Softball Wraps Up Action At Home This Week Hosting Idaho State And Northern Colorado
April 22, 2008
LOGAN, Utah -
Idaho State (7-22) at Utah State (11-27, 2-12 WAC)
Northern Colorado (11-32) at Utah State (11-27, 2-12 WAC)
Utah State's Week Schedule
QUICKLY - Utah State softball (11-27, 2-12 WAC) wraps up non-conference and home action this week, hosting Idaho State (7-22) in a doubleheader on Thursday, April 24 at 2 p.m., and Northern Colorado (11-32) for a four-game series in two days on Saturday and Sunday, April 26-27. Saturday's action starts at 1 p.m., while Sunday's games are now starting at 10 a.m. instead of 12 p.m. All home games are played at LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field and admission is free.
GAME TIME CHANGE - Sunday's Utah State versus Northern Colorado doubleheader has been moved up to a 10 a.m. start time.
ABOUT UTAH STATE - The Aggies are 11-27 overall and in seventh-place in the Western Athletic Conference with a 2-12 record, after falling in a three-game WAC series against Louisiana Tech last weekend, losing, 1-0, on Friday and falling, 7-2, and, 3-2, on Saturday.
ABOUT IDAHO STATE - The Bengals are 7-22 on the year and have played only four games since the last meeting between USU and ISU on April 9. Idaho State plays at BYU, Tuesday, April 22 and it last swept Great Falls, 13-5, and, 8-5, on April 12.
ISU is led by sophomore OF Megan Miller with a .354 average and leads the team with 34 hits and 18 runs scored. Junior IF Heather Dixon leads the Bengals with six home runs, 20 RBI and 49 total bases, while she is second on the team hitting .287 and is first with a .563 slugging percentage.
In the circle, sophomore Kandis Clesson has a 4.26 ERA with a 3-3 ledger in 18 appearances and has struck out 18 batters in 69.0 innings of work. Freshman P Natasha Milosevic has a 581 ERA, while posting a 4-9 record and has posted 38 K's in 62.0 innings pitched and 15 appearances.
ISU head coach Larry Stocking (Idaho State, `92) is in his second year at the helm of the Bengals after restarting the program in 2007 and has a 17-54 Division I coaching record after posting a 249-72 mark as a junior college coach for seven seasons. Stocking has compiled a 266-126 overall record as a head coach.
ABOUT NORTHERN COLORADO - The Bears are 11-32 on the year, after winning four of its last five games, three of which have come against Utah Valley. UNC beat UNLV, 5-1, on Thursday before defeating UVU, 7-6, and, 6-2, on Friday and splitting with the Wolverines on Saturday, winning the first game, 5-2, and losing the second game, 6-5.
UNC is led by sophomore RF Jessie Schoepflin's .360 average, as she leads the team in hits (50), runs scored (24) and triples (7). Junior UT Hillarie Van Otterloo is second on the team in hitting (.327), as she leads the team in RBI (17), home runs (4) and is second in hits (35) and runs scored (20).
In the circle, Van Otterloo holds a 4.02 ERA and has posted a 5-11 record, as she has struck out 56 in 92.1 innings of work. Freshman P Jamie Juelfs is second on the team with a 6.19 ERA and is 4-12 on the season. Juelfs has recorded 40 K's in 80.1 innings and 25 appearances.
Head coach Jennifer Schunke (Arkansas, 2000) is in her second year at the helm of the Bears' program. She led UNC to a 10-39 record last season and is 21-71 overall. As a player at Arkansas, Schunke was the team MVP, an all-SEC selection and a three-time SEC academic honor roll selection.
SERIES HISTORY vs. OPPONENTS - FIRST LAST OPPONENT W L T PCT GAME GAME Idaho State 20 6 0 .769 1976 April 9, 2008 Northern Colorado 20 12 0 .625 1976 March 4, 2007
SERIES HISTORY -
Last year USU rallied for a thrilling 13-12 eight-inning victory over ISU in the BYU/UVU Red Desert Classic on Feb. 10, while the doubleheader at Pocatello on April 10 was cancelled with the Aggies ahead 2-0 in the top of the third due to snow and windy conditions. Utah State swept Idaho State on April 24, shutting the Bengals out, 5-0, in the first game and then run-ruled ISU, 10-2, after five innings in the nightcap.
Prior to last season, the last meeting came in the Aggies' 1983 season finale doubleheader, dropping the first game before bouncing back to win, 5-0.
UTAH STATE vs NORTHERN COLORADO - Utah State is 20-12 all-time vs Northern Colorado, having won five of the last six meetings. The teams first met in 1976, USU's inaugural season, with UNC winning, 5-0, and 5-1. The Bears would win the first four games against the Aggies, before USU won, 6-5, in 1978. Over the next six years (1979-1984) USU posted a 14-6 record against UNC. The Aggies and the Bears didn't face each other again until 2005 with USU run-ruling UNC twice at Logan, winning, 12-0, and, 8-0, after five innings in both games.
Last year, Utah State went 3-1 against Northern Colorado, as the Aggies won, 6-5, and, 5-4, on March 1, then beat the Bears, 12-4, on March 3, before UNC captured a 9-5 victory on March 4 in the final game of the Colorado State Tournament.
SEASON 33 - The 2008 season marks the 33rd year of softball at Utah State... The Aggies enter the season with a 758-804-3 (.485) 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 third year in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).
ADMISSION - All games at LaRee and LeGrand Johnson Field are free admission to the public.
TIDBITS ABOUT UTAH STATE -
- Defensively, USU is seventh in team pitching with a 5.42 ERA, yielding 327 hits, and seventh in strikeouts (147).
- Junior DP Kayla Dunn leads Utah State and is seventh in the WAC, hitting .361, while freshman SS Kelley Kaneshiro is second on the team with a .355 average and ranks eighth in the league... Dunn ranks first in WAC only games in batting (.441) and fifth in slugging percentage (.647)... Kaneshiro leads the team with a .656 slugging percentage, which ranks third in the conference, while she ranks 11th in WAC only games in hitting (.361) and ninth in slugging percentage (.611).
- Kaneshiro leads the team in HRs this season with seven to tie for seventh in the WAC stats, while she also leads USU with 23 RBI, seven doubles and 61 total bases... She has also made her way onto the USU single-season home run list and is in sole possession of seventh-place... She needs one to tie Shontinese Huey (1996, 8) for the sixth spot.
- Dunn and junior 1B Aubrie Stroman are tied for fifth in the league with 20 walks each.
- Junior P Lindsey Benson is third in the WAC in innings pitched (161.0) and fifth in strikeouts (113), while she leads the team with a 4.57 ERA.
- Sophomore P Stacey Ellingsworth is second on the team with a 6.53 ERA and has 19 strikeouts.
- Senior 3B Amy Schaible belted her fourth home run of the season on April 12 in the second game of a doubleheader against New Mexico State and now has 18 in her career to put her in a three-way logjam for third with Jennifer Power (1991-94) and Breanne Smith (1999-02) on USU's career list... She needs three to tie former teammate Sara Fleming (2003-06, 21) for second.
- Schaible has also collected 78 RBI in her career at USU, including 21 this season and is tied with Jennifer Power (1991-94) for fifth on USU's career list... She needs 11 more to tie Lynnae Brady (1989-93) for fourth.
- Dunn has the WAC's longest active hitting streak at 12 games, while Schaible is on an 11-game hitting streak, which is the league's second longest active... Kaneshiro's 13-game hitting streak was snapped against Idaho State on April 9, as she has the third longest streak in the WAC this season... Sophomore 2B Nicole Rupp had a six-game streak broken in game one against NMSU on April 12, while Stroman's six-game streak was stopped in game two against NMSU.
- Schaible leads USU with 10 multi-hit games, while sophomore CF Emily Reilly has nine multi-hit games and Kaneshiro and Stroman have seven each... Kaneshiro, Reilly, Schaible, Stroman and Dunn lead the team with three hits in a game each.
- Schaible leads the team for multi-RBI games with four in game two against Utah Valley on April 2, as she hit a walk-off grand slam to end the game after five innings due to the run-rule.
- Kaneshiro leads the Aggies with eight multi-RBI games, as she is third on the team with a .361 (13-for-65) average with runners in scoring position, while Reilly leads the team with runners on base (.394, 13-for-33).
- Sophomore RF Michelle Workman owns the best average with two outs on the team (.400, 4-for-10), while Dunn is averaging a team-best .464 (13-for-28) with the bases empty.
- In Benson's 32 appearances and 31 starts, she has recorded a team-high 113 strikeouts including a season-best 10 in the first game against Utah in the Aggies' home opener on March 26, one short of her career-high and she tallied 10 K's against Idaho State on April 9... She has also yielded a .299 opponent batting average.
- Benson is now seventh on the USU career strikeout list with 267 K's and needs 48 more to tie Kristie Skoglund (1984-87, 315) for sixth-place.
- Rupp leads the team with nine stolen bases, while Price and Reilly are second on the squad with six apiece... Overall, the team has stolen 37 bases this season.
- Schaible is USU's leading returner in batting average, hitting .293 last season, and led the team in runs scored (29), RBI (27) and home runs (11), as well as second among returners in doubles with five.
- Last season, Schaible also led the team and ranked sixth in the WAC with 11 HR's, setting a new USU single-season HR school record, topping the previous record of 10, done three times by two different players: Sara Fleming (2005) and Sandy Taylor (1999 and 2000).
- USU had only one player receive weekly honors from the WAC last season, as Reilly earned Hitter of the Week honors on March 5, after posting .462 average for the week, going 6-for-13 with a double, triple and a home run, as well as three RBI. She had a .923 slugging percentage and .462 on-base percentage in four games during the week. The outfielder went 2-for-4 with a triple in Utah State's 5-4 win against Northern Colorado on March 1. She was also 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored in the Aggies' 12-4 win against the Bears on March 3.
- Benson is the Aggies' leading returner on the pitching staff, as she made 29 appearances last season, recording 129 K's with a 3.61 ERA.
- USU had the latest home opener in the WAC last season (April 3 vs. Utah Valley) and does again this season, as the Aggies' made their 2008 home debut on March 26 against in-state foe Utah.
- Utah State had five student-athletes earn academic all-WAC honors last season.
DUNN NAMED USU ATHLETE OF THE WEEK (April 7) - Utah State softball player Kayla Dunn has been named the America First Credit Union Utah State Student-Athlete of the Week for the period ending on Sunday, April 6, it was announced Monday, April 7. The award is voted on by a state media panel.
Dunn, a designated player from Carson City, Nev., helped Utah State post a 4-1 record last week, as it swept Utah Valley, 9-4 and 10-1 after five innings, and then went 2-1 against San Jose State, falling in the first game, 15-8, before winning, 8-6 and 11-10, in a doubleheader. Dunn batted .667 overall, going 10-for-15 at the plate, recording 11 RBI, nine runs, four walks, three doubles and three home runs. She tallied a home run in both games against Utah Valley as she was 3-for-5 with five runs scored and four RBI on the day. In the first game against San Jose, she went 3-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI, while she was 4-for-6 in two games on Saturday, scoring three runs and adding five RBI.
KANESHIRO NAMED USU ATHLETE OF THE WEEK (March 17) - Kelley Kaneshiro was named the America First Credit Union Utah State Student-Athlete of the Week for the period ending on Sunday, March 16, it was announced on March 17. The award is voted on by a state media panel.
Kaneshiro, a freshman shortstop from Auburn, Wash., led Utah State at the Cascade Clash Invitational in Oregon, as she hit .625 (5-8) with a double and a home run, to go along with four RBI and three runs scored. In the Aggies' 11-3 run-rule loss in six innings at Oregon State, Kaneshiro hit a two-run home run and was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate. Against No. 20 Washington, she was 1-for-2 with a walk in the 9-3 loss in game one of the doubleheader and 1-for-3 with a run and two RBI in a 5-4 loss in game two against the Huskies. Overall Kaneshiro had a 1.125 slugging percentage and .667 on base percentage during the weekend. She also tallied five assists defensively and had a perfect fielding percentage.
RETURNING - Second-year head coach Candi Letts returns five starters among 10 returning letterwinners from last season's squad that posted a 17-36 overall record and a 5-13 WAC ledger... Senior 3B Amy Schaible (5-5, Red Bluff, Calif.) headlines the returners, as she batted .293 with five doubles, 11 home runs and 27 RBI last season... Heather Haak (SR, C, 5-7, Salem, Ore.) hit .288 with two doubles, one home run and six RBI, and did not commit an error last season, posting a 1.000 fielding percentage... Tara Evans (SR, SS, 5-6, Bountiful, Utah) had a .281 average with eight doubles, one triple, five home runs and 21 RBI, as well as leading the team with 13 stolen bases... Aubrie Stroman (JR, 1B, 5-9, Red Bluff Calif.) hit .250 last season recording eight doubles, three home runs and 13 RBI... Lindsey Benson (JR, P, 5-7, Novato, Calif.) is USU's leading returning pitcher, posting a 3.61 ERA last season in 29 appearances with 149.1 innings and recorded a team-high 129 strikeouts... Stacey Ellingsworth (SO, P, 5-9, Richland, Wash.) threw 52.0 innings in 17 appearances and posted a 5.12 ERA.
- Letts won her first game last season at the helm of the Aggies with an 11-2 win against Southern Utah on Feb. 9, 2007. Letts became the first USU head coach to win their opener since Pam McCreesh won her first game in 1998.
- Letts came to USU from Northern Illinois, where she was an assistant for one season... Prior to NIU, Letts was the head coach at the University of Mississippi, where she spent seven seasons guiding the Ole Miss program from 1999-2005, compiling a 153-246 (.372) record, including leading the Rebels to a school-record 30 wins in 2005.
- Before Ole Miss, Letts was head coach at Colorado State University from 1994-98, amassing a 160-106-1 (.602) record in her five seasons there, as she re-established the softball program after it had been eliminated for one season. In 1997, Letts led the Rams to a 51-14 mark, winning the Western Athletic Conference championship and finishing ninth in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) final poll. That season Letts was named the WAC Coach of the Year, as well as the NCAA West Regional Coach of the Year.
- Letts has a career head coaching mark of 341-420-1 (.448) in 13 seasons, reaching the 200 and 300 win milestones while at Ole Miss.
- This is Letts' second go-round in the WAC, as she posted a 79-62 (.560) mark in WAC games while at Colorado State and is now 86-87 (.497) in six seasons.
- As a head coach, Letts has coached four All-Americans, seven all-region players, 13 all-conference winners, one conference player of the year, and one freshman of the year.
- As a pitcher at Creighton University from 1979-1983, Letts helped the Bluejays to three-straight trips to the College World Series. In her career in the circle, Letts compiled 43 wins to go with 16 saves, while logging an ERA of 0.76 and firing 276 strikeouts. In the 1982 season, Letts led the country with nine saves, a mark that still ranks as the fifth-most single-season saves in NCAA history.
- After graduating from Creighton in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in physical education, Letts began her coaching career at the high school ranks, including head coach at Burlington, Iowa, for five seasons. Letts moved up to the college level in 1988, returning to Creighton, where she served as an assistant for six years, helping the Bluejays to two NCAA Regional trips, as well as making three appearances in the Top 25 poll and coaching one All-American. In 1991, Letts and Creighton played Utah in the longest game in NCAA history, a 31-inning contest.
ON DECK - Utah State concludes regular-season action with a three-game WAC series against Hawai'i, next weekend, Friday and Saturday, May 3-4, at Honolulu, Hawai'i. The doubleheader on Friday starts at 6 p.m. (MT), while Saturday's single game is set to begin at 6 p.m. (MT).
USU will then continue action at Honolulu in the WAC Tournament May 7-10.