This Week in Pac-10 Softball

April 20, 2004

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The ARIZONA Wildcats are off to the best start in school history, but the rest of the Pac-10 is right on its heals, including WASHINGTON, who has overcome off-season issues to prove that it is a contender in the nation's best Conference... While the 'Cats do hold the early lead, the race for the title is still up for grabs... The Wildcats travel to the Pacific Northwest to battle the Oregon schools this week... OREGON has been somewhat of a suprise team in the Pac-10, thanks in large part to the hot arm of transfer Ani Nyhus, who is responsible for all six of the Ducks' Conference wins... OREGON STATE is looking to knock Arizona from the ranks of the unbeaten, and run its mark to 2-0 on the season against teams ranked No. 1 in the nation... ARIZONA STATE is still in search of its first Pac-10 win and will try to get one on the road in Oregon... The UCLA Bruins are climbing back into the Pac-10 race after a slow start, the Bruins host the Bay Area schools this week, both of whom are ranked in the Top-15 in the nation.... The two Bay Area school are almost total opposites as STANFORD has relied on solid team defense, and CALIFORIA has been one of the best offensive teams in the Conference... It will be interesting to see which style is able to compete on the Conference's toughest road trip, at Washington and at UCLA.

This Week's Schedule

Tues., Apr 20
STANFORD at Saint Mary's, 2 p.m. (DH)

Wed., Apr 21
Portland State at WASHINGTON, 3 p.m. (DH)

Fri., Apr 23
ARIZONA at OREGON STATE, 2 p.m. (FSN)
ARIZONA STATE at OREGON, 2 p.m.
CALIFORNIA at WASHINGTON, 1 p.m.
STANFORD at UCLA, 1 p.m.

Sat., Apr 24
ARIZONA at OREGON, 2 p.m.
ARIZONA STATE at OREGON STATE, 2 p.m.
CALIFORNIA at UCLA, 2 p.m.
STANFORD at WASHINGTON, 2 p.m.

Sun., Apr 25
ARIZONA at OREGON, 1 p.m.
ARIZONA STATE at OREGON STATE, 1 p.m.
CALIFORNIA at UCLA, 1 p.m.
STANFORD at WASHINGTON, 1 p.m.

Pac-10 Softball on Fox Sports Net:

Air Date Game Game Date April 25-26 Arizona at Oregon State April 23 May 9-10 UCLA at California May 7 May 15-16 Stanford at Oregon May 14

Last Week's Results

Tues., Apr 13
CALIFORNIA 5, Santa Clara 0
OREGON STATE 7, Portland St. 1
OREGON STATE 9, Portland St. 0
STANFORD 4, Sacramento State 0
STANFORD 2, Sacramento State 0

Fri., Apr 16ARIZONA 8, STANFORD 0 (6)
CALIFORNIA 1, ARIZONA ST. 0
OREGON 2, WASHINGTON 1
UCLA 6, OREGON STATE 0

Sat., Apr 17
ARIZONA 2, CALIFORNIA 0 (8)
STANFORD 7, ARIZONA ST. 0
OREGON 4, UCLA 3
WASHINGTON 5, OREGON ST. 3

Sun., Apr 18
ARIZONA 3, CALIFORNIA 2 (8)
STANFORD 4, ARIZONA ST. 0
UCLA 3, OREGON 2 (10)
WASHINGTON 5, OREGON ST. 3

Pac-10 Player/Pitcer of the Week
Caitlin Benyi, from Scottsdale, Ariz., led the Bruins to their first two wins in Pac-10 play. In UCLA's weekend opener against Oregon State on Apr. 16, Benyi led off the first inning with a home run, her fifth lead-off shot of the season and her 13th home run of the year. She went on to go 2-for-4 on the day. A day later against Oregon, Benyi went 1-for-3 with a fifth inning home run and a walk. Against Oregon on Apr. 18, Benyi was 3-for-3 with two walks, one intentional, a run scored and an RBI. Benyi's day and week culminated with a first-pitch lead-off home run in the 10th inning for the walk-off 3-2 UCLA win over Oregon. Benyi has now homered in four straight games, including UCLA's Apr. 10 games at Washington. For the week, Benyi was UCLA's offensive leader, hitting .600 (6-for-10) with three runs scored, three home runs, three RBIs, a 1.500 slugging percentage, three walks and a .692 on-base percentage.

Ani Nyhus, from White Rock, B.C., picked up two more Conference victories over the week, running her total to six on the season. Both victories were against teams in the Top-5, one versus No. 5 Washington and the other was against No. 3 UCLA. Nyhus had 11 strikeouts, one intentional walk, three hits and did not allow a single run in a 2-1 victory over the Huskies on Apr. 16. On Apr. 17, Nyhus struck out six, allowed three runs on seven hits and walked two as the Ducks beat UCLA 4-3. For the week, Nyhus had a 1.65 ERA and recorded 18 strikeouts in 17 innings of work. Thanks in large part to Nyhus, the Ducks defeated Washington and UCLA in back-to-back games for the first time since 1988.

This is the first weekly honor for Benyi, while it is Nyhus' second. This is the 79th weekly award all-time for the Bruins and it is the 23rd all-time in Oregon's history.

2004 Players of the Week: Feb. 17- Autumn Champion, So, ARIZ; Feb 24- Wendy Allen, Sr, ARIZ; Mar. 2- Stephanie Ramos, Sr, UCLA; Mar. 9- Valerie Sevilla, Jr, ASU; Mar. 16-Vanessa Iapala, So, OSU; Mar. 23-Aimee Minor, So, WASH; Mar. 30-Kayleen Hudson, Fr, ORE; Apr. 6-Shelley Shultz, So, ARIZ; Apr. 13- Jessica Allister, Sr, STAN; Apr. 20-Caitlin Benyi, So, UCLA.

2004 Pitchers of the Week: Feb. 17- Keira Goerl, Sr, UCLA; Feb. 24- Alicia Hollowell, So, ARIZ; Mar. 2- Alicia Hollowell, So, ARIZ; Mar. 9-Alicia Hollowell, So, ARIZ; Mar. 16- Kristina Thorson, So, CAL; Mar. 23- Alicia Hollowell, So, ARIZ; Mar. 30- Dana Sorensen, Sr, STAN; Apr. 6-Ani Nyhus, Jr, ORE; Apr. 13-Ashley Boek, Jr, WASH; Apr. 20-Ani Nyhus, Jr, ORE.

PAC-10 NOTES. . .
ARIZONA:
Arizona plays three Pac-10 games on the road this week, and currently has a 15-game road winning streak in Pac-10 play... Sophomore Alicia Hollowell won all three game for the 'Cats over the weekend, she has won 30 games this season and with at least 13 regular season games left, has a legitimate chance of breaking the Pac-10 record of 42 wins in a season... 16 of Hollowell's wins have come by shutout... Freshman Caitlin Lowe has scored 65 runs this season and needs only nine more to break into U of A's Top-10 for most runs scored in a season... At 43-1, the 'Cats are off to their best start in school history... Senior Wendy Allen and SO Autumn Champion are hitting .484 and .478, respectively, and are currently ranked number one and number two in the nation.

ARIZONA STATE:
The Sun Devils are still looking for their first Conference win and they will have to do it in the Pacific Northwest. The Devils have lost three straight on the road to the Ducks and Beavers and are a combined 2-4 in the state since 2002... ASU is second in the Pac-10 in strikeouts thanks to SO Desiree Serrano who has 182 K's on the season, placing her fifth in the Conference... Senior Phelan Wright is in the Top-10 in the Pac-10 in 11 major offensive statistical categories, including total bases (106), where she trails only teammate SR Kristin Farber who has 109.

CALIFORNIA:
California took Arizona into extra innings twice, but failed to knock the Wildcats from the ranks of the unbeaten, the two games were the Bears' first and second extra innings games of the season... Cal has been great in close games, as it is 7-2 on the season in games decided by one run... The Bears will get two chances at redemption against the UCLA Bruins this week, UCLA beat Cal last season in the NCAA Championship game... Cal has struggled as of late on what might be the toughest road trip in the Pac-10, since 2000 the Bears are a combined 2-10 at Washington and UCLA... The Bears are 2-0 on the road in Pac-10 play, last season they only won three Conference games away from Berkeley.

OREGON:
Oregon beat Washington and UCLA in back-to-back games for the first time since 1988... Oregon has now won three in a row against Washington... All three Duck games last week were one-run games, Oregon is now 8-4 in such games... Junior Ani Nyhus has been great in Pac-10 play, she has recorded all six Conference wins for Oregon... Nyhus has 17 wins in her first season as a Duck, placing her eighth in the Pac-10... Nyhus is responsible for 10 of the Ducks last 14 wins... Oregon plays Arizona State this week, UO is 6-6 against ASU since 2000, but five of those wins have come at home... Oregon hosts Arizona twice this weekend, which means the Ducks will have two chances to ruin Arizona's perfect season and end a nine-game skid against the 'Cats.

OREGON STATE:
It is April 20, there is one month left in the regular season, but the Beavers have 36 wins and 36 wins equals their win total from last season... OSU is 25-3 on the year when at least one player hits a home run... The Beavers are looking to beat the No. 1 team in the nation for the second time this season... On Mar. 14 the Beavers knocked off then-ranked No. 1 UCLA 3-2... Nine of OSU's 15 losses have come to teams ranked in the Top-25... Unranked Arizona State, whom the Beavers play twice this weekend hold the all-time edge in the series, 54-20... But, there is reason for the Beaver faithful to be optimistic, OSU is 31-6 this season against non-ranked foes, and 15 of OSU's 20 wins against ASU have come under Coach Walker.

STANFORD:
In a 4-0 win over Sacramento State, senior Pitcher Dana Sorensen recorded her 1,000th career strikeout. She is the first Cardinal to ever reach the plateau, and only the fourth pitcher in Pac-10 history to reach that mark... Sorensen is in the Top-5 in career strikeouts in the Division I among active players... The Cardinal is winning with defense, as a team Stanford has a 97.4 percent fielding percentage, the best in the Pac-10, and the sixth highest average in the nation.

UCLA:
Last week was a big week for senior pitcher Keira Goerl, she is now 116-18 all-time. Her 116 wins place her as the active leader and she is tied for eighth-best in NCAA history... Goerl has 974 career strikeouts, the sixth-best among active Division I players and is UCLA's leader in both wins and strikeouts... UCLA hosts Cal this week and has won 16-of-17 against the Bears, including the national championship game last season... Sophomore Caitlin Benyi hit a home run in all three games over the weekend, and has now homered in four straight games... Benyi is also tops in the Pac-10 with 15 home runs on the season.

WASHINGTON:At 6-1, the Huskies are off to their best start since they were 9-1 in 2000, the last time Washington won the Pac-10... Player of the year finalist SR Kristin Rivera is making a Pac-10 version of a run for the triple crown, as she is second in the Conference in home runs (14), third in batting average (.430) and fifth in RBI (41)... Rivera is also leading the nation in slugging percentage, at .968 percent... UW has won four games at home this season after winning only five all of last season on their home field.

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