yote notes - edition 5
COMING UP: Idle until March 9 vs. British Columbia
LAST WEEK: vs. Dickinson State (W 11-2, W 10-6, W 7-4, W 11-0)
LADY YOTES NAMED VERIZON TEAM OF THE WEEK: For their efforts in sweeping a Dickinson State team that was receiving votes in the Preseason NAIA Top-25 Coaches’ Poll, the Lady Yotes were honored by the Cascade Conference as the recipient of the Verizon “Team of the Week” award. The C of I outscored their opponent from North Dakota by a 40-12 margin, extending an overall win streak to seven games. The Yotes become the first softball team this season to earn the award.
MILLS NAMED RED LION CCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: C of I outfielder Molly Mills (Burley, Idaho / Burley HS) was honored Monday as Red Lion CCC Softball Player of the Week. The junior went 7-for-10 at the plate in the Lady Yotes four-game sweep of Dickinson State, driving in four runs in the four games. Mills reached back in 10-of-13 plate appearances, scoring seven runs. It marks the first time she has received the award in her career. On the year, Mills is hitting a gaudy .549 – leading the entire NAIA in hits (28), while leading the CCC in batting average, becoming the first C of I everyday player to have a batting average above the .500 mark 16 games into the season.
BEST START EVER: With their perfect weekend, the Lady Yotes established their best 15-game start in the 11-year program history. The squad sits at 13-3 on the season, surpassing the 10-5 starts that the 2003 and the 2008 teams had through 15 games. The team will at worse equal the best 20-game start to a season, as the 2003, 2007, and 2008 teams all began 13-7. The best 25-game start to a season was during the 2007 season, when the team started 18-7, en route to a 37-12
SCORING AT A RECORD-SETTING CLIP: Through 16 games, the Lady Yotes are averaging 7.6 runs per contest – ranking No. 15 in the NAIA in runs per game and No. 3 in the NAIA in total runs scored. The team is nearly two runs ahead of the school record for runs-per-game, as the 2007 team averaged just under six runs per game in advancing to the NAIA Region I championship game.
RUNS AND HITS KEEP COMING: The offensive explosion by the 2012 team through the first 16 games has been off the charts – scoring 10-or-more runs in eight games, while recording 10-or-more hits in a game 10 different times. The team has already set a school record for the most 10-run games in a season, as the 2007 and 2011 teams scored 10-or-more runs seven times (in 49 and 40 games respectively), while this year’s squad is tied for fourth on the 10 hits in a game list (2007 team recorded 18 10-or-more hit games, the 2011 team had 14, the 2005 team had 12, and the 2006 team had 10).
WHO WAS HOT: Multiple Coyotes had big weekends at the expense of Dickinson State, as the team combined for a .370 batting average against the Blue Hawks. Leading the way was two-way player Alexis Macias (Stockton, Calif. / San Joaquin Delta CC), who had a big weekend with the bat and arm. The freshman hit .364 with a homer and team-high 10 RBI, while in the circle, went 2-0 with a 1.27 ERA – including a three-hit shutout in the series finale. Hannah Johnson (Homedale, Idaho / Homedale HS) swung a big bat, going 5-for-11 with five RBI in the four games, while fellow middle infielder Kaci Baldwin (Lewiston, Idaho / Lewiston HS) went 3-for-8 at the plate and scored five runs. Kristen Haugen (Salem, Ore. / South Salem HS) drove in six runs with a trio of doubles, while Nikki Shumway (Boise, Idaho / Boise HS) hit .375 with two homers, five RBI, and scored seven runs.
AN OFF WEEK – SORT OF: The Lady Yotes will not compete on the diamond this weekend, as the squad prepares for their annual Dinner/Auction on Saturday night – the main fundraiser for the team each year.
CCC / NATIONAL POLL: The CCC and the NAIA released their preseason rankings in mid-November, with the Lady Yotes picked to finish fourth in the seven team conference. Oregon Tech, which stunned the softball world by winning the 2011 NAIA National Championship, was the league favorite, followed by Corban, Concordia, the Lady Yotes, Southern Oregon, Northwest Christian, and Eastern Oregon. In the NAIA Top-25 – OIT claimed the preseason No. 1 spot, followed by Cal State-San Marcos, Oklahoma City, Central Baptist (Ark.), and Brenau (Ga.). C of I opponents’ Concordia-Irvine (No. 8) and Corban (No. 24) were in the Top-25, while five other oppoents’ – Dickinson State (N.D.), Concordia (Ore.), Biola (Calif.), Simpson (Calif.), and William Jessup (Calif.) all received votes. The Lady Yotes received six voter points in the preseason national poll – good enough for a tie for No. 42 in the nation heading into 2012.
RECORD BOOK: Five Lady Yotes currently find themselves listed in the career Top-10 record book, led by Nickayla Skinner(Mountain Home, Idaho / Mountain Home HS), who is No. 2 in saves (3), No. 3 in strikeouts (224), No. 4 in shutouts (4), No. 5 in wins (20), No. 6 in complete games (20), and No. 7 in innings pitched (184.0), games started (26), and in appearances (32). Nikki Shumway ranks No. 4 in triples (3) and home runs (12), No. 5 in runs scored (74), and is No. 6 in stolen bases (28), with Hannah Johnson No. 6 in triples (2) and sacrifice hits (16), and No. 10 in hit-by-pitches (6). Two others are on the list – Julia Henrie (Eagle, Idaho / Eagle HS) is No. 6 in triples (2) and No. 10 in hit-by-pitches (6), with Molly Mills No. 5 in hit-by-pitches (9).
GAME RECAP – C OF I 11, DICKINSON STATE 2; C OF I 10, DICKINSON STATE 6: Alexis Macias tossed a complete-game three-hitter in the opener, while combining to drive in seven runs on the afternoon, as The C of I swept a Saturday doubleheader from Dickinson State, 11-2 and 10-6, at Symms Field. The Lady Yotes battled a stiff breeze and a hailstorm to complete a sweep of a fellow NAIA team receiving votes in the national poll. Janell Laront got the Blue Hawks on the board in the first with an RBI single, but the Yotes evened the score on a Molly Mills RBI single in the bottom of the frame. The C of I scored a pair of unearned runs in the second to take the lead, before Erika Nowak singled in a run in the fourth to get DSU within a run. Macias broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth with a three-run homer, her fourth of the year. A Kayla Webb (Garland, Utah / Bear River HS) RBI double in the fifth made it 7-2, with the Yotes ending the game due to the mercy rule in the sixth with four runs - capped by a two-run Jordan Huttash (Nampa, Idaho / Bishop Kelly HS) double. Mills and Kristen Haugen each had two hits for the Yotes - as Macias walked three and fanned four for her fourth win of the season. Game 2 started with a bang for The C of I, as a three-run Macias double was the big blow in a five-run first. Nikki Shumway led off the second with a homer and Haugen roped an RBI single to make it 7-0. DSU closed the gap to 7-4 in the fourth, as Jessica Huseby hit a three-run homer. The visitors would get within 9-6 in the fifth on a Lindsey Sullivan two-run shot, but an RBI double by Hannah Johnson gave the Yotes insurance. Kayla Park (Ontario, Ore. / Treasure Valley CC) went four-plus innings, allowing six runs on nine hits to earn her third win of the season. Johnson went 3-for-4 with three RBI, with Park and Shumway each logging two hits. Huseby, Sullivan, and Nicole Bertolacci each had two hits for DSU.
GAME RECAP – C OF I 7, DICKINSON STATE 4; C OF I 11, DICKINSON STATE 0: Alexis Macias roped a go-ahead RBI single in the sixth inning of Game 1, then pitched a three-hit shutout in Game 2, as The C of I completed a four-game sweep of Dickinson State, winning 7-4 and 11-0, Sunday at Symms Field. After the Blue Hawks got a two-run homer from Kristy Ortiz in the fourth and a squeeze bunt in the fifth to tie the score at 4-4, the Yotes rallied in the sixth as Kaci Baldwin and Molly Mills had back-to-back one-out singles. Macias followed with the single to center, scoring Baldwin, with Mills scored when the throw in from the outfield was wild. Kristen Haugen added an RBI double for insurance. Nickayla Skinner got the win, allowing just three hits and one earned run for the Yotes. Haugen had two doubles and three RBI - including a two-run double in a four-run first inning for C of I. Mills and Kayla Park each logged two hits in the victory. Game 2 was all C of I, as the Yotes sent 13 batters to the plate in the first - scoring eight runs. Mills and Hannah Johnson each had two-run singles in the frame. Nikki Shumway capped the scoring with an opposite field three-run homer in the fourth. Macias kept the Blue Hawks off balance - striking out four and walking just one, to pick up her fifth win of the season. Mills went 3-for-4 with Shumway going 2-for-3 with three runs scored and four RBI in the win.
ABOUT THE COACH: Al Mendiola is in his seventh year as head coach of The C of I softball program and holds an all-time record of 166-115 - the most wins by a softball coach in school history. The native of San Diego, Calif. has helped the Lady Yotes become a force in Northwest softball, leading The C of I to playoff appearances each year from 2006-09, including the 2007 and 2009 CCC regular-season titles, the 2008 NAIA Region I championship, and berths in the 2008 and 2009 NAIA Softball National Championships. Following the 2007 season, Mendiola was honored as CCC and NAIA Region I Coach of the Year after the Coyotes set a school record with 37 wins. Under his direction, the Yotes have been ranked as high as No. 14 in the NAIA Top-25 Coaches Poll. Outside of softball, Mendiola was the head coach of the Caldwell Silver Streaks American Legion baseball team from 1997-07 and has also assisted with the Boise Clippers men's fastpitch team. He was also an assistant coach for The C of I baseball team for seven years. A 1994 graduate of The C of I, Mendiola played two seasons of baseball for head coach Tim Mooney, earning honorable mention NAIA All-America honors as a senior. His wife, Liz, has been the head volleyball coach at The C of I for the past 11 years. The Mendiola's have two children, Aleah and Micah, and reside in Caldwell.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: For more information on The C of I softball program, head to the official homepage of the Coyotes, http://www.collegeofidaho.edu/softball.