USU Softball Opens Three-Game Series With First-Place Hawai`i Tuesday
April 5, 2010
LOGAN, Utah -
Hawai`i (28-11, 6-0 WAC) at Utah State (14-15, 3-2 WAC) Tuesday-Wednesday, April 6-7 LaRee and LeGrand Softball Field (500)QUICKLY - Utah State softball (14-15, 3-2 WAC) prepares for one its toughest weeks of the season taking on first-place Hawai`i in Logan and second-place Fresno State in Fresno, Calif. The hard-hitting Rainbow Wahine come to town with a 28-11 overall record and a perfect 6-0 Western Athletic Conference record after sweeping New Mexico State in Las Cruces last week. The Aggies improved to 3-2 in WAC action with two wins against Nevada last week.
SERIES HISTORY VS HAWAI`I - Hawai`i holds a 29-16 record overall against the Aggies. The two teams met for the first time in 1986. Last season in Honolulu, the Rainbow Wahine swept the Aggies. Two if the three games were one-run games.
Hawai`i is a hard-hitting team with 80 home runs in 39 games this season. The Rainbow Wahine are led by Kelly Majam's .386 batting average and WAC-leading 20 home runs. In the circle, Utah State is led by a pair of pitchers with at least 10 wins. Stephanie Ricketts is 13-6 with 94 strikeouts, while Kaia Parnaby is 14-5 with 138 strikeouts.
MATCHING LAST SEASON - With a doubleheader sweep against Nevada on April 2, the Aggies have now tied last season's WAC win total. Last season, USU was 3-17 in WAC play and 2-15 in 2008.
OFFENSIVE EXPLOSION - Last week, the Aggies hit six home runs in the two games against Nevada. In the first game, junior Shasta Tyteca started the power surge with a grand slam to give USU a 12-4 lead. It was her first home run of the season. She added another bomb in the Aggies' 11-7 win over the Wolf Pack for her second home run of the day and the season. She now has three career home runs, USU pounded five home runs in the second game of the doubleheader, including Tyteca's second. Freshman Kali Cancelosi knocked two out of LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Softball Field. Fellow freshman Tina Ferguson and senior Simone Hubbard rounded out the arsenal for the Aggies.
COACH'S OPENERS - Carissa Millsap-Kalaba is the eighth Aggie softball head coach and became the fifth USU head coach to win their opening game at the helm of the Aggies with a 7-5 win against Maine on Feb. 12. USU is now 5-3 in head coach openers... Kalaba joined John Horan in 1976, Lloydene Searle in 1980, Pam McCreesh in 1998 and Candi Letts in 2007 for winning their first game for USU.
AGAINST THE BEST - Utah State is currently 1-2 against ranked teams. USU defeated No. 1 Washington on Feb. 19. The Aggies two losses came against then-No. 21 Texas A&M on Mar. 12 and Mar. 13.
AGGIES CAPTURE FIRST WAC HOME OPENER - Utah State captured its first WAC home opener in its five years in the conference. Last season, the Aggies lost its first three WAC games in Logan after being swept by Boise State. In 2008, USU also lost its first three games. In 2007, USU started WAC play 1-2, losing 2-of-3 against Nevada. In their first season in the WAC, the Aggies started WAC play at home 0-4.
Utah State earned its first overall, WAC and home doubleheader sweep since April 5, 2008 with a pair of wins over San Jose State. The Aggies had scored double-digits runs twice in their 27 games prior to Friday, but hung double-figures in both of Friday's games.
AMONG THE LEADERS IN THE WAC - Freshman pitcher Shelbi Tyteca is first in the WAC in saves with three. Senior Kate Greenough is tied for third in strike outs looking with 30. In total strikeouts, Greenough is 10th with 62.
PEARLY ANNIVERSARY OF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP - Utah State is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Aggies' 1980 AIAW National Championship.
GETTING ON THE BASE - Utah State now has four players hitting .300 or better this season. Freshman Kali Cancelosi is hitting .317 overall and .583 in WAC games. Senior Simone Hubbard is second in hitting with a .316 average and a .429 average in WAC games. Fellow senior Emily Reilly has a .303 mark overall and a .438 average in WAC games. Junior Megan McDonald is right at the .300 mark overall and has a .333 average in WAC only games.
AGGIES DEFEAT NO. 1 WASHINGTON - Utah State softball showed no fear in upsetting the reigning NCAA Women's College World Series champions and current No. 1 Washington, 7-4, Friday morning in the opening game of the Campbell-Cartier Classic in San Diego.
Freshman Kali Cancelosi's three RBI led the Aggies to their biggest upset since defeating No. 2 Texas A&M in College Station in 1987. In that battle, USU shut out Texas A&M, 1-0. Senior Kate Greenough was in the circle for the Aggies Friday, improving to 2-1 with the win, while freshman Shelbi Tyteca earned her second save of the year. With the win USU improved to 5-1 this season, the Aggies' best start since 1990.
The last time that the Aggies had even faced a No. 1 team was 1998 when USU fell to No. 1 Arizona, 19-2. Utah State also fell to No. 1 Arizona, 8-0, in 1997. The last time that Utah State defeated a ranked team was a 2-0 win over No. 15 Oregon State in Corvallis in 2008.
BE HOME LATE - USU's April 2 home-opener is the latest home-opener since 2007's April 3 opener... It is the 25th time in the 35 years of Utah State softball that the Aggies' first home game is in the month of April. The Aggies have the latest home-opener in the WAC... USU also has the latest home-opener in the state of Utah, later than Weber State (making the program's return debut April 1 vs. Nevada), Utah (March 30 vs. Southern Utah), BYU (March 31 vs. Utah State), Utah Valley (March 13 vs. College of Idaho), Southern Utah (March 12 vs. South Dakota State) and Dixie State (Feb. 20 vs. Southern Utah).
SEASON 35 - The 2010 season marks the 35th year of softball at Utah State... The Aggies enter the season with a 782-875-3 (.472) overall record... USU has one college World Series appearance (1984, tied for 7th) and four NCAA Tournament appearances (1984, 1989, 1992, 1993)... Utah State won the 1980 and 1981 AIAW National Championships... This is USU's fifth year in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).
TIDBITS ABOUT UTAH STATE - Aggie News and Notes -- The Aggies are second in the WAC in hitting in conference only games, hitting .335. Utah State is also second in WAC games in home runs with seven so far in five conference games.
-- Nicole (Rupp) Tindall is first on the team in RBI with 20 runs batted in. Tindall is hitting .272 with 25 hits this season.
-- The Aggies have six players with at least three multiple RBI games this season. Kelley Kaneshiro and Kali Cancelosi both have five multiple RBI games. Nicole (Rupp) Tindall, Shasta Tyteca, and Emily Reilly all have four multiple RBI games. Freshman Tina Ferguson has three mulitple RBI games.
-- Tindall started WAC play strong hitting .444 in the first five games. Freshman Kali Cancelosi leads the team hitting .583 in WAC action.
-- The Aggies have stolen 25 bases in the first 26 games. Junior Joreigh Landers is 4-for-5 on the base paths this season, while freshman Shelbi Tyteca is a perfect 3-for-3. USU has only been caught on the base paths five times this season. Tindall is 6-for-7 in steal attempts this season.
-- Redshirt-sophomore Kelley Kaneshiro enters the season either on or within striking distance of some USU career records, as she is sixth on the career home run list with 15. Jennifer Power (1991-94) and Breanne Smith (1999-2002) are tied for fourth with 18 HR's each.
-- Kaneshiro currently has a six-game hitting streak which is the longest on the team this season. McDonald has a five-game hitting streak currently.
-- Utah State has five players in double digits in runs scored. Tindall is first with 15. Kaneshiro has 13, while Landers has 12. Megan McDonald has scored 11 runs, while Ferguson has scored 10.
-- Carissa Millsap-Kalaba (Cal-uh-ba) comes to Utah State after five seasons as the head coach at Biola University in La Mirada, Calif... While at Biola, Millsap-Kalaba led the Eagles to five-straight playoff appearances, the longest streak in the program's 17-year history. Her teams also finished no lower than fifth in the tough Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC), posting an overall mark of 59-61... During her tenure at Biola, she compiled an overall record of 143-93 (.606 winning percentage), averaging just under 29 wins per year.
-- Under Millsap-Kalaba, the Eagles ended the 2009 season with a record of 19-21, advancing to the GSAC Tournament as the fifth-seed, falling to Azusa Pacific. Biola was third in the conference with a 1.84 ERA and fourth in batting with a .273 team average.
-- In her first four seasons at Biola, the Eagles averaged 31 wins per year. In 2005, she led the Eagles to a 34-16 mark and the team's first NAIA Region II appearance in three seasons. In 2006, she led Biola to a 32-14 record, which was third-best season in the program's history.
-- She had three players earn all-GSAC honors in 2009, as well as two GSAC scholar-athletes.
-- In addition to coaching at Biola, Millsap-Kalaba has coached the Jets Gold U18 team from 2002-2009. She was also the head coach at Arcadia High School in Arcadia, Calif., from 2000-04.
-- After transferring from Hofstra University, Kalaba played two seasons at UCLA where the Bruins won the Women's College World Series title in 1999.
-- Her husband, Joe, was an assistant coach for her at Biola, and is now the travel coordinator for the Utah State Athletics Department. UP NEXT - Following the series with Nevada. Utah State will continue its six-game homestand with the hard hitting Rainbow Wahine of Hawai`i April 6-7. The Aggies will then hit the road to take on second-place Fresno State April9-10 in Fresno, Calif.
The Fresno State trip is the beginning of an eight-game road trip. Following the three-game series with the Bulldogs, USU returns to Beehive State for a doubleheader with Utah on April 13. The Aggies conclude the road trip with a three-game WAC series with Boise April 16-17.
USU Softball Picked to Finish Eighth in WAC Preseason Softball Poll Utah State softball was selected eighth in the Western Athletic Conference preseason poll, earning seven points.
The WAC softball coaches selected Fresno State to win the 2010 WAC regular-season crown. This is the 13th time in the last 15 years that the Bulldogs have been the preseason favorite to take the crown.
The coaches also voted on 2010 preseason award winners. Fresno State junior Morgan Melloh earned preseason Pitcher of the Year honors for the second-straight season, while Louisiana Tech senior shortstop Amberly Waits earned preseason Player of the Year honors.
Fresno State took the top spot in the preseason poll with 48 points, including six of the eight first-place votes. Nevada edged the Rainbow Wahine for second place with 41 points to Hawai`i's 34. The Wolf Pack also earned one of the first place votes. New Mexico State was picked fourth with 29 points and the final first-place vote. Louisiana Tech was just one point behind in fifth place with 28 points. San Jose State was picked to finish sixth with 19 points, while Boise State was picked to finish seventh with 18 points. The Aggies round out the poll with seven points.