Drives -- ASC's Weekly Softball Notebook
March 30, 2004
AROUND THE CONFERENCE
Conference doubleheaders fill this weeks softball schedule for American Southwest Conference squads, including a key mid-week ASC East match-up between division-leading East Texas Baptist and third-place UT Dallas on Wednesday (Mar. 31). Mary Hardin-Baylor travels to Howard Payne for a weekend series battle between the second and third-place teams in the ASC West Division. . . . Several ASC teams face a short week in the first full week of April due to the Easter holiday, with conference series shifted to a Thursday-Friday schedule.
Right-hander Sandi Clark, the ASC East Pitcher of the Week for March 22, was named Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division III National Player of the Week (Mar. 22). Clark recorded back-to-back shutouts--the first a no-hitter and the second a perfect game--in leading Louisiana College to a four-game ASC East sweep of visiting Ozarks (Mar. 19-20). The sophomore struck out 11and allowed two walks in the complete game 7-0, no-hitter on Friday. On Saturday Clark against retired 11 batters via strikeout to post a 3-0 perfect game victory. Clark improved to 7-1 for the season with a 0.23 ERA. Clark was also named Collegiate Pitcher of the Week by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.
The first regular season NFCA coaches poll is scheduled for release on Wednesday (Mar. 31). Both East Texas Baptist and Louisiana College were among teams receiving votes in the preseason poll.
Concordia-Austin center fielder Pepper Henderson looks to have found her bat during last weekends ASC West series at Mary Hardin-Baylor (Mar. 26-27). Henderson opened the four-game set going 3-for-5 with four RBI, a sacrifice fly, a run scored and a stolen base in Fridays doubleheader. She carries a .237 batting average and has hits in eight of 16 games played, including a season-high two hits in game one of the UMHB series. Henderson has also been solid in the outfield throughout the season with no errors in 15 chances and four times throwing out runners.
Saturdays two wins vs. Louisiana College gave head coach Kent Reeves 104 in his career at East Texas Baptist, including 83 wins in his first stint as coach from 1998-2000. Reeves trails Mike Reed by only one win on the Lady Tigers all-time coaching list with his first chance to tie and/or break the all-time coaching wins record coming on Wednesday against UT Dallas (Mar. 31). . . . The Lady Tigers rallied for a 3-2 win in game one Saturday on Holley Martins two-out, two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning. With eight home runs in four games last week, ETBU improved its record total of homers to 25 on the season.
Hardin-Simmons P Amber Pierce made her first season appearance and start in the circle and allowed just one run and struck out two in 7.2 innings in the 2-0 loss to Schreiner (Mar. 26). Pierce is the second-leading hitter among the Cowgirls with a .327 batting average and seven RBI in 19 games. . . . Freshman SS Ashley Lang had eight RBIs in six games, including four in the win over Northwood last Tuesday (Mar. 30).
LeTourneau played just two games last week and gets back to a regular pace with a pair of ASC East doubleheaders against defending division champion Louisiana College on Tuesday (Mar. 30) and Saturday (Apr. 3). . . . Stephanie Ray hit her team-leading fourth home run of the season in the first game of last Tuesdays UTD doubleheader (Mar. 23). . . . The 2004 season is proving to be the LadyJackets best offensive year in the five years of the program. The team has set records for runs (96), hits (180), home runs (8), total bases (236) and walks (64). . . . Two season individual records have been set and another tied through the first 27 games. Cathy Terence has the record for most sacrifice bunts in a season with 11 and Robin Duck set the stolen bases record at UT Dallas with her 13th steal of the season. Rays home run tied her own season record from last year.
Louisiana College freshman 1B/DH Katherine Horton batted .571 (8-for-14) with 7 RBIs and three home runs in two doubleheaders. In the doubleheader sweep of Millsaps (Mar. 25), Horton hit two-run home runs in both games to propel the LC offense. In the first game of Saturdays doubleheader against East Texas Baptist (Mar. 27), she gave the Lady Wildcats an early 2-0 lead via home run and finished the game 4-for-4. The three home runs were her first of the year. . . . Louisiana College has a home-and-home series vs. ASC East rival LeTourneau on its weekly schedule before hosting East Texas Baptist in a rematch on April 6.
Mary Hardin-Baylor went 4-0 in last weekends ASC West series vs. Concordia-Austin (Mar. 26-27) to push its win streak to eight games. . . . OF/P Jackilyn Michel batted .500 last week (5-for-10) and scored two runs in each of the UMHB wins. She had a hit in every game and walked six times to post a .688 on-base percentage as leadoff hitter. Michel added two complete-game victories as a pitcher, striking out five and giving up 10 hits in 14 innings of work. . . . P Megan Brown pitched a pair of complete-game victories for the Crusaders last week. She threw six- and two-hitters in wins over CUA and struck out 12 batters in 10 innings to move to 7-3 on the season. . . . 1B Jennifer Pietrowski added another home run in the series against CUA to push her school season record total to seven. . . . Rebecca Birkhead batted .571 (4-for-7) in two starts over the weekend and Krystal Barajas was 4-for-12 with five RBIs and five runs scored against the Tornados.
Mississippi College won the series-opening doubleheader at Ozarks last Friday (Mar. 26), but dropped Saturdays twinbill to keep its ASC East record even at 8-8. . . . Senior P Katie Waterbury helped lead the Lady Choctaws to its Friday win at UO, pitching complete game victories in both outings while giving up no earned runs. Waterbury is 9-5 on the season and lists ninth in the conference with a 1.70 ERA. . . . MC plays a non-conference date at Belhaven on Wednesday (Mar. 31) before hosting ASC East leader East Texas Baptist on Saturday (Apr. 3).
Ozarks got a huge hit from freshman RF Kara Bartholomew in Saturdays second game against Mississippi College (Mar. 27). Bartholomew slapped a single to left field to drive in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh to seal a 3-2 victory for UO. Bartholomew extended her hitting streak to six games as she had another solid week at the plate, going 7-for-13 and stealing three bases in the Lady Eagles 3-2 week. Bartholomew has 10 multiple hit games this season and is a perfect 14-for-14 in stolen bases. . . . Senior SS Jamie Johnson played a near flawless defensive game in the four-game MC series, recording 16 assists and making several nice stops. Johnson also did well at the plate during the week, going 5-for-16 with six RBIs. . . . Devon Bottoms had two clutch RBIs in the bottom of the seventh in the 3-2 win over MC on Saturday. Bottoms single knocked-in two to tie the score at 2-2 and set up Bartholomews game-winning hit.
First-year P Kayla Burleson threw two complete-game shutouts against Hardin-Simmons last weekend to help propel Schreiner to a four-game sweep of the Cowgirles and improve to a 6-6 conference record. Burleson allowed five hits while striking out 10 batters in Fridays 2-0 decision (Mar. 26). The next day she was even more impressive, throwing a three hit shutout where she gave up hits in the second, fifth and the sixth innings, but did not allow a base runner past second base. . . . Senior Emily Chaney had a solid weekend at the plate, successfully hitting in all four games to go a combined 7-for-12 (.583). She had five RBIs and two runs scored. . . . Burleson and Chaney are atop the team in batting average with .346 and .325, respectively. . . . SU will hit the road this week as they face Concordia-Austin in a Friday-Saturday series (Apr. 2-3).
Sul Ross State freshman C Kym Kyzar had her 10-game hitting streak stopped in Saturdays 4-0 loss to Texas Lutheran (Mar. 27), but promptly responded with a two-run triple in her first at-bat in game two of the doubleheader. Kyzar is hitting a hot .500 (18-for-36) since joining the Lady Lobos after concluding her basketball season. He nine RBIs tie her with Nicca Vizcaino for the team lead. . . . Junior Maria Balderas pitched in all four games against TLU with three complete game efforts, including the 5-4 win in the series finale. Balderas allowed 24 hits in 22 innings, struck out 10, walked seven and gave up eight earned runs.
After a rocky first inning with three unearned runs, UT Dallas freshman P Daci DeLeon settled down and limited LeTourneau to just one hit the rest of the way, striking out a season-high 10 in a five-inning 11-3 win. It was DeLeons second win of the season. . . . The Comets have now won seven of their last eight games, all at home, since returning from their California trip; and are 8-2 in ASC East play. UTD faces a tough test Wednesday (Mar. 31) when it travels to East Texas Baptist for a midweek doubleheader. . . . The UTD offense, which had been struggling early in the season, is now clicking at a .306 pace after 20 games. The Comets also have three regular pitchers with ERAs of 2.78 or better, led by Jenelle Morrisons 2.01 ERA and 5-1 record. Sophomore Stephanie Herrera, who also struggled early, has lowered her ERA to 4.28 after giving up just one earned run and four hits in a 4-1 win over LeTourneau.
Amy Behlen extended her hitting streak to 14 games with hits in all six Texas Lutheran games last week. She hit .611 (11-for-18) with three runs scored, two doubles, a home run and seven runs driven in. The junior DH also was 5-for-5 on stolen base attempts. After struggling at the beginning of the year, Behlen has come on strong in the last 14 games, raising her average to a team-leading .375. She leads the team in RBIs with 15 and in doubles with five. . . . Lauren Dobson tossed her first shutout of the season in TLUs 5-0 win over Sul Ross State on Friday (Mar. 26). . . . The Bulldogs took three of four from Schreiner and three of four from Sul Ross State to remain at the top of the ASC West Division standings with a 12-3 record. . . . The Bulldogs are off until an April 6 conference doubleheader at Concordia-Austin. moved to 16-6 overall and to 12-3 in the ASC West...
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