yote notes - edition 9
COMING UP: at Southern Oregon (DH), Sunday, 11 a.m. (PT); at No. 6 Oregon Tech, Monday, 11 a.m. (PT)
LAST WEEK: vs. Concordia (W 4-0, L 6-5), vs. Northwest Christian (W 4-0, L 1-0), vs. Eastern Oregon (W 4-0, W 4-2)
SKINNER NAMED NAIA PITCHER OF THE WEEK: For her dominating performance in the circle last weekend, C of I right-hander Nickayla Skinner (Mountain Home, Idaho / Mountain Home HS) was named Cascade Conference and NAIA National Pitcher of the Week. The sophomore, from Mountain Home, went 3-1 on the week, allowing just one run in 25 innings of work, while striking out 37 batters. She recorded two-hit shutouts of both Concordia and Northwest Christian, while recording a one-hit shutout against Eastern Oregon. Against both CU and EOU, she struck out 12 batters. Skinner came in from the pen in the series finale against Eastern, notching her fifth save of the season - breaking C of I's single-season record.
JOINS ELITE COMPANY: It is the first National honor by a C of I athlete this season – and the second by a Lady Yote softball player, as Katie Zillner earned the award in 2008. Other women’s athletes to earn the honor were volleyball players Sarah Harris (2010), Erin Cherrington (2006), Charity Gaston (2005), Amanda Basanez (2003), women’s soccer player Amy Rhoades (2007), and women’s basketball player Alyson Pincock (2001). On the men’s side, four men’s soccer players – Aaron Reynolds (2010), Antonio Bautista (2008), Jason Southward (2003), and Jared Larsen (1999, 2000), two baseball players – Luke Hays (1999) and Tim Onofrei (1996), two men’s basketball players – Kelly McCarty (2011) and Mark Owen (1985), and two track athletes – Austin Basterrechea (2011) and Travis Sharp (2011) have been honored by the NAIA.
MONSTER MONTH FOR SKINNER: Nickayla Skinner has not just been dominant over the last week, she has been dominating this season. Skinner has not allowed more than four hits in a game this season, while allowing just one earned run in her last 39-plus innings of work. She has recorded six games of 10-or-more strikeouts this season, and has thrown four-straight shutouts.
LADY YOTES RANKED NO. 20 IN NAIA POLL: The C of I climbed two spots to No. 20 in the latest NAIA Top-25 Coaches' Poll, released Tuesday by the national office in Kansas City, Mo. The Lady Yotes received 216 voter points in the poll - one of three CCC teams in the Top-25, as Oregon Tech is at No. 6 and Corban is at No. 23. Both Concordia (Ore.) and Southern Oregon received votes. Lubbock Christian (Texas) holds the No. 1 spot, followed by Cal State-San Marcos, Concordia (Calif.), Oklahoma City, and Central Baptist (Ark.).
YOTES FINISH HOMESTAND 13-3: The Yotes finished their longest homestand in program history with a 13-3 record. The squad improved their all-time record at home to 116-83 (.583 win percentage) – and have clinched their seventh-straight winning season at home.
WHO’S HOT: Three players led the way offensively over the weekend – as Nickayla Skinner, Alexis Macias (Stockton, Calif. / San Joaquin Delta CC), and Nikki Shumway (Boise, Idaho / Boise HS) all had great numbers. Skinner complimented her pitching by going 8-for-18 at the plate, with a homer, five runs scored, and four RBI. Macias went 7-for-13 with a homer and five RBI, while Shumway went 7-for-18 with a double and three RBI. In the circle, Kayla Park (Ontario, Ore. / Treasure Valley CC) threw well, allowing just one earned run in 10 innings of work – picking up a win against Eastern Oregon.
SCHEDULE CHANGES: A week after having the Eastern Oregon game moved to Caldwell – the Yotes trip south has been altered as well. The C of I will play Southern Oregon on Sunday, followed by a doubleheader at Oregon Tech on Monday – due to weather issues on the west side of the Cascades. April 10, the Lady Yotes will play a twinbill at Eastern Oregon (instead of in Caldwell), while April 17, the Yotes will host Northwest Nazarene (replacing the originally scheduled April 3 date).
ABOUT SOUTHERN OREGON: The road trip begins with a rare Sunday set at Southern Oregon, who had won 6-of-7 before being swept at home Wednesday by Oregon Tech. The Raiders (13-9, 3-3 CCC) have a potent offensive attack, paced by Stephanie Vandenbush (.439 6 HR 19 RBI), Katie Moy (.438 3 HR 17 RBI), and Irene Barrantes (.390 3 HR 14 BRI), along with pitchers Jordyn Kurtz (6-3 2.72 ERA) and Karlie Stephens (4-2 2.81 ERA). The two teams split four games last year, with SOU holding a 26-19 all-time series advantage.
ABOUT OREGON TECH: Monday, the Yotes tangle with the defending NAIA national champs, Oregon Tech. The Owls (22-4, 5-1) are ranked No. 6 in the NAIA poll – with Shawna Collins (.358 9 RBI), Janelle Cromie (.328 5 HR 15 RBI), and Jess Plummer (.294 8 HR 27 RBI) leading a balanced offensive attack. OIT has a great pitching staff, led by Taylor Schmidt (11-2 2.17 ERA) and Morgan Barnes (8-1 2.68 ERA). The two teams split four games last season, with the Owls holding a 30-16 all-time series edge.
RECORD BOOK: Four Lady Yotes have cracked the single-season Top-10 list so far this season, as Molly Mills (Burley, Idaho / Burley HS) tied the record for hit-by-pitches in a season (9), while Nickayla Skinner has set the record for saves in a year (5), ranking No. 7 in wins (11), No. 8 in strikeouts (122), and No. 10 in complete games (10). Nikki Shumway and Alexis Macias are tied for No. 7 in home runs – both hitting five, with Macias sixth on the single-season RBI list (31). Six Lady Yotes currently find themselves listed in the career Top-10 record book, led by Skinner, who is No. 1 in saves (6), No. 3 in strikeouts (288) and shutouts (8), No. 4 in wins (26) and complete games (26), and No. 7 in innings pitched (232.0), games started (32), and in appearances (43). Nikki Shumway ranks No. 3 in home runs (14), No. 4 in triples (3) and runs scored (82), No. 6 in stolen bases (30), No. 8 in hits (126), and No. 9 in RBI (58), walks (31), and at bats (382). Hannah Johnson (Homedale, Idaho / Homedale HS) is No. 6 in triples (2) and sacrifice hits (17), is No. 10 in hit by pitches (7), and No. 11 in walks (29). Three others are on the list – Julia Henrie (Eagle, Idaho / Eagle HS) is No. 6 in triples (2) and No. 8 in hit-by-pitches (8), Kristen Haugen (Salem, Ore. / South Salem HS) is No. 8 in RBI (60) and No. 11 in runs scored (54) and at bats (374), with Molly Mills No. 4 in hit-by-pitches (12).
GAME RECAP: C OF I 4, CONCORDIA 0; CONCORDIA 6, C OF I 5: Despite a banner day in the circle and at the plate by Nickayla Skinner, The C of I squandered opportunities late in Game 2, as the Lady Yotes split a doubleheader with Concordia University at Symms Field. The Lady Yotes won the opener, 4-0, but dropped the nightcap, 6-5. Skinner was dominant in Game 1, tossing her second-straight shutout, allowing just two hits and fanning 12. She ran into trouble in the third, as the Cavaliers loaded the bases with one out - but got Tobey Varney to strike out and coaxed a pop-up from Kate Santos to get out of trouble. CU would get just one runner in scoring position the rest of the way. The C of I took an early 2-0 lead in the first, as Alexis Macias laced a two-out, two-run single through the middle to give the hosts the edge. Rachael Strong (Clackamas, Ore. / Clackamas CC) added a solo homer in the fourth and Skinner smacked her third homer of the season in the fifth to cap the scoring. Both Strong and Skinner each had three hits in the victory. Game 2 saw the Cavs take a quick 3-0 lead in the opening frame on the strength of a long three-run homer from Varney. The Yotes would get two back in the bottom of the inning on run-scoring singles from Skinner and Kristen Haugen. Allison Gunter blooped an RBI single into right in the second to give CU a 4-2 lead, while an inning later, the Cavaliers added two unearned runs on a bases loaded throwing error. Julia Henrie got a run back for the Yotes in the fourth, hitting her third homer of the season to center (off the glove of CU centerfielder Jennifer Lutton, who was trying to rob the home run), then got a two-out bases loaded walk to Paige Gabiola (Payette, Idaho / Payette HS) and an RBI hit-by-pitch to Kaci Baldwin (Lewiston, Idaho / Lewiston HS) in the fifth to cut the margin to 6-5. However, reliever Ashley Suter got Kendall Pavey (Spokane, Wash. / Lewis & Clark HS) to fly out to end the threat. The Coyotes would load the bases with one out in the sixth, but Suter again danced out of trouble, getting back-to-back strikeouts of Haugen and Henrie to end the frame. Sam Genskay, Jordyn Brown, and Gunter each had two hits for CU, with Lacey Romo going four-plus innings for her fourth win - while Suter notched her first save. Skinner continued her big day, going 3-for-4 with an RBI, with Nikki Shumway, Macias, and Henrie all recording two hits.
GAME RECAP: C OF I 8, NORTHWEST CHRISTIAN 0; NORTHWEST CHRISTIAN 1, C OF I 0: Nickayla Skinner tossed a two-hit shutout in Game 1, but a late Brooke Davis home run broke a scoreless tie, as The C of I and Northwest Christian split a doubleheader at Symms Field. The Yotes won 8-0 in five innings in the opener, with the Beacons taking a 1-0 decision in the late game. Skinner dominated the Beacons in the early game, allowing just two hits, two walks, and six strikeouts. NCU loaded the bases in the first with two outs, but Davis fanned to end the threat - with the Beacons getting just one base runner the rest of the way. The C of I got all the runs they needed in the opening inning, taking advantage of two NCU errors to plate three runs. Alexis Macias had an RBI single to get the Yotes on the board, with two runs scoring on a throwing error with the bases loaded. An inning later, Skinner delivered a run with a fielders' choice grounder, while two runs plated on a Kristen Haugen single - the second when Macias scored in a run-down. The hosts added a run in the third when Kaci Baldwin scored on an error, then won the game due to the eight-run mercy rule in the fifth on a Molly Mills RBI double. Nikki Shumway, Macias, and Haugen each had two hits in the win. Kalyssa Koontz struck out five, allowing just three earned runs, in the loss for the Beacons. Game 2 was a pitcher’s duel, as starters Jenna Royce and Kayla Park matched zeros. NCU had runners at the corners in the first but could not score, while the Yotes had runners in scoring position in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings, but could not get the clutch hit. Davis came through in the seventh, launching a 3-2 pitch by Skinner, who came in relief in the sixth, deep over the left-centerfield wall. Royce was outstanding, allowing just five hits and struck out five, while Park allowed three hits in five shutout innings in a no-decision. No player for either team had more than one hit.
GAME RECAP: C OF I 4, EASTERN OREGON 0; C OF I 4, EASTERN OREGON 2: Nickayla Skinner tossed a one-hit shutout in Game 1, while the Lady Yotes rallied from a 2-0 deficit in Game 2, as The C of I completed a doubleheader sweep of Eastern Oregon, winning 4-0 and 4-2, at Symms Field. Skinner only allowed a first inning single to Cassie Wendt in the complete-game victory, striking out 12 batters, to pick up her 11th win of the season. The Lady Yotes scored a pair of early runs, as Molly Mills scored on a double steal in the first, with Nikki Shumway rapping an RBI single in the second. The lead would be extended to 4-0 in the fifth, as Skinner helped her own cause with an RBI single, followed by an Alexis Macias run-scoring base hit. No player for either team had more than one hit. The Mountaineers grabbed an early 2-0 lead in Game 2, as Wendt hit a two-run homer in the opening inning. The lead would hold until the fifth, scoring a run on an EOU error, with Shumway giving the Coyotes the lead with a two-run single. Macias capped the scoring in the sixth with a solo homer, her fifth of the year. Kayla Park got the win, allowing six hits in five innings of work. Skinner got the final six outs for her fifth save of the year - a new C of I record. Julia Henrie and Kaci Baldwin each had two hits for The C of I, while Suzie Espinoza went 3-for-3 for Eastern.
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 175-118 - 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.