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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

MU softball poised for stretch drive/Can Hawks win the title?

from Eddie O/MU SID


NEC Standings
LIU 4-0
Monmouth 7-1
Wagner 4-2

MU plays at LIU and Wagner back to back April 21-22

The Monmouth University softball team has enjoyed a very successful 2007 season to date, going 19-8 and 7-1 in Northeast Conference play. As the Hawks prepare for the second half of their conference schedule, they look to remain in the hunt for a first place finish in the NEC with a potent offense and solid pitching, and the proof is in the numbers.

Senior Heather Gordon (Hatboro, Pa./Mount St. Joseph’s) and sophomore Nichole Alvarez (Brick, N.J./Brick Township) lead the nation in runs batted in (RBI) per game and stolen bases per game, respectively, in the NCAA’s initial National Softball Ranking Summary, released Tuesday. Gordon is averaging 1.56 RBI per game, while Alvarez is averaging 0.93 swipes per contest. The speedy sophomore from nearby Brick is also second among all Division I hitters in runs scored per game with 1.37 and fifth in the country in triples per game with 0.15 three-baggers per game. The heavy-hitting Gordon also ranks seventh in the country in doubles per game with 0.41 per contest.

“Our team goes into every season well-prepared,” said head coach Carol Sullivan. “It’s gratifying and confidence-building to the players and coaches these results. We have worked hard and that has earned us some spots among the nation’s best.”

The Hawks, as a squad, are second in the country in team batting average, as their .344 average is right behind Oklahoma’s .345 team mark. The Blue and White offensive assault also ranks seventh nationally in scoring, averaging 6.67 runs per game. MU also places among the Division I leaders in team slugging percentage, ranking 24th with a .483 slugging mark.

MU places three hitters in the top 100 in the nation in individual batting average as well, as Gordon’s team-leading .449 average ranks 22nd in the nation, while Alvarez’s .438 mark is 30th and freshman Jessica Nicola (South Amboy, N.J./Sayreville) comes in at 90th in the nation with a .398 average. Sophomore Lee Simonetti (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Our Lady of Lourdes) ranks 45th in the country in runs per game, averaging 0.96 scores per game. Junior Gina Mignoga (Mt. Laurel, N.J./Lenape) also checks in at 64th in the country in doubles per game with 0.3 per contest. Gordon also appears on the list for the fourth time as her .714 slugging percentage is good enough for 62nd in the country. The MU pitching staff has also earned national standing , as sophomore Kristine Sawlsville (Wyomissing, Pa./Wilson) checks in at 24th among all Division I pitchers in earned run average with a 1.19 ERA.

“While it is great to have national recognition and eye-popping stats, the team and coaches would trade every accolade for a Northeast Conference title, which is our primary goal,” Sullivan said.

Aside from the national recognition, the Monmouth University softball records book has been changing all season as well. Gordon is already the program’s career leader in home runs with 32 and RBI with 136, and still adding to each category. With her next run driven in, Gordon will also break the MU single-season record for RBI in a single season with her 43rd RBI of the year. Also, with 11 more stolen bases, Alvarez will set the single-season mark for swipes in a year. If Sawlsville continues her current pace with her 1.19 ERA, she could also land on Monmouth’s single-season top ERA list as well.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

DEAD BLOG..................... Maybe you do need to turn up the heat to get some people back in here tony. how about a Dave calloway topic, lol?

5:07 PM, April 11, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

Excactly !!!. If only they were 0-25!..Kidding, kidding.

How about this - at the halfway point, who is the MVP of the softball team????

5:25 PM, April 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, what a puff piece. I checked the Monmouth website and it had the same story online. While they have no doubt had a great season, I didnt see the football team getting a "look at us" story in the blog or up on website during their championship run. Hopefully Coach Sullivan and the Hawk softballers can deliver a championship this season, let a lone three in four years.

6:41 PM, April 11, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

It WAS the on line story from the MU web site..that's what I said. I ran it to generate maybe some comment on their season.

Re football - not sure what you're driving at there...

9:23 PM, April 11, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

And even to compare coverage of the two sports is ridiculous!!!

9:24 PM, April 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you Tony for giving some ink to a team having a great spring so far.

11:05 AM, April 12, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tough call on MVP right now, Gordon is putting up some gaudy numbers, Alvarez might be the fastest softball player in the nation, Nicola might be the best freshman in the NEC and Sawlsville is a stud in the circle. it's the fact that their a team that makes them so dangerous, but u have to say Gordon as of now.

11:07 AM, April 12, 2007  
Blogger Tony Graham said...

I'm hoping my nick name for Gordon, "Home Run Heather," catches on!!!

12:58 PM, April 12, 2007  

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