This Week in Pac-10 Softball

March 25, 2008

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TUNE UP AND ROLL: CONFERENCE PLAY BEGINS
The real battle begins this week as the Conference faces its toughest opponent of the season, itself...ARIZONA STATE and UCLA are battling it out for the top spot in both polls and both will face tough competition to open up the Conference season...The Sun Devils open up road-tripping to California to face the Golden Bears and Cardinal (who are both ranked) while the Bruins are rested and head to unranked Oregon State and Oregon...STANFORD sits second in the Pac-10 standings and will look to earn some respect this week in the polls as they open Conference play hosting the Arizona schools, with a pair versus the Sun Devils...CALIFORNIA has cracked the polls and could move up much further with a strong showing against the ones from the desert, hosting a single against ASU before a pair against the Wildcats...ARIZONA has the respect of the poll voters, despite eight losses, due to their strong schedule. It doesn't get any easier as they play at Stanford and then two at California...The bottom of the conference is also the hottest part of the league as OREGON and OREGON STATE take their nine-game winning streaks to WASHINGTON who holds a six-game win streak of its own...This weekend will set the tone for the year and it should be a war from start to finish.

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

Tues., March 25Marshall at ARIZONA STATE, 5 p.m.UC Riverside at CALIFORNIA, 2 p.m.UC Davis at OREGON, 1 p.m. (DH)OREGON STATE at Portland State, 3 p.m.UCLA at UC Santa Barbara, Noon (DH)

Wed., March 26Marshall at ARIZONA, 5 p.m. (DH)Pacific at CALIFORNIA, 2 p.m.UC Davis at STANFORD, 5 p.m. (DH)

Fri., March 28ARIZONA at STANFORD, 7 p.m.*ARIZONA STATE at CALIFORNIA, 3 p.m.*OREGON at WASHINGTON, 1 p.m.*OREGON STATE at UCLA, 1 p.m.*

Sat., Mar. 29ARIZONA at CALIFORNIA, 1 p.m.*ARIZONA STATE at STANFORD, 1 p.m.*OREGON at UCLA, 3 p.m.*OREGON STATE at WASHINGTON, 3 p.m.*

Sun., March 30ARIZONA at CALIFORNIA, Noon*ARIZONA STATE at STANFORD, Noon*OREGON at UCLA, Noon*OREGON STATE at WASHINGTON, Noon*

TEAM BY TEAM NOTES

ARIZONA (21-8): Arizona had a 4-3 week with a split at UTEP, and a 3-2 mark in the Judi Garmen Classic at Fullerton, Calif...Overall in the seven games, UA managed to hit only .245, well under its season rate of .304, despite knocking 11 home runs and scoring 41 runs. A telling statistic: the weekís 2.49 ERA by Wildcat pitchers, despite allowing the fewest runs (six) of anyone in the field ... Lindsey Sisk saw her 10-game winning streak stopped against Fullerton, again with only three hits by the Cats to back her. Laine Roth hit five home runs in the seven games to make a bid for everyday duty at first base ... The Cats have hit a homer in 14 of the last 15 games ... The Cats have driven in 107 runs this year with home runs alone. Whether those 3.7 runs per game will be possible against Pac-10 pitching is the big question entering this week.

ARIZONA STATE (34-2): As should be expected from the team currently holding the No. 1 ranking in the nation, the Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 in almost every offensive statistical category. They lead in batting avg. (.351), runs (292), hits (329), RBI (263), and are tied for the lead in home runs (54) with Arizona ... Pitcher Katie Burkhart (17-2), last year's Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, has been a dominant force on the mound, but is the only Sun Devils pitcher to record a loss with her two. Sophomore Megan Elliot (13-0) and junior Amanda Nesbitt (4-0) have also been stellar in the circle for the Devils.

CALIFORNIA (29-10): Cal has won 11 of its last 12 games and 21 of its last 24 since Feb. 23. Of those 21 wins, four have come against ranked opponents - Hawaii, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Northwestern ... The Bears, who are a perfect 2-0 at home this season, have not lost to a non-conference opponent at Levine-Fricke Field since 2000 ... The Bears concluded last week's Bank of Hawaii Invitational with a 4-1 record. Marissa Drewrey pitched in every contest; including four starts, and came away with a 4-1 record and a 1.45 ERA with 27 Ks and three shutouts, while holding batters to a .194 average. Her biggest game was against St. Mary's on Mar. 20 when she threw her first career no-hitter in Cal's 7-0 win.

OREGON (23-11): The Ducks used platoon pitching style in a doubleheader sweep of the Idaho State Bengals. In the first game of the series the tandem of junior Melissa Rice and freshman Brittany Rumfelt pitched five no-hit innings as Oregon coasted to an 8-0 win. Notching her eighth straight win, Rice (10-4) pitched four no-hit innings and struck out a season-high six and walked none. Freshman Brittany Rumfelt, saw her first action since late March and pitched a scoreless, hitless fifth inning with no walks or strikeouts ... In the second game of the day, senior starter Alicia Cook (9-7) won her fourth straight game and cruised through her five innings of work. The Elmira, Ore., native yielded only one hit to the game's leadoff batter. Rumfelt came in to pitch the final two innings and got her first save.

OREGON STATE (21-13): Junior DeAnn Young hit home runs in back-to-back games to boost Oregon State to a 9-3 decision over Idaho State and a 6-4 win over Portland State on Saturday afternoon as part of the Spring Fling Tournament at the OSU Softball Complex. Senior Cambria Miranda set the school record for career runs scored, scoring her 143rd run in the win over Idaho State on Sunday. Miranda already holds the school record and second best single season record for runs scored ... In a unique format for the weekend, the Beavers played one game against Idaho State in Portland, Ore. before heading back home for a pair against ISU and Portland State ... The Beavers join their rival Ducks as one of two teams in the Conference with three players in the Top-10 in steals ... Oregon State's nine game winning streak is their longest of the year.

STANFORD (31-2): Stanford has scored in all 33 of its games this season, obliterating the previous program record. Prior to this season, Stanford's longest scoring streak was set by the 2002 squad, which scored in 27 straight games between Feb. 24 and Apr. 13. Stanford's best season-opening scoring streak prior to this year was 20 games in 2005 ... The Stanford sophomore class has provided one of the biggest sparks for the Cardinal this season. Rosey Neill and Alissa Haber are pacing the team with batting averages over .400, and are two of the top-10 hitters in the Pac-10. Combined, the sophomore class has tallied 75 runs, 104 hits, 23 doubles and 22 homeruns ... Junior pitcher Missy Penna continues to rack up the K's this season, leading the Pac-10 in wins and second in strikeouts, became just the second player in program history to reach 600 career strikeouts on Mar. 1.

UCLA (26-3): The Bruins, who saw their 19-game winning streak snapped before taking a break for finals, return to the diamond on Tuesday, March 26 as they travel to UC Santa Barbara for a doubleheader starting at noon ... Senior pitcher Anjelica Selden saw her scoreless innings streak fall after 33 2/3 innings, but the senior has still not allowed an earned run in her last 47 1/3 innings. Besides the unearned run, Selden (12-2) gave up two hits and one walk, retiring 12 in a row at one point.

WASHINGTON (21-9-1): The Huskies went 2-3 at the Judi Garmen as their nine-game winning streak came to an end in stunning fashion as No. 25 San Diego State scored four runs in the top of the 12th in a game that lasted three hours and twenty-three minutes and ended just before midnight on the first night of the tournament. The teams were tied at 4-4 after seven innings before each team scored a single run in the 10th inning. The Aztecs broke through in the top of the 12th inning, scoring four runs on two hits and taking advantage of one Husky error. The 12-inning contested is the Huskies longest game since they defeated UCLA, 3-2, in 12 innings back on April 26, 2006. It also tied for the longest contest in the history of the Judi Garmen Classic, which dates back to 1981, matching a 12-inning game that saw Cal State Fullerton defeat Missouri, 3-2.

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