yote notes - edition 11
COMING UP: at Northwest Christian (DH), Friday, 2 p.m. (PT); at Concordia (DH), Saturday, 11 a.m. (PT)
LAST WEEK: at Corban (L 4-2, W 5-2), at Eastern Oregon (W 4-2, L 8-0)
NNU GAME CANCELED: Tuesday’s doubleheader vs. Northwest Nazarene has been canceled – as NNU will be at St. Martin’s for make-up Great Northwest Athletic Conference games. It is uncertain if the twinbill will be rescheduled. If the teams do not play, it would mark the first time that C of I and NNU didn’t meet on the diamond since both programs began play in 2002.
LIVE STATS: No Live Stats will be available for Friday’s doubleheader at Northwest Christian (though in-game updates will be available on the Coyote Athletic twitter feed - @CoyoteAthletics), however, they will be available Saturday at Concordia (http://www.sidearmstats.com/cuportland/softball/scoreboard.aspx).
LADY YOTES RANKED NO. 21 IN NAIA POLL: The C of I dropped two spots to No. 21 in the latest NAIA Top-25 Coaches' Poll, released Tuesday by the national office in Kansas City, Mo. The Lady Yotes received 209 voter points in the poll - one of two CCC teams in the Top-25, as Oregon Tech is at No. 5, while Concordia and Corban received votes. Concordia (Calif.), whom the Lady Yotes lost 3-2 in extra innings in February, is the new No. 1 team in the NAIA, followed by Cal State-San Marcos, Oklahoma City, Central Baptist (Ark.), and OIT. The poll will be released each Tuesday for the remainder of the regular season.
SPLITSVILLE: It has been a tough Cascade Conference season for the Lady Yotes, as The C of I has not been able to put together a string of quality games. In the eight doubleheaders played in league play, the Yotes have split six, earning a home sweep of Eastern Oregon, while dropping two at Oregon Tech. The Lady Yotes have failed to score more than eight runs in a league contest, while allowing eight-or-more runs four different times – hitting .276 as a team and averaging just over three runs a game. On the flip side, in non-conference play, the Yotes hit .332 and averaged seven runs a game.
#2’S STRUGGLING: The Yotes have been struggling to get a quality outing from their No. 2 starter over the past month – as Nickayla Skinner (Mountain Home, Idaho / Mountain Home HS) has been forced to carry even more of the workload. Skinner has a 6-3 record with a 1.54 ERA in loop play, but the other three pitchers on the roster are a combined 2-5 with a 7.71 ERA in 38 innings of work in CCC action.
LONGEST ROAD TRIP?: The 12-game road swing that the Lady Yotes currently are on is the second-longest trip in program history. During the 2005 season, the Coyotes spent three straight weekends on the road, making treks to Montana, Oregon, and Washington, playing 14-straight games (going 1-13 during the stretch). So far, the Yotes are 3-5 on the current road swing.
25-WIN SEASONS: With their Game 1 win over Eastern Oregon on Tuesday, the Yotes secured their fourth 25-win season in program history. The C of I won a school record 37 games during the 2007 season, won 28 games in 2008, and had a 34-18 record in 2009.
10-RUN GAMES/10-HIT GAMES: Despite a lull in the offensive production as of late, the Lady Yotes have scored 10-or-more runs in eight games, while recording 10-or-more hits in a game 16 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, while the 2012 squad ranks second all-time on the 10 hits-or-more in a game list (the 2007 team recorded 18 10-or-more hit games).
ABOUT NORTHWEST CHRISTIAN: The Lady Yotes open their final road swing on Friday at Northwest Christian, the last-place team in the CCC standings. The Beacons (7-24, 3-9 CCC) have played well of late, thanks to the play of All-CCC standout Brooke Davis (.432 4 HR 9 RBI, 2-2 5.03 ERA) – who missed the first six weeks of the season. Other key players for NCU are Gabby Stover (.344 6 HR 18 RBI) and Megan Mazanec (.276 3 HR 12 RBI), along with pitchers Jenna Royce (3-11 3.55 ERA) and Kalyssa Koontz (2-11 4.05 ERA). The two teams split a doubleheader in Caldwell last month, with the Yotes leading the all-time series, 21-8.
ABOUT CONCORDIA: Saturday, the Yotes will tangle make the trek to the Rose City for a doubleheader with Concordia – as second-place in the CCC standings is on the line. The Cavaliers (16-16, 7-5) have won 11 of their last 17 games – including a sweep last weekend at Southern Oregon. Sam Genskay (.425 10 RBI) is among the league leaders in batting average, with Kyndall Andrews (.365 7 HR 28 RBI) and Laura Luther (.357 6 HR 27 RBI) providing pop in the middle of the order. Ashley Suter (7-7 3.62 ERA) is the ace of the pitching staff, ranking second in the league with 114 strikeouts, while Jordyn Brown (5-4 4.13 ERA) and Lacey Romo (4-4 4.58 ERA) split the No. 2 spot in the rotation. The two teams split a doubleheader in Caldwell, with CU holding a slim 24-23 all-time series edge.
CCC TEAM LEADERS: Batting Average – Oregon Tech .321, Concordia .320, Corban .311, C of I .308, Southern Oregon .292, Northwest Christian .257, Eastern Oregon .222; Earned Run Average – OIT 2.53, CRB 2.66, EOU 3.04, SOU 3.12, C of I 3.26, NCU 3.93, CU 4.02; Fielding Percentage – CRB .974, OIT .964, C of I .955, SOU .953, EOU .947, CU .947, NCU .930.
RECORD BOOK: Six Lady Yotes have cracked the single-season Top-10 in 2012, as Molly Mills (Burley, Idaho / Burley HS) has broke the record for hit-by-pitches in a season (10), ranking No. 6 in sacrifice hits (9), No. 8 in doubles (10), and No. 11 in hits (47), while Nickayla Skinner has set the record for saves in a year (5), ranking No. 4 in strikeouts (167), No. 5 in home runs (6), No. 6 in wins (13), No. 7 in complete games (7), No. 8 in appearances (25), and No. 10 in innings pitched (119.0). Nikki Shumway (Boise, Idaho / Boise HS) is No. 3 in runs scored (35), No. 5 in hit by pitches (7), No. 8 in home runs (8), and No. 10 in hits (48), with Alexis Macias (Stockton, Calif. / San Joaquin Delta CC) No. 4 in RBI (36) and No. 8 in home runs (5). Julia Henrie (Eagle, Idaho / Eagle HS) is No. 7 in hit-by-pitches (6), while Hannah Johnson (Homedale, Idaho / Homedale HS) is No. 6 in sacrifice hits (9). The same six Lady Yotes also find themselves listed in the career Top-10 record book, led by Skinner, who is No. 1 in saves (6), No. 3 in strikeouts (333) and shutouts (8), No. 4 in wins (28) and complete games (30), No. 6 in innings pitched (268), No. 7 in games started (37), appearances (48), and home runs hit (10), and No. 10 in doubles (17). Nikki Shumway ranks No. 3 in home runs (14) and runs scored (88), No. 4 in triples (3), No. 6 in stolen bases (30), hits (137), and hit-by-pitches (9), No. 8 in at bats (409) and walks (32), and No. 9 in RBI (58). Hannah Johnson is No. 4 in sacrifice hits (20), No. 6 in triples (2), No. 10 in walks (30), and is No. 11 in hit by pitches (7). Three others are on the list – Julia Henrie is No. 6 in triples (2) and No. 9 in hit-by-pitches (8), Kristen Haugen (Salem, Ore. / South Salem HS) is No. 7 in RBI (63), No. 9 in at bats (402), and No. 11 in runs scored (56), with Mills No. 4 in hit-by-pitches (12), No. 9 in sacrifice hits (11), and No. 12 in doubles (15)..
GAME RECAP – CORBAN 4, C OF I 2; C OF I 5, CORBAN 2: Nickayla Skinner hit a pair of home runs, while striking out a combined 19 batters, helping The C of I to a doubleheader split with then No. 23 ranked Corban University in Salem, Ore. The Lady Yotes dropped a 4-2 decision in the opener, but hung on for a 5-2 victory in Game 2. Skinner got The C of I on the board in the third inning, doubling home Molly Mills, who reached on a hit-by-pitch. The Warriors took a 2-1 lead in the fourth, as Stephanie Nippert hit her league-leading 14th home run and Lounette Jackson roped a pinch-hit RBI single. Skinner tied the game in the fifth with one swing, clubbing a solo homer to centerfield, but Corban took advantage of a costly dropped pop fly by the Yotes to get the game winner in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run double by Rachel Conard. Amy Greenough got the win, going five innings before leaving after taking a line-drive off her ankle. Chelsea Schriber retired 6-of-8 batters to earn a save. Skinner allowed six hits and fanned 11 in the losing effort, while recording two of the Yotes five hits. Game 2 saw the Yotes use three-straight two out hits in the third to take the lead, with Skinner launching a three-run homer to give The C of I the 3-0 edge. Corban would close within 3-2 in the sixth, getting a walk and hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded. Alexis Macias gave the Lady Yotes a pair of insurance runs in the seventh, lining a two-out, two-run single to cap the scoring. Skinner allowed just three hits, walking five, and striking out eight to pick up her 12th win. Nikki Shumway recorded her 14th multi-hit game of the season, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
GAME RECAP – C OF I 4, EASTERN OREGON 2; EASTERN OREGON 8, C OF I 0: For the sixth time in eight CCC doubleheaders, The C of I split a twinbill - outlasting Eastern Oregon in extra innings, 4-2, before dropping a mercy-rule induced 8-0 decision in La Grande, Ore. The No. 21 ranked Lady Yotes jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in Game 1 on RBI singles by Alexis Macias and Kristen Haugen. Nickayla Skinner rolled along, taking a no-hitter into the sixth and a shutout into the seventh, before Ashli Hughes slugged a two-run homer for EOU, tying the score. The momentum was short-lived, as Skinner led off the eighth with her sixth home run of the season, with Rachael Strong (Clackamas, Ore. / Clackamas CC) adding a solo shot of her own - securing the season series from the Mountaineers. Skinner went 3-for-4 at the plate in the win, while striking out 11 to pick up her 13th victory of the season in the circle. Nikki Shumway, Macias, and Strong all added two hits for the Yotes. Game 2 was all EOU, as Alex Hillmick spun a one-hit shutout - coming one out away from a no-hitter. The Mounties scored four in the second - including a two-run Suzie Espinoza single, then tacked on four more in the third - two on a Sarah Jackson two-run single, to earn the run-rule victory. The C of I averted the no-hitter with a Hannah Johnson infield single in the fifth.
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 178-123 - 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.