No. 19/21 Aztec Softball Plays Host to MWC Foes Colorado State, New Mexico
May 1, 2008
SAN DIEGO -
No. 19/21 Aztec Softball Plays Host to MWC Foes Colorado State, New Mexico This Weekend
The Aztecs (37-15, 9-5 MWC), who are ranked No. 19 by ESPN.com/USA Softball and No. 21 by USA Today/NFCA, will take on the Rams (24-19, 4-8 MWC) in a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. Friday. Following the doubleheader, SDSU will meet the Lobos (23-20, 5-7 MWC) at 1 p.m. Saturday and again at 1 p.m. Sunday.
This weekend's games will be the final home contests of the regular season for San Diego State and the final home games for seniors Megan McDonald, Christina Ross and Tamani Wells. A special ceremony will honor the three departing seniors following Sunday's game.
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Also, you can now watch all Aztec home softball games online by visiting GoAztecs.com. The video can be found the same way as gametracker.
Aztec Softball Home Games to be Broadcast on KCR College Radio
KCR College Radio is a volunteer-run student radio station located on the San Diego State University grounds. Sport director Joshua Hoffman will do the play-by-play for KCR with help from other staff in the sports department.
There are four ways to listen to KCR College Radio, including the Internet (Windows Media Player 9), which will be linked on the Aztec softball page for the duration of the season. In addition, you can listen to KCR on 1620 AM (locally on SDSU campus and surrounding community), Channel 956 on Cox Digital Cable and Channel 957 Time Warner Cable.
Last Weekend With the Aztecs
A Look at Colorado State
Lauren Cusick leads the league with 17 home runs. She also has a .399 average with 52 runs and an .888 slugging percentage in 43 games. Caitlin Stem (.376, 33 RBI) and Ashley Munoz (.353, 26 RBI) are the team's other top hitters. Cayte Billiman (8-5, 3.97 ERA, 77.2 IP), Kim Klabough (8-10, 4.59 ERA, 100.2 IP) and Rebecca Penland (7-3, 5.06 ERA, 92.2 IP) have logged the majority of the innings in the circle for the Rams.
After a sweep in Fort Collins, Colo., earlier this season, SDSU now leads the overall series, 39-27.
Noting New Mexico
Lindsey Elcess leads the squad with a .376 batting average and .701 slugging percentage over 42 games. She also has a team-best 10 home runs and 29 RBI. Gabriella Parra (.328, 33 RBI) and Katie Gilmore (.325, 11 2B) are also batting over .300 for the Lobos. Kelly Ninemire has seen the bulk of the pitching duties and is 15-13 with a 3.66 ERA over 160 2/3 innings. Madelyn Machac (5-4, 5.28 ERA, 65.0 IP) and Kyla Nelson (3-3, 4.30 ERA, 44.0 IP) are also pitching valuable innings for New Mexico.
With the Aztecs' sweep over the Lobos in Albuquerque earlier this year, SDSU now leads the all-time series, 47-28.
Movin' On Up...
SDSU is now ranked No. 19 in the latest ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, moving up one spot from last week. In the ESPN.com poll, the Aztecs received 87 points, 23 fewer than the previous week, and are 58 points behind 18th-ranked Virginia Tech (145 points). Rounding out the top 25 are No. 20 Massachusetts (85), No. 21 Washington (76), No. 22 Nevada (73), No. 23 Mississippi State (67) and Hawai'i (67), and No. 25 California (51). As it stands right now, San Diego State has played three top-five teams, seven of the top 10 squads and 12 of the top 25 schools.
In the NFCA poll, SDSU dropped from No. 19 to No. 21 and from 171 to 120 points, 10 behind 20th-ranked DePaul, a team it beat earlier this season. The Aztecs are followed by No. 22 California (109), No. 23 Washington (94), No. 24 Mississippi State (75) and No. 25 Massachusetts (46).
To Be the Best, You've Got to Beat the Best
At 52 games into the season, SDSU is 37-15 (.712), including a 16-11 (.593) record against 2007 NCAA tournament teams and 5-2 (.714) mark against 2007 Women's College World Series squads. San Diego State has already beaten Cal Poly (3-0), California (7-0), UC Santa Barbara (4-1), Fresno State (3-2), Arizona (2-1), Northwestern (3-2), Eastern Michigan (3-0 and 4-3), Harvard (10-1 (5)), Oregon (3-2), Pacific (3-2), Cal State Fullerton (2-1 (9)), Texas A&M (3-0 (6)), Washington (9-5 (12)), DePaul (1-0 (8)) and BYU (4-0).
One the season, the Aztecs are scheduled to play 26 games against 22 teams who made last year's tournament. As far as RPI goes, San Diego State will play seven of the top 10 RPI teams from last season, 12 of the top 25 and 23 of the top 50.
Aztecs and the RPI
The RPI is a mathematical calculation used to help determine each team's success, using a calculated strength of schedule and won-loss percentage.
The NFCA RPI utilizes a formula that is based on the one used for Division I men's and women's basketball. There are minute differences in the penalties and bonuses that are specific to each sport. For example, there may be a small penalty for a Division I school that plays a non-Division I opponent and there may be a small bonus for beating a team that is ranked in the USA Today/NFCA Top 25 poll.
When determining the RPI for each team, the following basic formula is used for both the NFCA and NCAA RPI: 25% -- Winning percentage, 50% -- Opponents' winning percentage, 25% -- Opponents' opponents' winning percentage.
Although the NCAA publishes this basic formula, it does not release the mathematical bonuses and penalties specific for each sport. It is important to note that the NFCA RPI will not be exactly the same as the NCAA RPI, since the NCAA does not release its bonus and penalty calculations. However, the two should be close and the NFCA RPI should be an indication of where a team stands.
The NCAA does not endorse the NFCA RPI and is the more official one of the two ratings.
Consider the following when looking at San Diego State's 15 losses:
SDSU Ranked Among National Leaders
The Aztec pitching staff is ranked No. 15 in the nation with a 1.35 ERA (Michigan leads at 0.72). In addition, SDSU's .712 win-loss percentage is 28th in the nation, while its 1.35 stolen bases per game is ranked 44th. Other top 100 marks include fielding percentage (58th, .966), triples per game (68th, 0.19), double plays per game (72nd, 0.31) and team batting average (87th, .274).
Individually, senior Tamani Wells is sixth in sacrifice hits per game (0.37) and 51st in stolen bases per game (0.40).
Aztec Pitchers Back to Their Same Old Tricks
Despite playing 27 of its 52 games against 2007 NCAA opponents, the Aztec pitching staff is ranked No. 15 in the nation with a 1.35 team ERA. In addition, SDSU's .712 win-loss percentage is 28th in the nation.
The Aztecs are by far the best pitching team in the Mountain West Conference through 12 weeks of play. San Diego State is first in ERA, wins (37), win-loss percentage, strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.18), and WHIP (walks + hits/IP (1.02)). In addition, the staff is second in lowest opponents' batting average (.217), innings pitched (363.1), strikeouts (334) and fewest walks allowed (80).
Individually, as of April 28, Ross is first in ERA (1.06), innings pitched (237.2), strikeouts (224), and wins (24), while ranked second in appearances (43) and tied for second with two saves and 30 games started.
Despite being freshmen, Petty is fourth in ERA (1.72) and opposing batting average (.205), while Beasley is fifth in ERA (2.00).
In Ross We Trust
Ross is currently ranked 16th in the nation with 24 wins, 20th in ERA (1.06) and tied for 94th with two saves. She also leads the Mountain West Conference in innings pitched (237.2) and strikeouts (224).
On the single-season list, Ross is already ranked first with 224 strikeouts and tied for second in total shutouts (10). In addition, she is third in wins (24) and innings pitched (237.2), tied for fifth with a .667 win-loss percentage and sixth with a 0.96 ERA.
What might even be more impressive is Ross' climb up the career charts despite playing in just her third year at SDSU. Ross, who played her freshman year at Kansas before transferring to The Mesa, is ranked among the top 10 in all 16 pitching categories. Ross is also ranked in the top 5 in 12 categories, including strikeouts (1st, 561), solo shutouts (T-1st, 20), wins (2nd, 64), win-loss percentage (2nd, .653), saves (3rd, 6), complete games (4th, 65), innings pitched (4th, 635.1), opposing average (4th, .222), strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.09), games started (T-4th, 88) and appearances (5th, 120).
Ross has also put together a pair of impressive streaks this season. The first was a streak of 30 scoreless innings from March 20-April 6 and a streak of 35 innings without giving up an earned run over the same period. The second, which ended in the sixth inning of game one at New Mexico on Friday (April 18), was a streak of 39 innings without issuing a walk that began on April 6.
Like a Rock
In 52 games, the trio has combined to bat .308 (rest of team is batting .254) with 95 runs scored (rest of team has 117), 18 doubles (rest of team has 27), seven triples (rest of team has three), 62 RBI (rest of team has 122), 49 walks (rest of team has 98) and 40 stolen bases (rest of team has 31). They have also combined for a .398 slugging percentage (rest of team is at .323).
They have been just as brilliant the field running down ball after ball. They have combined to post a .966 fielding percentage with just five errors. In addition, each has at least three outfield assists, with Knudsen's seven leading the way.
No other Aztec has earned a start in the outfield and only junior Erin Floros has also started in all 52 contests. In fact, Wells has now started 132 consecutive games dating back to the 2006 season, the longest such streak on the team.
This season, Knudsen has started all 52 contests in right field, the only Aztec to start each game at the same position, while Wells has 31 starts in center and 21 starts in left and McCorkle vice versa (31 in left, 21 in center).
At the plate, Wells has batted from the No. 2 hole in all but one of her starts, while McCorkle has seen 13 of her starts as the leadoff, 37 in the three spot and one in the five spot. Knudsen has 38 starts at leadoff, nine in the No. 3 spot, two each at No. 5 and No. 6, and one in the second spot.
Put Me in Coach
Junior transfer Tony McCorkle and a plethora of incoming freshmen have already left their stamp on the Aztec team, helping the squad to 37-15 record out of the gate, including five victories against nationally ranked squads.
McCorkle, a 2006 Co-Big East Freshman of the Year and all-conference performer at Syracuse, leads the 2008 Aztecs in at-bats (170), hits (54), runs (34), triples (3) and total bases (70). In addition, she is second in doubles (7), RBI (29) and slugging percentage (.412). McCorkle is also one of four Aztecs, along with Tamani Wells, Erin Floros and Brittany Knudsen, to earn the starting nod in every game this season.
Freshman Jen Wisneski has shored up the infield at shortstop by exhibiting great range and a strong arm, and has improved at the plate. Through 52 games, Wisneski is tied for fourth on the team with nine sacrifice bunts, while posting a .237 average. Her five game-winning RBI is third on the squad.
Samantha Beasley has appeared in 28 games with 25 starts and is hitting .313. Five of her 21 hits have been doubles and another two were homers (grand slam and three-run). In the circle, Beasley is 7-2 with a 2.00 ERA in 66 2/3 innings.
Through 52 games, Floros, a 2006 All-American, is leading the squad with 35 RBI. She is also second in on-base percentage (.385) and third in slugging percentage (.390). In conference games, Floros leads the team and is seventh in the MWC with a .389 average, while her .522 on-base percentage is second in the league.
Floros has performed well in the field as well, despite playing a bit of third base and first base for the first time in her collegiate career. Floros, who has also seen time at catcher and the designated player spot has committed just three errors in 246 fielding chances for a .988 fielding percentage (T-8th in MWC).
With enough at-bats to now qualify for SDSU's career top-10 list, Floros is fourth in slugging percentage (.456) and on-base percentage (.407), and fifth in batting average (.331). In addition, she is tied for eighth with seven career home runs.
Aztec Softball Featured on ESPN.com
The Aztecs defeated both Wildcat teams by one run, first defeating Arizona, 2-1, behind a season-high 11 strikeout performance by senior Christina Ross and then knocking off Northwestern, 3-2, on junior Erin Floros' walkoff single in the bottom of the seventh.
San Diego State would eventually fall in its next three contests, 1-0 to No. 6/8 Oklahoma, 7-6 to No. 18/19 Georgia and 7-5 to No. 13/10 Baylor, but was in each game until the very end. The ESPN.com link can be found by clicking the following link:
SDSU Wins Campbell/Cartier For First Time in 18-year History
Long Beach State's four championships are the most followed by UCLA with three. Cal State Northridge, Sacramento State and Stanford each have won two, while the Aztecs, California, Pacific and Washington have one apiece.
Click on the PDF release for charts, stats and other notes.