Drives -- ASC's Weekly Softball Notebook
April 20, 2004
AROUND THE CONFERENCE
All 13 American Southwest Conference softball teams close out their regular-season schedules this week, with berths in the April 30-May 1 ASC Softball Championship Tournament on the line in both divisions. One of the four spots has been claimed with weekend play determining the field which will be announced Monday (Apr. 26).
East Texas Baptist reclaimed the ASC East Division title with Saturdays sweep of LeTourneau (Apr. 17), earning the divisions top seed for the conference tournament. UT Dallas and Louisiana College are battling for the second seed from the division with each having two league games remaining. Second-place UTD hosts East Texas Baptist while third-place LC plays host to Mississippi College, both in Saturday doubleheaders (Apr. 24).
Texas Lutheran sits atop the ASC West Division being chased by second-place Howard Payne and third-place Mary Hardin-Baylor. TLU hosts Howard Payne in a four-game series while UMHB makes a trip to Sul Ross State for a four-game set on Friday and Saturday (Apr. 23-24)
The four-team, double-elimination ASC Softball Championship Tournament will be played at Southwest Park in Irving, Texas. Fridays first two rounds are scheduled for 1:00 and 3:00 starts while Saturdays semifinal, championship and if-needed games are set for 11:00, 1:00 and 3:00. . . . Southwest Park is located at 2800 Shady Grove Road in Irving. A map and directions can be accessed online at http://www.ci.irving.tx.us/ParksRec/facilities/s-z/southwestpark/. . . . East Texas Baptist is defending ASC Softball champion.
Concordia-Austin faces a busy week, thanks to the weather earlier this month. The Tornados host Schreiner in back-to-back doubleheaders on Tuesday and Wednesday (Apr. 20-21) rescheduled from earlier this season, then travel to Hardin-Simmons for a Friday-Saturday set to finish off the season (Apr. 23-24).
East Texas Baptist sophomore DP Allison Ratcliff continues to build a reputation as one of the most feared power hitters in the nation, ripping off six home runs last week, including an impressive display of five in four games against Ozarks (Apr. 16-17). Three of Ratcliffs homers against the Lady Eagles went to the opposite field. For the season, Ratcliff is hitting a team-best .505 (50-of-99) with 14 homers, 43 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .980. Her 14 homers give her 20 for her career at ETBU, which is not yet two complete seasons old. . . . Ratcliff is leading a Lady Tiger team that has now hit 44 homers this season, only four away from the NCAA record of 48 set in 2002 by Muskingum. . . . RHP Ashley Stout continues to steam toward the postseason, having allowed only one earned run in her last 28 innings pitched. She came on in relief in Tuesdays 2-1 loss at Mississippi College (Apr. 13) and kept the Lady Tigers in the contest down the stretch. Stout dominated Ozarks on Friday with a complete-game six-hitter. For the season, Stout is 6-0 with a 1.02 ERA in 41 innings. . . . Two-time All-American Angela Gonzales broke her own ETBU season RBI record over the weekend, running her total this season to 47. Gonzales had set the record last year with 44. . . . No. 2-ranked ETBU honored its 2004 senior class Saturday between games of the Ozarks doubleheader. The Lady Tigers class Kristen Abernathy, Jennifer Doyal, Gonzales, Lexi Langley, Mandie McConnell, Carrie Mills and Tonya Minor constitute the largest senior class in the seven-year history of the program.
Howard Payne senior C Sami Graham hit .444 (8-for-18) with eight RBIs and two doubles and did not strike out to help the Lady Jackets to a 6-0 week in ASC West play. . . . HPU puts its bid for a trip to the conference championship tournament on the line with a Friday-Saturday four-game series as division leader Texas Lutheran. The Lady Jackets are in second-place.
No. 17-ranked Louisiana College had one of its toughest weekly finishes of the season, going 3-3 with two losses in ASC East play at UT Dallas (Apr. 16-17). The Lady Wildcats split a doubleheader with NAIA fourth-ranked University of Mobile, winning game one 3-2 but losing game two in extra innings 4-3. . . . The Lady Wildcats are 1-4 in extra inning games, taking two losses to East Texas Baptist and one each against Texas Lutheran and Mobile. . . . Pitcher Sandi Clark went 3-1 on the week to mover her record to 14-4.
Sophomore P Megan Brown went 4-0 last week and allowed just one earned run in four appearances, striking out 19 batters and giving up nine hits in 23 innings of work. She threw a complete-game, four-hitter against Trinity (Apr. 13) and a complete-game, two-hitter against ASC West rival Schreiner (Apr. 16). Brown also picked up wins in both ends of Fridays Schreiner doubleheader and hit her first collegiate home run in the 5-0 victory over the Mountaineers. . . . The Crusaders went 6-0 last week, taking a non-conference pair from Trinity and four from Schreiner. . . . Jennifer Pietrowski hit two home runs and drove in four runs in the series against Schreiner. She has 11 home runs this season to smash the UMHB single season record and with 34 RBIs needs just three more to tie the school season mark in that category. . . . P Jackilyn Michel went 2-0 in the circle and allowed eight hits in a pair of shutout victories. . . . The Crusaders played their final games at the old Dee Dillon Field with the series against Schreiner. UMHB will move to a brand new softball field on campus next season.
Mississippi College first-year OF Randi Moak had the best performance of her collegiate career in the second game of the Saturday doubleheader against LeTourneau (Apr. 17). Moak drove in six runs on two doubles and a single-- two-RBI double in the second, a two-RBI single in the fourth, and a two-RBI double in the fifth. Moak hit .833 in three appearances (5-for-6).
Ozarks sophomore IF Devon Bottoms went 3-for-9 during the April 16-17 East Texas Baptist series. Bottoms is hitting .329 this year after finishing last season with a .240 batting average. . . . The Lady Eagles have one player hitting over .400 this season and four others hitting over .300. Dana Marvin is leading the squad with a .400 batting clip. Kara Bartholomew (.362), Jodie Clark (.333), Bottoms (.329) and Erica Newell (.327) are in the .300 club. . . . Marvin is the team leader in strikeouts, totaling 50 in 85 innings pitched.
UT Dallas holds a narrow one-game lead over Louisiana College, thanks to the four-game split vs. the Lady Wildcats for the final ASC East playoff spot last weekend (Apr. 16-17). UTD hosts East Texas Baptist for its final two regular season games on Saturday (Apr. 24). The Comets lost their first two meetings with ETBU earlier this season. . . . Since dropping the pair to ETBU, UTD has won 10 of 12, and has 17 wins in its last 22 games. . . . In the dramatic finale of the Louisiana College series, Candace Felts, who was 0-for-9 in the first three games, went 3-for-4 and plated an early go-ahead run, a tying run and the eventual game winner. . . . Stephanie Herrera finished the week with a 5-for-12 performance, driving in five runs. She also pitched six scoreless innings against Dallas and closed out the LC series with one shutout inning in the finale.
Texas Lutheran took a weekend break from ASC West play, winning two against Trinity and dropping a pair to Cal State Hayward in Friday-Sunday games. TLU began its six-game week winning its conference doubleheader at Concordia-Austin (Apr. 13). . . . Junior DH Amy Behlen went 4-for-4 in a 7-0 win over Trinity on Friday, rapping two singles, a double and a triple. Behlen put together a .350 hitting performance for the week (7-for-20) with five RBIs and three runs scored. . . . Starting pitcher Lauren Dobson went 2-1 in three appearances last week. She pitched a two-hitter at Concordia-Austin and a complete-game four-hitter against Trinity (Apr. 16). Dobson battled Cal State Hayward to a 0-0 tie until the seventh inning before giving up a pair of runs in the 2-0 loss (Apr. 18).
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