MSUB Softball Weekly Release - Mar. 16, 2009
THIS WEEK: Montana State Billings will be home and away this week. On Wednesday, Mar. 18, the University of Mary Marauders will come to town. The game is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m.
On Saturday and Sunday, Mar. 21-22, the Yellowjackets travel to Ellensburg, Wash., to take on Central Washington. The games are scheduled to start at noon on both days.
CENTRAL WASHINGTON: The Wildcats are 6-2 in the GNAC and 8-5 overall. CWU is currently in second place in the GNAC.
Central has a solid 1-2 punch in Holly Rossman and Taylor Trautman. Rossman has one double and three home runs, scored 11 runs, driven in eight runs while hitting .487. Trautman has scored eight runs and is batting .395.
On the mound, Linse Vlahovich is 6-2 with 36 strikeouts and a 2.27 ERA. CWU beat MSUB 4-3 on Feb. 8 at The Best of the West Invitational.
UNIV. OF MARY: The Marauders are currently 5-16 on the season. At the plate Jenna Button has scored 14 runs while hitting .379. Megan Lun has three doubles and three home runs, scored eight runs, driven in 19 runs and is hitting .377.
Mary leads the series 5-1. However, the Yellowjackets are looking for their first win at home against UM. MSUB is 0-4 at Cenex Stadium against them.
LAST WEEK: It was a roller coaster weekend for Montana State Billings as they swept Northwest Nazarene on Mar. 13-14 at Cenex Stadium. On Friday, Mar. 13, the Yellowjackets out slugged the Crusaders, 11-10 and 10-8.
Game one was a marathon taking 10 innings and two hours and forty-three minutes to finish. In the second inning, MSUB used a walk, error and a ground out to score a run and make it 1-0. NNU came back with a pair of solo home runs in the fourth inning.
In the bottom of the fourth, Kelly Parsons walked and moved to second on a ground out. Dawn Norcross then ripped the ball down the left field line and over the fence to make it 3-2, MSUB. In the fifth inning, the Yellowjackets struck the first two batters out. Two walks and a single loaded the bases for Vanessa Shaw who blasted the ball over the left center field fence for a grand slam.
Stevie Howard homered in the fifth inning to make it 6-4. The Jackets bats erupted in the sixth. Crystal Bentley reached on an error and moved to second on a single by Alyssa Frank. Both runners advanced a base on a pass ball and Bentley scored on a single from Stevie Howard.
Terina Stacks singled to right field to score Frank and move Howard to second. Whitney Whittemore laid down a bunt single to load the bases. Steph Gosselin lifted a fly deep to centerfield with Howard scoring after the catch. Parsons then laced a double to right field to score Whittemore and Stacks.
Leslie Davis drew a walk and then moved to third on a single by Norcross that scored Parsons. That made it 10-6. In the bottom of the seventh MSUB struck out the first two batters. Déjà vu occurred as two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Haley Haven who tied the game at 10 with a grand slam.
In the bottom of the tenth, the international tie breaker rule placed Frank on second. She moved to third on a ground out and then scored the game winner on a bunt single by Stacks.
The Yellowjackets struck early in game two. In the first inning, Stacks singled to left field and Shay Oberg hit a bomb to centerfield to make it 2-0. In the third inning, Stacks hit a sacrifice fly to score Amanda Goings.
In the third inning, MSUB rallied with two outs. Whittemore and Bobbie Lee both singled and moved a base on a passed ball. Goings then crushed a triple to left center field to drive in Whittemore and Lee. Howard stepped up and single to drive in Goings and then scored on a double by Stacks.
In the fourth inning, the Jackets picked up three more runs to make it 10-3. The Crusaders began to chip away with one run in the fifth and two in the sixth. In the seventh, Shaw was hit by a pitch and Hevern homered to right center field to make it 10-8, MSUB. The Jackets then got a ground out, a foul out, a single and a ground out to end the game.
On Saturday, Mar. 14, MSUB never looked back as they rolled over NNU, 8-0 and 11-2.
In game one, MSUB drew blood in the second inning. Kelly Parsons walked and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Leslie Davis. Following a strikeout, Whitney Whittemore sent the ball into orbit over the left field fence to make it 2-0. MSUB would score one run each in the third and fourth innings.
In the bottom of the fifth, Terina Stacks reached on an error. Stacks was then forced out at second on a fielder’s choice by Shay Oberg. Oberg moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Steph Gosselin’s double to left field.
Parsons singled up the middle to score Gosselin. Amanda Hood came in to run for Parsons and moved to third on a double by Davis. Rebekah Tsatsa walked to load the bases and another walk, this one to Whittemore, scored Hood. Amanda Goings singled to center field to plate Davis and end the game at 8-0.
In game two, MSUB lit up NNU like a pinball machine in the first inning. Stacks led off with a bomb to dead center field. Oberg singled to left center field, Gosselin was hit by a pitch and Jenna VanEykeren laid down a bunt single to load the bases.
The Crusaders got a line out and pop up to make it two outs. Crystal Bentley drew a walk to push Oberg across the plate. With the runners going, Goings laced a shot up the middle. When the dust settled, VanEykeren and Gosselin had scored, Bentley was at second and Goings at first. Stevie Howard dropped a single into left field to score Bentley to make it 5-0. MSUB would add three runs in the bottom of the second with two outs.
In the third innings, NNU attempted to break up the shutout. With a runner at first, Vanessa Shaw crushed the ball down the left field line. Bobbie Lee ran it down and made a home-run saving catch at the fence.
In the fourth inning, the Crusaders managed to break up the shutout bid. Sarah Varaday singled up the middle and was replaced on the bases by Kristin Refsland. Jael Henthorn ripped a triple down the left field line to score Refsland. Chelsey Anderson singled up the middle to score Henthorn and make it 8-2.
In the fourth inning, Davis singled to left field and moved to second on a single up the middle by Alyssa Frank. Bentley then ripped a single up the middle to move Frank to second and plate Davis. Goings walked to load the bases. Stevie Howard then singled down the right field line to score Bentley and Frank.
Down 11-2, NNU needed to score at least two runs to keep the game going. The first two Crusaders drew walks to make the scenario possible. The Yellowjackets then got a fielder’s choice and two pop outs to complete the four game sweep.
RECORD CHASERS: The Yellowjackets are already hard at work rewriting the individual career record book. Earlier this season, Terina Stacks became the all-time leader in hits (172) and total bases (257). Four other records are being challenged as well.
Steph Gosselin and Stacks currently have driven in 91 runs putting them into a tie with Christy Wankel (2003-06). Gosselin also has 100 runs and needs just four to break the mark of 104 held by Joey Ehnes (2002-05).
Stacks has 677 putouts and needs 61 to break the mark of 727 while Leslie Davis has accumulated 265 assists and needs 35 to break the record of 299.
FIRST-FIRST: Montana State Billings currently leads the GNAC with a mark of 13-3. In addition nine times this season, the Yellowjackets have scored at least one run in the first inning of a GNAC game. MSUB is 9-0 in those games.
GNAC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: They should start calling it the GNAC MSUB Player of the Week Award. The Yellowjackets have had at least one player been named POW four of the five weeks it has been awarded. The latest recipients are Stevie Howard and Kasie Conder.
GNAC POLL: The bull’s-eye has been hung on the Montana State Billings’s softball team. The Yellowjackets have been picked to win the GNAC according to the Preseason Softball Poll. MSUB received 33 points to 32 points for defending champion, Western Oregon.
Both teams garnered three first places votes but MSUB got the edge with three second place votes to two seconds and one third for the Wolves. Western Washington received 23 points to take third place. Rounding out the poll was Central Washington (18), Saint Martin’s (13) and Northwest Nazarene (7).
After a slow start, MSUB caught fire, winning 21 of its last 27 games. The Jackets finished 16-8, third in the GNAC and 28-21 overall. The Yellowjackets returned 10 letterwinners including five all-conference selections.
“As far as being picked the preseason number one in the coaches poll, it’s no doubt a very high compliment,” Said head coach Anthony Stone. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for the coaches in our conference, and I think it says something special not only for our team, but for the conference overall. The GNAC is highly competitive, and I think the rest of the coaches would agree with me that there are no “gimmes” here. You better come ready to play everyday, because the day you don’t is the day you can get beat by anyone. I think that’s what makes it so much fun, is that up and down the league, you have to play your best against everyone.”