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GannettUSA Today

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

MU softball update/from the MU web site and EO

The Monmouth University softball team is continuing their tremendous 2007 season as the Hawks, now 23-8 and 9-1 in the Northeast Conference, continue to find themselves among the nation's elite in a number of statistical categories, according to the latest NCAA Ranking Summary.

Monmouth ranks first nationally in team doubles in per game with 2.1 two-baggers per contest, while also placing second in the country in team batting average with a .349 team mark. MU also ranks fifth in scoring, as they put up 6.8 runs per game, and is also 19th in team slugging with a .497 clip.

The Blue and White also boast three individuals that rank first in all of Division I in their respective categories. Heather Gordon (Hatboro, Pa./Mount St. Joseph's) is first nationally in runs batted in with 1.55 RBI per game and also doubles, with .52 per contest. Nichole Alvarez (Brick, N.J./Brick Township) leads the country in runs per game, crossing the plate 1.39 times a contest.

The Hawks place four batters in the top 100 nationally in batting average with Gordon, who is hitting .472 (10th), Alvarez's .447 average (24th), Jessica Nicola (South Amboy, N.J./Sayreville) who is hitting .412 (64th) and Kara O'Dell (Henderson, Nev./Green Valley) who is batting .410 (69th). Alvarez also places 13th in triples per game with .13 a game.

The MU pitching staff is also represented, as the unit places 87th with a 2.65 team ERA, and Kristine Sawlsville (Wyomissing, Pa./Wilson) is 30th in the nation with a 1.30 ERA.

The Monmouth University softball team's doubleheader originally scheduled with Rutgers for Wednesday, April 18 at 3 p.m. has been cancelled, and the Hawks will now take on Lehigh this afternoon.

Big East and Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference obligations forced the games to be switched. Rutgers, MU's original opponent, had to drop the Hawks in order to take on Seton Hall in Big East play. Lehigh, who is 24-15-1 and 11-1 in Patriot League play, was scheduled to face Rider, but the Broncs had to drop them in order to play Marist in MAAC action.

Lehigh went 43-14 and 19-1 in conference last season and won the Patriot League championship a year ago. They defeated nationally-ranked #13 Texas A&M in the NCAA Regional round last year before falling to Massachusetts in the Regional Final round.


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