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This Week in WAC Softball - March 26

This Week in WAC Softball - March 26

Complete Release (PDF)

 
SU'S REE , GCU'S DENHART NAMED WAC ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
Seattle U's Kaylee Ree and Grand Canyon's Ryan Denhart have been named the Western Athletic Conference Hitter and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, for March 18-24. 
 
Ree, a senior infielder from Gresham, Ore., was a model of consistency for the Redhawks, hitting .500 with a .917 slugging percentage in a WAC series win at Kansas City. She was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in all three games, adding a home run in the first game and doubles in the last two contests. In addition to her consistency at the plate, she was perfect in the field, picking up five putouts and five assists on 10 defensive chances.
 
Denhart, a sophomore right-hander from Los Alamitos, Calif., earns honors for the second straigh week after going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA last week. She allowed just one unearned run and six hits over 13.0 innings pitched. In her two games against the Wolverines, she struck out six hitters with no walks. She nearly earned the no-hitter on Friday, not allowing a hit through six innings, and then she came into the game in relief on Saturday and earned her second win of the weekend.
 
Other Hitter of the Week nominees included: Caitlyn Lloyd of California Baptist hit .444 with two RBIs as the Lancers dropped two-of-three at CSU Bakersfield ... CSU Bakersfield's Ally Miller paced the 'Runner offense on the week, going 5-of-8 from the plate to help CSUB to a 2-1 series win over California Baptist ... Savannah Tourville of Grand Canyon led the Lopes with a .714 average and five RBIs in a series sweep over Utah Valley ... Kansas City's Sydney Garcia extended her hitting streak to five games, going 7-for-11 from the plate in a series loss against Seattle U ... Kelsey Horton of NM State posted a .500 batting average on the week and scored five times as the Aggies split a doubleheader at UTEP before sweeping North Dakota.
 
Other Pitcher of the Week nominees included: California Baptist's Sydney Truett threw a complete game in a 1-0 loss at CSU Bakersfield, allowing just one unearned run on three hits against the 'Runners ... Kiara Azevedo of CSU Bakersfield posted a complete-game shutout against Californai Baptist, striking out three and allowing three hits in a 1-0 pitchers' dual ... Kansas City's Kailyn Packard picked up the save on Saturday, allowing one unearned run on one hit in three innings to preserve a 7-5 win ... Samaria Diaz of NM State was 1-1 with a save on the week, striking out 17 over 11.2 innings pitched ... Seattle U's Andie Larkins threw a complete game and struck out five to earn the win on Friday at Kansas City.
 
NM STATE TIES PROGRAM WALK RECORD
NM State tied the Aggies' single-game record for walks in a game with 12 on March 19 at UTEP. The last time NM State walked that many times was Feb. 11, 2011 against Colorado State.
 
GRAND CANYON RECEIVING VOTES IN USA TODAY/NFCA POLL
Grand Canyon received three points in the latest USA Today/NFCA Poll, released on Tuesday morning. That unofficially puts the Lopes in the 36th spot nationally.
 
SEATTLE U'S SMITH SETS PROGRAM RECORD FOR STRIKEOUTS
On March 17, Seattle U sophomore pitcher Shianne Smith set a Division I program record with 11 strikeouts in eight innings against North Dakota. 
 
CSUB PLAYS MARATHON RECORD AGAINST SAN DIEGO
On March 17, CSU Bakersfield defeated San Diego 4-3 in 11 innings. The game took 3:21. It tied for the second-longest game in Division I history by innings (12 innings vs. Saint Mary's in 2009) and broke the record for longest game by time (previous record was 3:15 at Pacific on March 12, 2011). 
 
SEATTLE U POST BEST START IN PROGRAM HISTORY
The Redhawks are off to their best 31-game start in Division I program history, having won 20 games heading into play this week.
 
GRAND CANYON'S SIERRA SMITH CANDIDATE FOR SENIOR CLASS AWARD
Grand Canyon softball player Sierra Smith is one of 30 candidates for the Senior CLASS Award®, given annually to a student-athlete who excels both on and off the field. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
 
Smith has volunteered for the Phoenix Children's Hospital 5k run each of the last three years. She went to Rocky Point, Mexico, with teammates to build a house for families in both 2016 and 2017 and volunteered at UMOM New Day Center to help run a Winter Wonderland Festival in 2018. Smith also volunteered at The Miracle League of Arizona to help coach and cheer on people with special needs while playing baseball and currently works for a non-profit organization called Sons of Arizona that benefits local charities that support kids.
 
Smith will graduate with a degree in business management in April and has a cumulative grade-point average of 3.79. She is a three-time Academic All-WAC honoree and helped GCU earn the top GPA in the nation in 2016 and 2018.
 
Smith, who has played and started every game for the last three seasons, was named second team All-Region in 2018 after posting a team-leading .392 batting average. She was named to the WAC All-Tournament Team after breaking four tournament records in 2018 – most hits in a tournament, most doubles in a game, most doubles in a tournament and most RBIs in a tournament. She was named first team All-WAC in 2017 and is a two-time WAC Hitter of the Week.
 
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists later in the season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot.
 
GCU DEFEATS NO. 1 AND PREVIOUSLY UNBEATEN FLORIDA STATE
The Grand Canyon softball team became GCU's first Division I-era team to beat a team with a No. 1 national ranking on March 6 when it stunned defending national champion and previously unbeaten Florida State 5-3. With the tying run at the plate for Florida State, GCU sophomore pitcher Yesenia Morrison finished off her complete-game win by inducing a pop out and a fly out to end the game. Morrison had given up back-to-back home runs to start the game but only allowed four hits over the final six innings to the nation's top hitting team. She allowed three runs on seven hits and one walk. The Lopes got to Florida State ace Meghan King, whose earned run average of 0.72 ranked 14th in the nation before the loss. The Lopes scored all five runs on seven hits against King in her 5 2/3 innings of work. Savannah Tourville gave the Lopes their first lead of the game in the sixth inning, doubling to left field to score pinch runner Christine Bellavia. It marked only the third time Florida State even had trailed in a game this season. Tourville finished the game 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs.
 
NM STATE'S HORTON BECOMES PROGRAM TOTAL BASES LEADER
Kelsey Horton became the NM State career leader in total bases, moving her total to 452. She also ranks first in batting average (.387) and slugging percentage (.780), second in home runs (63), third in RBIs (190) and runs (183), fourth in doubles (41) and fifth in hits (229). The senior is two home runs shy of becoming the all-time WAC leader in home runs.
 
SEATTLE U EARNS FIRST-EVER WIN OVER TOP 25 TEAM
On March 2, Seattle U picked up its first-ever win over a nationally-ranked team, beating No. 25 Illinois, 5-2. The Illini were ranked No. 25 in the USA Softball poll and were the first team outside the Top 25 in the National Fastpitch Coach Association (NFCA) poll.
 
UMKC'S ROLLOW MOVES INTO 10TH PLACE IN CAREER HOMERS
Kansas City senior outfielder Maegan Rollow belted a pair of homers at the Wildcat Classic to move into 10th place in the UMKC career record books with 10 career home runs. 
 
HIPA CLIMBING CSUB CAREER HOME RUN CHARTS
CSU Bakersfield senior Chris Hipa hit a pair of homers in two games at the rain-shortened Red Desert Classic to move her career total to 11. The native of Aiea, Hawai'i now ranks fourth in CSUB's Division I history.
 
CSUB'S CURRAN SETS PROGRAM RECORDS FOR TRIPLES
On Feb. 22 against Santa Clara, CSU Bakersfield junior Cydney Curran hit two triples setting a CSUB Division I single-game record. Curran already has six triples this season, which ranks her third in the nation and places her first in the CSU Bakersfield Division I single-season record books.
 
KANSAS CITY'S PACKARD THROWS FIRST NO-HITTER IN WAC SINCE '17
On Feb. 23, Kansas City freshman right-hander Kailyn Packard threw a no-hitter in a 7-0 win over Grambling State at the Black and Gold Tournament in Montgomery, Ala. Packard tossed all seven innings for the Roos, allowing no hits, while striking out 10. It was the first no-hitter thrown in the WAC since Seattle U's Alyssa Reuble threw a perfect game on March 10, 2017.
 
THREE PLAYERS RANK IN WAC CAREER TOP 10
NM State senior Kelsey Horton currently holds the all-time WAC record for career slugging percentage (.780), ranks second in home runs (63), fourth in total bases (461), fifth in RBIs (190) and 10th in batting average (.387). Seattle U junior Madison Cathcart ranks ninth in slugging percentage (.695), while Grand Canyon senior Sierra Smith is tied for ninth in triples (13).
 
UVU'S HUBBARD PICKS UP 200TH CAREER VICTORY
With his team's 11-3 victory over Seton Hall on Feb. 9, Utah Valley head coach TJ Hubbard picked up his 200th career victory. In his ninth season as a head coach, Hubbard boasts a 205-226-1 (.476) career record. He is 44-65 (.404) in three seasons at Utah Valley.
 
CSUB'S BUCK-ZIEGLER EARNS 100TH CAREER WIN
CSU Bakersfield head coach Crissy Buck-Ziegler earned her 100th career victory on Feb. 10 when the 'Runners defeated Montana 3-2. In her eighth season at the helm, Buck-Ziegler is 106-255-1 (.294).