doubles with 15 RBI. She hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead LMU to a 2-1 victory over #25 Fresno State.

Walk this Way
Hillaree Bennett broke the LMU single season records for walks against Saint Mary's and now has 46 for the season. The previous record of 34 was set by former Lion great Danielle Kaminaka just one season ago. Bennett is currently ranked 2nd in the nation in walks per game at 1.0.

This Week's Opponent
San Diego is 20-22 on the season and 8-8 in PCSC play. The Toreros were swept in a four game series with Portland State last weekend after starting the series in second place. USD is led by Sara Mason who is hitting .356 with 10 doubles and 22 RBI. Gina McFarland is hitting .328, and Kathleen Bonja is hitting .307 with a team-high three home runs. Erin Harmonson is 9-11 with a 2.93 ERA. Christina Haake is 6-9 with a 4.09 ERA in 113.0 innings of work. Looking Ahead
LMU may travel to Portland State next weekend to play games that were rained out on April 14-15. The Lions and Vikings managed to play just one game of a four game series before rain forced the teams to postpone. The games will only be played if they play a role in determing the conference champion. PSU is currently in first place, and if they lead in the standings by more than three games after this weekend, the games will not be played.

Looking Back
LMU recorded two splits with Santa Clara last weekend. The Lions were blanked 3-0 in game one on Saturday, but responded with a 10-4 win in game two on Saturday. Megan Ackerman hit a grand slam for her first home run of the season in the win. Tiffany Pagano did not allow a run until the seventh inning in game one on Sunday, and Margo Pineda and Hillaree Bennett hit back to back home runs to help LMU to a 6-1 win. However, the Broncos rallied back from a 3-0 deficit in the series finale for a 11-3 victory.

Around the PCSC
A pair of sweeps highlighted PCSC play around the conference last weekend. Portland State swept San Diego who started the weekend in second place. Sacramento State completed a four game sweep of Saint Mary's to move into second place after the weekend.