yote notes - edition 7
COMING UP: vs. No. 23 Corban (DH), Saturday, 11 a.m.; at Eastern Oregon (DH), Tuesday, 3 p.m. (PT)
LAST WEEK: vs. British Columbia (W 3-2, W 5-4, W 6-1, W 5-3)
LIVE STATS: Live Statistics of Saturday’s games will be available online, thanks to the Sprint Store in Meridian (2100 East Fairview Ave, 855-9910). Fans can access the stats by the NAIA’s Dakstats portal at http://www.dakstats.com/naia and click on the webcast link at the top of the page. Live Stats will also be available on Tuesday at Eastern Oregon online at http://www.eousports.com/custompages/livestats/sft/xlive.htm.
SKINNER NAMED PITCHER OF THE WEEK AGAIN: For the second-straight week and the third time this season, C of I’s Nickayla Skinner (Mountain Home, Idaho / Mountain Home HS) has been honored as Red Lion-Cascade Conference Pitcher of the Week. The sophomore was dynamite in the circle, going 2-0 with a 1.31 ERA in four appearances, also recording two saves. In 16 innings of work, Skinner allowed just six hits and struck out 14 batters – with her four saves this season ranking second in the NAIA.
WIN STREAK EXTENDED TO 11: With their four-game sweep of British Columbia, the Lady Yote extended their win streak to 11 – the longest win streak in the 11-year history of the program. The 2007won 10 games in a row, en route to a school-record 37-12 season. The 17-3 record is the best mark through 20-games in program history, as the 2003, 2007, and 2008 teams all began 13-7. The best 25-game start to the season was in 2007, when The C of I began 18-7.
PERFECT AT HOME: The Lady Yotes have an 8-0 record at home this season – as Symms Field continues to be a tough place for C of I opponents’. Under current head coach Al Mendiola, the Coyotes have recorded an 86-35 record on their home diamond, including a 48-17 record in CCC games.
WHO’S HOT: Four regulars recorded batting averages at .400 or above during the UBC series – as the Yotes hit .354 as a team. Nikki Shumway (Boise, Idaho / Boise HS) went 5-for-10 with a double, home run, three runs scored, and four RBI on the weekend, while fellow senior Kristen Haugen (Salem, Ore. /South Salem HS) went 6-for-13 with a double, four runs scored, and two RBI. Shortstop Kaci Baldwin (Lewiston, Idaho / Lewiston HS) went 3-for-6 with four runs scored, while Molly Mills (Burley, Idaho / Burley HS) went 4-for-10 with the Yotes first triple of the season.
DOUBLE FIGURE RUNS/HITS: The offensive explosion by the 2012 team through the first 20 games has been off the charts – scoring 10-or-more runs in eight games, while recording 10-or-more hits in a game 12 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 third on the 10 hits in a game list (2007 team recorded 18 10-or-more hit games, the 2011 team had 14, and the 2005 team had 12).
CCC PLAY OPENS THIS WEEKEND: The 24-game CCC season opens up this weekend – though weather has already put a wrench in the schedule. Corban is expected to make the trek to meet the Lady Yotes and Eastern Oregon, while Oregon Tech and Southern Oregon were expected to head North for games at Northwest Christian and Concordia – however, the games at NCU have already been postponed due to field conditions.
ABOUT CORBAN: The Yotes open the league slate against Corban, ranked No. 23 in the NAIA preseason poll and featuring one of the most potent offenses in the Northwest. The Warriors (15-3) are off to their best start in program history, as the squad leads the league with a .345 batting average, slugging 33 home runs on the season. 2011 Player of the Year, Stephanie Nippert (.524 11 HR 33 RBI) is off to a monster start, joined offensively by Lounette Jackson (.421 4 HR 8 RBI), Emma Winckler (.309 7 HR 19 RBI), and Brittany Chestnut (.397 5 RBI, 12 SB). Corban’s pitching staff does not have an ace, as a trio of pitchers have all won five games – Jessica Slate (5-1 1.11 ERA), Amy Greenough (5-1 2.08 ERA), and Chelsea Schriber (5-1 3.57 ERA). The teams have met 35 times, with the Yotes holding a 19-16 series edge.
ABOUT EASTERN OREGON: The Lady Yotes will it the road for the first time since mid-February on Tuesday, playing a Tuesday twinbill at Eastern Oregon. The Mountaineers (4-4) have not played a game since Feb. 24, but have quality wins against Concordia-Irvine, Biola, and Dickinson State. EOU is led offensively by Sarah Jackson (.478 3 HR 10 RBI) and Cassie Wendt (.423 4 RBI), while in the circle, newcomer Alex Hillmick (3-0 0.33 ERA) has been solid for the Mounties. Eastern has dropped the last five meetings with the Lady Yotes, however, the Mountaineers hold a 29-21 all-time series edge over The C of I.
RECORD BOOK: Just 20 games into the 2012 season, four Lady Yotes have cracked the single-season Top-10 list. Nickayla Skinner has tied the record for saves (4), while Molly Mills ranks No. 5 in hit by pitches (6). Nikki Shumway and Alexis Macias (Stockton, Calif. / San Joaquin Delta CC) are tied for No. 10 with four home runs each. Six Lady Yotes currently find themselves listed in the career Top-10 record book, led by Skinner, who is No. 1 in saves (5), No. 3 in strikeouts (238), No. 4 in shutouts (4) and in wins (22), No. 5 in complete games (22), and No. 7 in innings pitched (200.0), games started (28), and in appearances (36). Nikki Shumway ranks No. 3 in home runs (13), No. 4 in triples (3), No. 5 in runs scored (77), No. 6 in stolen bases (29), and No. 10 in hits (118) and RBI (53). Hannah Johnson (Homedale, Idaho / Homedale HS) is No. 6 in triples (2) and sacrifice hits (16), and No. 7 in hit-by-pitches (7). Three others are on the list – Julia Henrie (Eagle, Idaho / Eagle HS) is No. 6 in triples (2) and No. 7 in hit-by-pitches (7), Kristen Haugen is No. 8 in RBI (58) and No. 11 in runs scored (53), with Molly Mills No. 5 in hit-by-pitches (9).
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.
CCC TEAM STATISTICS: Batting Average – Corban .345, C of I .332, Southern Oregon .323, Concordia .323, Oregon Tech .316, Northwest Christian .253, Eastern Oregon .252; Earned Run Average – EOU 2.05, CRB 2.12, OIT 2.25, C of I 2.78, SOU 2.84, NCU 3.78, CU 3.99; Fielding Percentage - .CRB .969, EOU .967, OIT .962, C of I .954, CU .953, SOU .952, NCU .916.
GAME RECAP – C OF I 3, BRITISH COLUMBIA 2; C OF I 5, BRITISH COLUMBIA 4: Nickayla Skinner picked up a win and a save in the circle, while hitting a tiebreaking home run in Game 2, as The C of I ran their win streak to nine games, sweeping a Friday doubleheader from the University of British Columbia, 3-2 and 5-4, at Symms Field. Skinner took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of Game 1, striking out seven T-Bird batters at one stretch, picking up her sixth win of the season. The Yotes broke a scoreless tie in the fourth, as Kristen Haugen lined an RBI single to score Skinner, who led off the inning with a walk. The hosts extended the lead to 3-0 in the fifth, as Skinner singled home a run, with Alexis Macias driving in another with a fielders’ choice. Alana Westerhof broke up the no-hit bid with a leadoff single in the sixth, scoring on a Coyote throwing error. UBC would tack on a second run in the inning on a Jesslyn Hodge RBI single. The ‘Birds would have the go-ahead run at the plate in the seventh, but Skinner induced a pair of fly outs to end the game. The right-hander allowed just two hits and fanned nine in the victory, as five different C of I players had one hit. UBC took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning of Game 2 on a two-out Molly Gosnell single, but the Yotes responded with a three-run bottom half of the frame. Haugen tied the game with an RBI single through the left side, with Macias roping a two-run base hit into right. The visitors’ tied the game in the fifth, as Carlyn Shimizu doubled in a run, scoring on a fielding error on a Hodge single. Skinner broke the tie in the bottom of the inning, launching the second pitch over the left field wall for a 4-3 lead. A pinch-hit RBI single from Jordan Huttash (Nampa, Idaho / Bishop Kelly HS) pushed the lead to 5-3. The T-Birds rallied in the seventh, loading the bases with no-outs. Skinner was called from the pen, allowing a Gosnell sacrifice fly and a pop up to right, then fanning Lindsay McElroy to end the game. Haugen went 4-for-4 with two runs scored, with Molly Mills and Macias each logging two hits. Macias picked up the win, going five innings, allowing six hits and three runs. Shimizu went 3-for-4 with three runs scored for UBC, with Hodge adding two hits.
GAME RECAP – C OF I 6, BRITISH COLUMBIA 1; C OF I 5, BRITISH COLUMBIA 3: Nikki Shumway had four hits and three RBI in the opener, and Kayla Park (Ontario, Ore. / Treasure Valley CC) did it with her arm and bat in Game 2, as The C of I extended their win streak to a school-record 11 games, completing a four-game sweep of British Columbia with 6-1 and 5-3 wins Saturday at Symms Field. UBC strung together three-straight singles in Game 1, with a Cassandra Dpychey run-scoring single putting the T-Birds up, 1-0. It would be all the visitors would get against Nickayla Skinner, who retired 20 of the next 22 batters, to earn the win. In the fourth, Skinner started the rally with a line-drive homer to left to tie the game. Kaci Baldwin and Hannah Johnson added RBI singles, with Shumway doubling home a run with a drive off the centerfield fence. Two innings later, Shumway crushed a pitch deep over the left field wall for a two-run shot, her fourth of the season, to cap the scoring. Game 2 started the same, as Jesslyn Hodge singled home a run and Molly Gosnell added a sacrifice fly to give the ‘Birds a 2-0 lead. It would stay that way until the fourth, when Kristen Haugen singled and Baldwin reached on an infield single. After a passed ball moved the runners up, Park lined a base-hit into center to pick up the pair, tying the game. Johnson gave the Yotes the lead with an RBI single and Shumway capped the four-run frame with a sacrifice fly to the warning track. The T-Birds would get within a run in the sixth, as Hodge scored on a wild pitch, but the Yotes got an insurance run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single from Kayla Webb (Garland, Utah / Bear River HS). Skinner came on, working around a single, to pick up her fourth save of the year. Park limited UBC to five hits in her six innings of work, allowing three runs, to pick up her fourth win of the season, while going 2-for-3 with two RBI at the plate. Baldwin went 2-for-3 with two runs scored in the victory.
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 170-115 - 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.