Softball Hosts Rival Oregon State In Pac-10, Home Opener

March 11, 2002

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OREGON THIS WEEK With the preseason behind them, the Ducks will open Pacific-10 Conference action at home this week, hosting in-state rival Oregon State. The Beavers are 23-8 overall following their preseason quest and are currently ranked No. 14 in the NFCA Top 25.

THE LAST TIME OUTOregon finished 3-1 at the UNLV Invitational after defeating Boston College twice and host UNLV. Offensively, Andrea Vidlund led Oregon, finishing the weekend 6-for-13 with seven RBI. Vidlund was 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI in Oregon's tournament opener -- a 3-0 win over Boston College. Against UNLV, senior Kristi Hall was 2-for-4 with three RBI and one run scored. Vidlund hit a double for the second consecutive game against the Rebels and Alyssa Laux went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Laux returned to the starting line up last week after being hit in the face by a pitch versus Arkansas Feb. 24. Laux suffered a broken nose and had just one at bat two weeks ago in the Red Desert Classic. Sophomore pitcher Anissa Meashintubby improved to 5-2 on the season with the win over UNLV. Connie McMurren pitched Oregon to victory in the second meeting with Boston College and improved to 4-3 on the season. Oregon's only loss over the weekend was a 9-3 setback to Notre Dame in the final game of the tournament.

HEAD COACH BRENT RINCON Begninning his first year as the head coach at the University of Oregon, Brent Rincon (14-8 overall, 14-8 Oregon) brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the program. Originally coming to Oregon to serve as an assistant for the upcoming season, Rincon took over the program as interim head coach in the Fall of 2001 following the depature of previous head coach, Rick Gamez. Rincon has been involved in softball as both a high school coach and as a head coach of various elite ASA travel teams. A highly successful high school and ASA coach in Arizona, Rincon helped develop many players who went on to play at the Division I level. In addition to coaching in the high school and ASA ranks, Rincon was also selected to coach the Arizona High School All-Stars in 1996.

WELL ROUNDED OFFENSE Of the 15 Oregon players with an appearance at the plate this year, 13 have at least one hit, led by Andrea Vidlund (28) and Lynsey Haij (21). Nine Oregon players have 10 or more hits and five have at least 15. The Ducks are outhitting their opponents 172-159 and are hitting .295 as a team.

RECORDS WATCH With her sixth home run of the season against Boston College, Andrea Vidlund is tied for eighth all time with 18 home runs. Triawn Custer holds the record with 35 career home runs (1998-2001). Pitcher Connie McMurren is currently second all-time with 389 strike outs. Rachelle Taylor holds the strike out record with 474.

.400 CLUB Two Oregon players are hitting above .400 heading into Pac-10 play. Vidlund leads the team with a .418 average (28-for-67) and KristiHall is hitting .400 (18-for45).

YOUNG GUNS Freshman pitcher Lindsay Kontra has posted wins over then-No. 19 Southwest Texas State and then-No. 13 Alabama and is second on the team with a 2.76 ERA. Kontra has pitched a team-high 50.2 innings and is 5-3 overall. Sophomore Anissa Meashintubby is 5-2 with a team-low 2.20 ERA. Meashintubby also leads Oregon with 42 strike outs.

RUN PRODUCTION Through 22 games, Oregon has 98 RBI after having just 197 in all 68 games last season. Vidlund has accounted for a team-high 26 RBI this season after having a combined 40 in 2000 and 2001. Newcomer Lakeesha Eversley has 15 RBI and Lynsey Haij has 10 after combining for nine total in her first two seasons of collegiate softball.

STREAKING Janell Bergstrom has picked up her offense over the last two weeks and has had at least one hit in five consecutive games and was 4-for-5 over the Ducks' last two games. Vidlund has had a hit in six straight games and has eight games where she had at least two hits. Vidlund also has nine games in which she had more than one RBI.

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