This Week in Pac-10 Softball

April 25, 2007

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WILDCATS KEEP LEAD AS SECOND HALF OF CONFERENCE PLAY HEATS UP

Three weeks and three Pac-10 players earning USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week. WASHINGTON'S Dena Tyson is the latest recipient, after her home run binge continued with four long balls in three games last week. The senior slugger has homered in six-straight games. Tyson follows ARIZONA STATE'S Katie Burkhart and ARIZONA'S Taryne Mowatt, who won the prestigious award in the two weeks prior ... the Wildcats maintain a two-game lead over the second-place Sun Devils, and Arizona is the number one team in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association's Simulated RPI Rankings this week, thanks in part to boasting the No. 1 strength of schedule in the country ... the Pac-10 sits atop the NFCA's Conference RPI Rankings, with the SEC and Big 12 placing second and third ... this week's schedule is full of critical match-ups as usual: UCLA and Washington and OREGON and OREGON STATE meet on Wednesday, Apr. 25, to conclude the two season series, then the weekend sets proceed as usual. The Arizona schools travel to face CALIFORNIA and STANFORD, while the Oregon schools switch off up north at UW and down south at UCLA ... Sunday's game between Arizona and Stanford will be shown live on CSTV.

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

Tues., Apr. 24UNLV at ARIZONA STATE, 3 p.m. (DH)San Jose State at STANFORD, 7 p.m.

Wed., Apr. 25CALIFORNIA at UC Davis, 1 p.m. (DH)OREGON at OREGON STATE, 4 p.m.*UCLA at WASHINGTON, 3 p.m.*

Fri., Apr. 27ARIZONA at CALIFORNIA, 3 p.m.*ARIZONA STATE at STANFORD, 7 p.m.*OREGON at UCLA, 1 p.m.*OREGON STATE at WASHINGTON, 1 p.m.*

Sat., Apr. 28ARIZONA at STANFORD, 1 p.m.*ARIZONA STATE at CALIFORNIA, 1 p.m.*OREGON at WASHINGTON, 2 p.m.*OREGON STATE at UCLA, 2 p.m.*

Sun., Apr. 29ARIZONA at STANFORD, 1:30 p.m.* (CSTV)ARIZONA STATE at CALIFORNIA, 1 p.m.*OREGON at WASHINGTON, 1 p.m.*OREGON STATE at UCLA, 1 p.m.*

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS

Wed., Apr. 18at #7/9 ARIZONA STATE 6, #3/3 ARIZONA 3CALIFORNIA 9, at Sacramento State 0at #14/15 OREGON 11, Portland State 5 (5 inn.)

Fri., Apr. 20at #3/3 ARIZONA 3, #13/14 OREGON STATE 1at #7/9 ARIZONA STATE 4, #14/15 OREGON 2#11/13 WASHINGTON 4, at CALIFORNIA 2 (8 inn.)at #18/16 STANFORD 6, #12/12 UCLA 4

Sat., Apr. 21at #3/3 ARIZONA 4, #14/15 OREGON 1#13/14 OREGON STATE 2, at #7/9 ARIZONA STATE 0#12/12 UCLA 11, at CALIFORNIA 0 (5 inn.)at #18/16 STANFORD 3, #11/13 WASHINGTON 2

Sun., Apr. 22at #3/3 ARIZONA 9, #14/15 OREGON 1 (6 inn.)at #7/9 ARIZONA STATE 8, #13/14 OREGON STATE 7 (11 inn.)#12/12 UCLA 5, at CALIFORNIA 3#11/13 WASHINGTON 12, at #18/16 STANFORD 1 (6 inn.)

TEAM NOTES

ARIZONA (10-2, 34-9): The Wildcats maintain a two-game lead over Arizona State just over halfway through their Conference slate. UA lost a mid-week game to the Sun Devils but then notched routine wins over Oregon State and two over Oregon ... Arizona has now won 17-straight at home and is 23-1 at Hillenbrand Stadium ... senior shortstop Kristie Fox snapped out of a 1-for-17 slump in a big way last week, hitting .550 (6-for-12) with two home runs, a double, a triple and seven RBI in the four games. On Friday vs. Oregon State, Fox finished a single short of the cycle ... Taryne Mowatt posted three more `Ws' over the weekend, throwing every pitch for the Wildcats after not starting the previous two games. Mowatt allowed one run in each outing and struke out 32, bringing her season tally to 331, sixth most in UA history. Against the Beavers on Friday, Mowatt gave up two hits and a run in the first inning, then held OSU hitless over the final six innings. For her performance, Mowatt picked up her third Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week award this season ... senior Caitlin Lowe had her eight-game hitting streak snapped but tied the UA steals record on Sunday with 148. Lowe ties Alison McCutcheon (1995-98) and is also now tied for second on the all-time Pac-10 charts. Lowe is a perfect 41-of-41 in steal attempts this year ... in other Lowe-related records, the senior is now eighth on the Pac-10 hits list with 324, having recently passed UCLA's Stacey Nuveman ... Arizona is currently ranked first in NFCA's simulated RPI and first in strength of schedule.

ARIZONA STATE (8-4, 42-11): The Sun Devils took sole possession of second-place in the Conference with a 3-1 week which included a 6-3 in over first-place Arizona, snapping the Wildcats' six-game win streak. ASU then edged Oregon, 4-3, and split two games with Oregon State ... ASU's win over the Beavers on Sunday lasted 11 innings before a national television audience on ESPN2, the longest game any league team has played this season. Senior Bianca Cruz ended the marathon with a two-out RBI single, scoring Rhiannon Baca. Cruz's RBI was her 62nd of the season, establishing a new single-season RBI record at ASU ... junior second baseman Mindy Cowles was the difference on offense in ASU's wins over the Wildcats and Beavers, hitting a home run and driving in three in each contest. For the week, Cowles hit .462 (6-for-13) with two home runs, seven RBI and three runs ... junior Katie Burkhart was 3-1 on the week, with 41 strikeouts to just four walks. Burkhart carried a perfect game into the seventh inning against the Ducks, but lost perfection and then the shutout on a Jenn Salling home run, but still had enough to close out the complete game win ... Burkhart ranks in the top-10 nationally in strikeouts per seven innings (6th - 11.7), wins (8th - 24), and ERA (10th - 0.98) ... Kaitlin Cochran's .517 batting average is currently leading the nation. Cochran also ranks seventh nationally in slugging percentage (.910)

CALIFORNIA (2-10, 26-26): The Golden Bears continue to struggle in Pac-10 play, losing once to Washingotn and twice to UCLA last week, but did earn a 9-0 win over Sacramento State last Wednesday ... freshman Bernice Masaniai blasted her eighth home run of the season against Sacramento State ... sophomore Gina Leomiti had at elast one hit in all four games for Cal, hitting .400 (6-for-15) with three doubles. Leomiti is second on the team with a .349 batting average, over 100 points higher than her .232 average during her freshman season ... Christina Schallig's 52 base hits are the second-most among Pac-10 freshmen, trailing only Oregon's Jenn Salling ... Cal already has four players with at least 30 runs scored: Schallig (35), Morgan Siegel (33), Erika Racklin (33), and Alex Sutton (31). Masaniai is on the verge of joining them, having crossed home plate 29 times ... according to the NFCA, California has played the seventh most-difficult schedule of any team in the nation. They have played 21 games against ranked opponents, second in the Conference only to Arizona's 22 ranked foes.

OREGON (3-8, 38-11): The Ducks hammered Portland State to start their week on the right foot last week, but dropped three games in the desert, and have now lost six Pac-10 games in a row ... pitching has hampered Oregon's Pac-10 progress, as they are last in Conference play with a 6.54 team ERA ... opposing pitchers have seemingly wised up after freshman sensation Jennifer Salling proved her ealy success was no fluke. Salling was walked a total of eight times during the week's four games, including a four-walk game Saturday vs. Arizona. Salling's four walks are the most in a game in the Pac-10 this year ... one pitcher who dared to challenge Salling was ASU's Katie Burkhart, who took a perfect game into the seventh inning on Friday, but Salling shattered the no-hitter with a two-run homer to keep Oregon's hopes alive ... . Salling was the only freshman and one of six underclassmen to be named one of 25 finalists for the 2007 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, announced by The Amateur Softball Association ... Salling's 60 RBIs this season (second in Pac-10) have already broken Oregon's old single season record by 13, with still 11 games left on the regular season schedule ... Salling's .504 batting average ranks second nationally, and she is sixth in the nation in both slugging (0.911) and RBI per game (1.22) ... Oregon boasts the nation's fifth-best fielding percentage (.977).

OREGON STATE (6-5, 34-15): The Beavers went 1-2 on their trip through the desert, falling 3-1 at Arizona and then splitting a two-game set with Arizona State. OSU lost a heartbreaker to the Sun Devils on Sunday, coming up short, 8-7, in 11 innings in a game that was seen nationally on ESPN2 ... in the 11-inning defeat, Oregon State overcame deficits of 3-0, 4-1, 6-5, and 7-6 before finally succumbing in the longest game any Pac-10 team has played all year. Senior Ta'Tyana McElroy went all 10.2 innings, entering in relief in the first when Brianne McGowan failed to record an out ... the eight runs were the most OSU has allowed all season ... the Beavers made two errors in the game, the first time they made a pair of miscues since Mar. 24 vs. Utah Valley State. Oregon State leads the Pac-10 and is third in the nation with a .978 fielding percentage ... one day earlier, McElroy and McGowan had combined to shutout Arizona State, 2-0. McElroy got the win for five shutout innings, and McGowan picked up a save for her two hitless innings of work ... McGowan and McElroy have led the Beavers to a Pac-10 best 1.56 ERA, the 14th lowest in the country ... McGowan is the only Pac-10 pitcher in both the top-20 nationally in wins (19th - 20) and saves (10th - 4) ... out of OSU's 15 defeats, six have come by one run and six have come by two runs ... OSU went a span of 32 games (Feb. 16-Apr. 6) without allowing more than four runs in a game.

STANFORD (5-7, 27-12): The Cardinal enjoyed a strong week, defeating UCLA, 6-4, on Friday and then outlasting Washington, 3-2, in a game started Saturday and finishing Sunday due to rain. Stanford dropped the weekend finale, but is in position for a run in the second half of Conference play, when it will have six of nine games at home where the Cardinal is 16-3 ... the wins over UCLA and Washington were Stanford's first consecutive wins since Pac-10 play began ... against the Bruins, freshmen standouts Alissa Haber and Shannon Koplitz each had a pair of hits against Anjelica Selden, including Haber's fourth-career home run ... Haber extended her hitting streak to 11 games over the weekend. It is the longest current streak in the Pac-10. She also had another 11-game streak earlier in the season, making her the only Conference player with two separate hitting streaks of 10 or more games ... Haber is one of just six Pac-10 players ranked in the top-10 in batting average, slugging and on-base percentages ... Koplitz has excelled in the difficult Conference schedule, batting .323 (10th in Pac-10 play) with an OBP of .450 (7th) ... sophomore Missy Penna picked up her first save of the season in the continuation of Stanford's first meeting with UW, throwing 3.1 innings and allowing just one hit and one run.

UCLA (6-5, 30-12): The Bruins posted a 2-1 week, stumbling at Stanford but upending California for two wins to find themselves in a three-way tie for third place. They have won four of their past five games ... senior Lisa Dodd led the Bruin offense with two home runs, going 5-for-10 with four runs scored and a team-high six RBI in the three games. Dodd had a 1.100 slugging percentage. Dodd was 3-for-3 with a homer in UCLA's 11-0 romp on Saturday, then on Sunday, she connected on a two-run shot in the seventh inning to provide what would prove to be critical insurance runs in the 5-3 win ... Saturday's game was the third time UCLA has scored in double figures in Pac-10 play, predictably they are 3-0 in those games ... Dodd has an eight-game hitting streak in the works ... with her 34 RBI this seaosn, senior Jodie Legaspi has broken into the UCLA top-10. She is now 10th with 144 career RBI. Legaspi is also one home run shy of 40, which would tie her for sixth all-time with Julie Adams ... UCLA has a trio of hitters clustered in the top-10 in batting average for Conference games: Dodd ranks fifth at .452, Krista Colburn is sixth with a .436 mark, and Tara Henry is tied for seventh, hitting .385 ... the Bruins are 23-1 this season when scoring five or more runs ... UCLA ranks eighth nationally with a .520 slugging percentage, 16th with a .316 batting average, and 15th with 5.88 runs per game.

WASHINGTON (6-5, 29-12): The Huskies put together a 2-1 week, coming back for an extra-inning win at Cal, dropping a one-run game at Stanford, then routing the Cardinal in Sunday's finale, 12-1 ... the hottest player in the Conference and perhaps the nation is UW senior Dena Tyson, who continues to deposit the ball over outfield walls with marked consistency. Tyson homered four times in UW's three games last week, and has now homered in six-straight games, with seven long balls in that span. The slugger was recognized as the USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Week for her stats line, which read: 6-for-9 (.667), four home runs, six RBI, five runs, a .750 on-base percentage, and a staggering 2.000 slugging percentage ... needless to say, Tyson was also named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the second-straight week ... Tyson's 1.010 slugging percentage ranks second in the nation, and her .490 batting average is fourth nationally ... Kristen Rivera was the last Husky to win National Player of the Week, in 2003 ... the Huskies have already matched their 2006 Pac-10 win total at six, with 10 games remaining, seven at home ... Tyson has raised her already eye-poping numbers even further in Pac-10 play. In Conference games, she leads the league in batting average (.625), slugging percentage (1.375), on-base percentage (.700), hits (20), runs (12), RBI (12), home runs (8) and total bases (44) ... third year head coach Heather Tarr is one win away from her 100th career victory at the University of Washington. Tarr won 35 games in both the 2005 and 2006 seasons and has won 29 games this season.

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