This Week in Pac-10 Softball
April 1, 2008
The Conference race begins to take shape as ARIZONA STATE and UCLA continue to fight for the top spot in the standings as well as the polls as both teams held on to their respective No. 1 rankings after 3-0 weekends inside the league...ARIZONA had a rocky non-conference slate, but a 2-1 first weekend of Pac-10 play against ranked opponents has them in third place early in league play as they head to face the Oregon schools this weekend, both unranked...WASHINGTON will be busy this week as they head to UCLA on Thursday only to return home two days later to welcome CALIFORNIA and STANFORD...OREGON STATE found a key Conference victory versus Washington last week and will look to ride the momentum as they face two top-ten teams in Arizona and Arizona State in their conference home-opener...Stanford will log the most travel miles this week as they head to Sacramento State on Wednesday before travelling to UCLA and Washington, always a daunting trip...The Ducks host one against the Sun Devils before welcoming the Wildcats in for a pair.
THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Wed., April 2OREGON STATE at OREGON, 4 p.m.*STANFORD at Sacramento State, 2 p.m.WASHINGTON at UCLA, 2 p.m.*
Fri., April 4ARIZONA at OREGON STATE, 3 p.m.*ARIZONA STATE at OREGON, 4 p.m.*CALIFORNIA at WASHINGTON, 1 p.m.*STANFORD at UCLA, 1 p.m.*
Sat., April 5ARIZONA at OREGON, 1 p.m.*ARIZONA STATE at OREGON STATE, 1 p.m.*CALIFORNIA at UCLA, 3 p.m.*STANFORD at WASHINGTON, 3 p.m.*
Sun., April 6ARIZONA at OREGON, Noon*ARIZONA STATE at OREGON STATE, Noon*CALIFORNIA at UCLA, Noon*STANFORD at WASHINGTON, Noon*
Mon., April 7San Diego at OREGON STATE, 1 p.m. (DH)
TEAM BY TEAM NOTES
ARIZONA (25-9, 2-1): P Taryne Mowatt reached the 1,000 strikeout plateau a few weeks back and has 1,066, the third Arizona pitcher in history to reach 1,000. She's whiffed them in 829 and two-thirds innings pitched for a career 10.2 strikeouts per seven innings, tied for No. 10 in NCAA career strikeout ratio. She's No. 2 in UA history behind Alicia Hollowell (2003-2006) at No. 1 with 1,768... Arizona has a nation-best 61 home runs (tied with ASU in seven fewer games), led by four players with nine or more - Stacie Chambers and Callista Balko with 11 each, Laine Roth with 10 and Jenae Leles with nine. The game Sunday at Cal marked only the second contest in the last 20 in which the Wildcats have not homered.
ARIZONA STATE (39-2, 3-0): The No. 1 Sun Devils broke out the brooms Sunday afternoon to sweep their Pac-10 opening weekend for the first time since 2003 as they survived a grueling 13-inning game to take a 3-0 win from No. 5 Stanford... With the win, the Sun Devils clinched the series against Stanford as Head Coach Clint Myers has never lost a series to the Cardinal in his three year tenure...The 13-inning marathon with the Cardinal on Sunday marked the longest game of the season and the fourth extra-inning game for the Sun Devils, who are undefeated (4-0) in such games.
CALIFORNIA (32-12, 1-2): A reason for Cal's success is its ability to jump on the scoreboard first. The Bears have outscored their opposition, 89-18 in the first two innings of games this season. Thus Cal is 24-2 when leading after two innings ... Cal is 28-2 when scoring three or more runs, but just 4-10 when scoring just two runs or less ... Valerie Arioto and Erika Racklin rank second and third respectively in the Conference in runs scored, while Sanoe Kekhuna and Arioto are second and third in hits.
OREGON (25-13, 0-2): The Ducks were rained out of their conference opener at Washington, a game that will be made up May 9 at Oregon ... Junior pitcher Melissa Rice allowed only one earned run on two hits, but the Ducks ran into a hot Bruins squad who converted their sparse opportunities and Bruin pitcher Anjelica Selden shut the Ducks down on offense as the Ducks closed out their 0-2 weekend with UCLA ... Neena Bryant's 11-game hitting streak was ended on Saturday by the Bruins. The streak was the longest by a Duck this year.
OREGON STATE (22-16, 1-2): Freshman Erin Guzy hit her first career home run over right center in the top of the seventh inning to score three runs and lift the Beavers over Washington after the Huskies held a slim 3-2 lead through most of the game ... With 65 at bats recorded thus far on the season, junior Stefanie Ewing has yet to chalk up a strikeout. Starting 23 games, the catcher is batting .262 with 17 hits, four doubles, one home run and 13 RBI. The right-handed batter has also drawn six walks. Ewing's zero strikeouts help the Beavers boast the least amount of strikeouts in the conference with 126 thus far on the season.
STANFORD (32-5, 0-3): Head Coach John Rittman is on track for an important career milestone this weekend. Rittman, who currently has 497 career wins, could hit his 500th as soon as Saturday. Rittman entered the 2008 season as one of the top-25 winningest all-time Division I coaches with a .674 winning percentage in his 11 seasons a head coach. Rittman has boosted his record to 497-229-3 (.684) since the 2008 season began ... Sophomore catcher Rosey Neill moved another notch closer to the school's single-season home run record last week.With a solo shot off of Arizona All-American Taryne Mowatt on Friday, Neill claimed sole possession of second place on the all-time chart. Neill's 15 home runs this year is now second only to the 19-home run tally recorded by teammate Michelle Smith in 2005.
UCLA (31-3, 3-0): The Bruins swept through their first weekend of Pac-10 play in perfect fashion, not allowing a single run in their first weekend of Conference play against Oregon and Oregon State ... UCLA receives its sixth Pac-10 Player or Pitcher of the Week award this season. Freshman GiOnna DiSalvatore has earned the Player honor twice (Feb. 12 & 26), while freshman Donna Kerr was named Pitcher of the Week on March 4 ... Against Oregon on Sunday, and for the 21st time this season, UCLA scored in its first at-bat, remaining undefeated when doing so.
WASHINGTON (22-10-1): The Huskies dropped two spots this week in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Top 25 Poll (Apr. 1) to No. 25. The Huskies have now been ranked in the poll for each of the last 189 datings. Washington's streak began with the team's No. 15 preseason ranking in 1994 and also includes smaller streaks of 66 straight top 6 rankings (2/28/96 - preseason 2001 poll) and 69 consecutive poll datings in the top 10 (preseason 1996 - 2/28/01). Also, the UW moved up one spot in the ESPN.com/USA Softball Top 25 Poll (Apr. 1) to No. 24, marking the first time this season they have been ranked higher in the USA Softball poll than the NFCA poll.