Washington – Washington is another one of the national powers that resides in the Pac 10. To show you how difficult the conference is, the Huskies earned the 12th seed nationally and that’s after going 9-12 in conference. They did load up in the preseason, however, as they played in the San Diego Classic, the Cathedral City Classic and Judi German Classic. Including conference play, Washington played 14 NCAA Tournament teams, going 13-12 against them.
Niki Williams is the statistical giant for this year’s Huskies, knocking 13 balls out of the yard and driving in 50 runs. Both are team highs. She also has 11 doubles, which is good for second on the squad. Jenn Salling is hitting .373, with a team-high 15 two-baggers, 53 hits and 43 RBI, both of which are second best on the squad. Kimi Pohlman is the only Huskie hitting over .400, as she has a team-high .443 average. She also has 74 hits, scored 52 times and stolen 22 bags, all of which are tops on the team.
Kaitlin Inglesby is the team’s top pitcher, having racked up a 21-7 record. She has a 2.25 ERA this season, having pitched 183.2 innings. In her 38 appearances, she has struck out 137 batters
BYU – The Cougars won their third consecutive Mountain West title when they swept a doubleheader from Utah this weekend. The team played 14 games against ranked opponents in the preseason and went 5-9 against them, defeating tough teams like UCLA, Texas A&M and California. The Cougars come into the postseason having won 14 of their last 15.
BYU has six players hitting over .300, but none is having as impressive of a season as Jessica Fitu, who is second on the team with a .382 average. She has 63 hits, 11 doubles, 12 home runs, 64 RBI and a .691 slugging percentage, all team bests. Caschjen Atagi has knocked around 10 doubles, 10 home runs and 44 RBI. Delaney Willard has 11 bombs, nine doubles and 40 RBI
Paige Affleck is the team’s ace. She compiled a 24-11 record during the season and has a nifty 1.97 ERA. She’s retired 207 opponents via strikeout.
Portland State – Portland State captured its third Pacific Coast Conference title after having done so in 2006 and 2009. They matched Loyola Marymount, the team they defeated in the finals to win the title this year, for the most conference titles in the nine-year history of the league. The trip to the NCAA Tournament marks the second in three years for the Vikings. Portland State faced seven teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament, and while only winning one of those matchups, they played teams like Stanford, UCLA and Oregon tight.
Jenna Krogh leads a balanced Viking offense with a .405 average, 38 runs and 64 hits. She also has legged out an impressive six triples. Lacey Holm swings a big stick for Portland State, as she is second on the team with five round-trippers and leads the squad with 40 RBI. Carly McEachran leads the team with six home runs and has added 30 RBI, one of two players to have that total. The Vikings also have three players who have hit four home runs each.
Nichole Latham and Anna Bertrand have identical 16-8 records. The closeness in statistics is eerie. Latham has started 24 games and appeared in 28, while Bartrand has started 23 and appeared in 30. Latham has pitched exactly two more innings (155.2-153.2). Bertrand has more strikeouts tho with 161, while Latham has 98.
Auburn – While the Tigers’ 39-17 record might not impress people, the wins they have accumulated towards the end of the season show how much they have evolved into a team heading into the postseason. But in the last three weeks, they have defeated top-10 Georgia twice and upset number three Florida in the SEC tournament’s first round. They also gave Tennessee a tough time in the semifinals.
Auburn is an even balanced team offensively, as four of their players have at least 44 hits and seven total have 30 or more. Morgan Estell is hitting .378 and leading the team with 59 hits, including a team-high 17 doubles and tied for the team-high in home runs with six. Kyndall White and Amber Harrison are also tied for the team lead in home runs with six each. Harrison also has 16 doubles, making 22 of her 36 hits either doubles or home runs.
If anyone is looking for the true definition of a three-woman pitching rotation, look no further than the Auburn Tigers. Their three starters have started 19, 19 and 18 games, respectively. Angel Bunner, who has started 19 games, leads the squad in wins with 16 and also has a team-low 1.58 ERA. While Lauren Schmalz has 14 wins, she also has the highest ERA, at 3.11. Jenee Loree is the third on the team with nine wins. The eerie part is that all three have extremely similar strikeout numbers. Schmalz has 143, Bunner 113 and Loree 107.