This week in Pac-10 Softball

April 8, 2008

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THE GRIND CONTINUES IN CONFERENCE PLAY WEEK THREE
The top of the Conference could face a possible shake up this week as the top four teams face each other ... UCLA, ARIZONA STATE, ARIZONA and WASHINGTON will all face each other this week and the outcome of these pivotal games could have an impact on a national level as well as all three are ranked in the Top-10 in both polls ... OREGON STATE kicks off the week travelling to Saint Mary's in a game which they hope provides a warm-up for their trip to CALIFORNIA and STANFORD ... The Golden Bears and Cardinal both are ranked but can distinguish themselves from the bottom of the pack with strong showings at home this weekend ... OREGON currently sits in the cluster at the bottom third of the Pac-10 and will be tested this weekend as they travel to the Bay Area to face the teams with which they share a 1-5 conference record ... The Conference race could be a lot clearer after this weekend or even more muddled as the teams continue through the toughest softball conference schedule in the nation, no victory will come easy.

THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE

Wed., April 9ARIZONA STATE at ARIZONA, 7 p.m.*

Thurs. April 10OREGON STATE at Saint Mary's, 2 p.m.

Fri., April 11OREGON at CALIFORNIA, 3 p.m.*OREGON STATE at STANFORD, 7 p.m.*UCLA at ARIZONA STATE, 7 p.m.*WASHINGTON at ARIZONA, 7 p.m.*

Sat., April 12OREGON at STANFORD, 1 p.m.*OREGON STATE at CALIFORNIA, 1 p.m.*UCLA at ARIZONA, 7 p.m.*WASHINGTON at ARIZONA STATE, 7 p.m.*

Sun., April 13OREGON at STANFORD, Noon*OREGON STATE at CALIFORNIA, Noon*UCLA at ARIZONA, Noon*WASHINGTON at ARIZONA STATE, Noon*

Mon., April 14UNLV at ARIZONA STATE, 1 p.m.UNLV at ARIZONA STATE, 3:30 p.m.

TEAM-BY-TEAM NOTES
ARIZONA (27-10, 4-2): The `Cats have been in a bit of a power slump in Pac-10 competition, having only hit four home runs in their first six Pac-10 games after hitting 59 in the first 31 contests ... With 63 home runs on the year, the Wildcatsare tied with Arizona State for the Conference lead in the category ... Arizona hit .383 on their Oregon trip with 36 hits, while only allowing 9 hits by opponents (.136)... P Taryne Mowatt seems to be regaining her form as she mowed through the Beavers and Ducks, allowing only one earned run in 17.1 innings and striking out 27.

ARIZONA STATE (41-2, 5-0): The Sun Devils weekend finale at Oregon State was halted in the sixth inning due to Pac-10 travel restrictions (with the Sun Devils leading 6-4), but they still can consider their road trip a success after a 2-0 weekend against the Oregon schools ... Last year's Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year Katie Burkhart had a spectacular weekend, pitching two complete games, including a 12 inning marathon which Burkhart kept the Sun Devils in until they could score the 3-2 victory.

CALIFORNIA (32-15, 1-5): After scoring 42 runs in their last eight non-conference games, the Bears have only nine runs in their first six Pac-10 games ... The early Conference schedule has been tough for the Bears as they have only faced the ranked teams in the Pac-10 thus far, taking 1-of-3 from the Arizona schools and dropping three games on the Washington-UCLA road trip ... Freshman Valerie Arioto pitched Saturday for the first time since Mar. 25 and only allowed two runs - both earned, to go along with six strikeouts against UCLA.

OREGON (26-16, 1-5): With many of Oregon's greatest softball players on hand for an alumni reunion, several generations of Duck fans savored a 3-2 home win Sunday over returning national champion Arizona ... The win was the Ducks' first against the Wildcats in nearly three years as senior pitcher Alicia Cook got the victory with a seasonhigh-tying eight strikeouts ... With her 112 strikeouts on the season, she is only one shy of the 10th-best total in school history. She already stands seventh all-time thanks to last year's total (125), and her career tally (388) ranks fourth-best all-time for UO.

OREGON STATE (23-18, 2-4): Oregon State took the early 1-0 lead in the Dodge Civil War Series behind a 7-4 win over the Ducks. Senior Cambria Miranda and freshman Audrey Roderfeld both tallied home runs in the win over Oregon with Miranda scoring two and Roderfeld scoring three. Roderfeld added a RBI double to lead the team with four total RBI ... Sophomore Dani Chisholm has come up big on the season in RBI situations, collecting 20 so far on the season in the top three of the order. The left-handed batting slapper also leads the team with a .374 batting average with 49 hits, 27 runs and 58 total bases.

STANFORD (34-7, 1-5): Head Coach John Rittman is on track for an important career milestone this weekend. Rittman, who currently has 499 career wins, could hit his 500th Friday night. 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 499-231-3 (.683) since the 2008 season began ... When sophomore Alissa Haber goes deep, she doesn't waste time. The Cardinal center fielder has six homeruns this year, and four of those, including Friday's at UCLA, have come on Stanford's first at bat of the game. The Cardinal is 16-1 when scoring in the first inning. Haber been the one to score that first run in 14 of those games.

UCLA (35-3, 7-0): Two top-ranked teams square off on Friday as UCLA, the #1 team in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll and Arizona State, the #1 squad in the USA Today/NFCA rankings, battle in Tempe at 7 p.m. The Bruins then visit Tucson for a pair of contests against seventh-ranked Arizona. Saturday's 3 p.m. game will be televised live on Fox Sports Net West ... The Bruins remained 1-2-3 in the Pac-10 in earned run average, batting average and fielding percentage, ranking first with a 0.70 ERA, second with a .329 average and third with a .973 fielding percentage. On offense, the Bruins rank in the top half of the conference in on base percentage (2nd, .408), doubles (T-2nd, 63), triples (T-2nd, 6), sacrifice flies (T-2nd, 8), hits (3rd, 331), slugging percentage (4th, .461) and sacrifice hits (T-4th, 32).

WASHINGTON (24-12-1, 3-3): Ashlyn Watson went 3-for-3 and Aleah Macon had 12 strikeouts to lead No. 25 Washington to their second win over a Top 25 opponent as the Huskies in as many days ... The 12 strikeouts by Macon is already the eigth time she has accomplished the feat in her freshman campaign ... Washington pitchers have 21 balks on the year, the only team in the Pac-10 with any of the unusual stat, which may be a byproduct of the 19 runners that the team has caught stealing on the year, far and away the most in the Conference ... Washington's game against Oregon that was rained out last Friday (Mar. 28), has been rescheduled for Friday, May 9, at 1:30 p.m. It will part of a doubleheader as the two teams were originally scheduled to play at 4:00 p.m. that day. The Huskies will be the designated home team in the first game.

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