yote notes - edition 12
COMING UP: vs. Southern Oregon (DH), Friday, 2 p.m.; vs. No. 7 Oregon Tech (DH), Saturday, 11 a.m.
LAST WEEK: at Northwest Christian (W 6-4, W 5-0), at Concordia (L 2-1, W 4-1)
LIVE STATS/LIVE AUDIO: Live Stats for both weekend doubleheaders will be available online, thanks to the Sprint Store in Meridian (2100 East Fairview Ave, 855-9910). Live Stats will be available via the softball homepage at http://www.collegeofidaho.edu/softball and click on the Live Stats link. A live audio broadcast will also be available online Saturday, as Mike Garrard of 960 KLAD-AM in Klamath Falls, Ore., will be broadcasting the game – with the online feed at http://socialstreamingplayer.crystalmedianetworks.com/radio/kladam.
PLAYOFF RACE COMING DOWN TO THE WIRE: The final weekend of the Cascade Conference season will not be enough to determine the three teams that will comprise the CCC postseason tournament. Heading into weekend play, Oregon Tech holds a two-game lead over Corban and Concordia (in the loss column), with the Lady Yotes two games back of the second-place teams. Following the weekend, the Yotes will have completed their 24-game season, while Concordia will have six games to play next week (including head-to-head games with OIT and Corban) and Corban has a pair of games vs. Concordia.
SKINNER WINS SIXTH WEEKLY AWARD: For a record sixth time this season, Nickayla Skinner (Mountain Home, Idaho / Mountain Home HS) has been named Red Lion-Cascade Conference Pitcher of the Week. The sophomore became the first single-season six-time recipient of the award – as former Concordia pitcher Renee Santos (2010) and Coyote pitcher Jody Zillner (2009) each earned the award five times in a year. Skinner went 4-1 in five appearances during the week, allowing just 13 hits in 35 innings of work – including a two-hitter at Eastern Oregon and a three-hit shutout of Northwest Christian. She struck out 36 batters, including 11 in the win at EOU. Only three student-athletes have won six-or-more weekly awards in one season – as C of I’s Kelsey Soos won nine volleyball Setter of the Week awards in 2011, Southern Oregon’s Sarah Holgen won six volleyball Hitter of the Week awards in 2010 and the Yotes Erin Cherrington won six volleyball Setter of the Week awards in 2006.
MORE ON SKINNER: Nickayla Skinner has had a dominating year in the circle and was a workhorse over the weekend – throwing all 27 innings in the two doubleheaders. She currently leads the CCC in innings pitched, ERA, strikeouts, strikeouts per seven innings, complete games, shutouts, opponents’ batting average, and saves – ranking No. 3 in the NAIA in saves (5), No. 5 in opponents’ batting average (.142), and No. 6 in ERA (1.35).
A .500 ROAD TRIP: The Lady Yotes concluded a three weekend, 12-game road swing with a 6-6 record, with three of the six losses by margins of two runs or less. Of their 12 losses this season, eight have been by two runs or fewer.
25-WIN SEASONS: With their Game 1 win over Eastern Oregon on April 10, 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 17 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).
LADY YOTES SQUEEZED OUT OF NAIA POLL: After three-straight weeks ranked in the Top-25, The C of I dropped out of the rankings, as the Yotes were the first team listed in the Others Receiving Votes category. The Lady Yotes received 95 voter points in the poll - one of four CCC teams in the poll, as Oregon Tech is at No. 7, Corban is at No. 17 while Concordia received votes. Concordia (Calif.), whom the Lady Yotes lost 3-2 in extra innings in February, is ranked No. 1, followed by Cal State-San Marcos, Oklahoma City, Central Baptist (Ark.), and Lubbock Christian (Texas). The poll will be released each Tuesday for the remainder of the regular season.
LAST HURRAH FOR SENIORS: Saturday’s games vs. Oregon Tech will mark the final home game for four C of I senior student-athletes, who have combined for 14 seasons with the softball program. Outfielders Nikki Shumway (Boise, Idaho / Boise HS) and Jordan Huttash (Nampa, Idaho / Bishop Kelly HS), along with third-baseman Kristen Haugen (Salem, Ore. / South Salem HS) have been with the team four years, while pitcher Kayla Park (Ontario, Ore. / Treasure Valley CC) has been with the Yotes for two seasons. The quartet will be honored in a ceremony between games on Saturday afternoon.
ABOUT SOUTHERN OREGON: The weekend opens against Southern Oregon, as the Raiders (17-16, 7-10 CCC) ended a four-game losing streak with an 8-0 win Tuesday at Oregon Tech. SOU, which split a pair of games with The C of I earlier this month, is paced offensively by Stephanie Vandenbusch (.400 6 HR 19 RBI), Katie Moy (.374 6 HR 26 RBI), and Julia Willison (.333 8 HR 25 RBI), with the tandem of Jordyn Kurtz (8-7 2.97 ERA) and Karlie Stephens (6-6 2.97 ERA) leading the way in the circle. Southern has a quality .289 team batting average and have smashed 39 home runs. It is the 48th and 49th meetings between the schools, with the Raiders holding a 27-20 series edge.
ABOUT OREGON TECH: The regular-season ends with a match-up against No. 7 ranked Oregon Tech, the lone team this season that has swept a doubleheader from The C of I. The Owls (30-7, 13-4) have dropped three-straight games after reeling off 13 consecutive wins, thanks to an offense that’s hit 51 home runs this season and averaged eight runs per game. OIT is led offensively by Shauna Collins (.363 3 HR 23 RBI, 11 SB), Kayde Schaefer (.343 8 HR 31 RBI), Janelle Cromie (.295 8 HR 25 RBI), and Jess Plummer (.288 11 HR 35 RBI), while Taylor Schmidt (17-4 2.48 ERA) leads the league in wins. It is the 49th and 50th meetings between the clubs, with Tech holding a 32-16 series edge.
CCC TEAM LEADERS: Batting Average – Corban .326, Concordia .319, Oregon Tech .315, College of Idaho .304, Southern Oregon .289, Northwest Christian .245, Eastern Oregon .232; Earned Run Average – Corban 2.57, Oregon Tech 2.85, College of Idaho 3.09, Eastern Oregon 3.15, Southern Oregon 3.29, Concordia 3.81, Northwest Christian 4.09; Fielding Percentage – Corban .978, Oregon Tech .964, College of Idaho .957, Eastern Oregon .951, Southern Oregon .950, Concordia .948, Northwest Christian .937.
RECORD BOOK: Seven Lady Yotes have cracked the single-season Top-10 in 2012, including Molly Mills (Burley, Idaho / Burley HS), who has set new marks for hits (52) and hit-by-pitches (11), ranking No. 5 in sacrifice hits (10), No. 7 in runs scored (33), and No. 8 in doubles (10). Nickayla Skinner holds the single-season record for saves (5), ranking No. 4 in strikeouts (198), wins (16), complete games (18), appearances (29), and innings pitched (150), No. 5 in home runs (6), and No. 8 in games started, with Nikki Shumway No. 3 in runs scored (37), No. 5 in hit-by-pitches (7), No. 7 in hits (50), and No. 8 in home runs (5). Alexis Macias (Stockton, Calif. / San Joaquin Delta CC) is No. 4 in RBI (38) and No. 8 in home runs (5), Hannah Johnson (Homedale, Idaho / Homedale HS) is No. 5 in sacrifice hits (10), Julia Henrie (Eagle, Idaho / Eagle HS) is No. 7 in hit-by-pitches (6), and Kristen Haugen is No. 9 in RBI (28). Six players have reached the career Top-10 list, including Skinner, who is No. 1 in saves (6), No. 2 in shutouts (9), No. 3 in strikeouts (364), and wins (31), No. 4 in complete games (34), No. 6 in innings pitched (295), No. 7 in starts (41), appearances (52), and home runs (10), and No. 10 in doubles (18). Shumway ranks No. 3 in home runs (14) and runs scored (90), No. 4 in triples (3), No. 6 in stolen bases (30), hit-by-pitches (9), and hits (139), No. 7 in at bats (33) and walks (33), and No. 9 in RBI (58), with Johnson No. 4 in sacrifice hits (21), No. 6 in triples (2), No. 10 in walks (31), and No. 11 in hit-by-pitches (7). Haugen is No. 7 in RBI (65), No. 9 in at bats (414), and No. 11 in runs scored (57), Mills is No. 4 in hit-by-pitches (13), No. 7 in sacrifice hits (12), and No. 12 in doubles (15), with Henrie No. 6 in triples (2), and No. 9 in hit-by-pitches (8).
GAME RECAP – C OF I 6, NORTHWEST CHRISTIAN 3; C OF I 5, NORTHWEST CHRISTIAN 0: Molly Mills two-out RBI single in the seventh inning tied Game 1, starting a four-run rally - helping The C of I earn a crucial doubleheader sweep of Northwest Christian, winning 6-3 and 5-0, Friday in Eugene, Ore. The Beacons took an early 2-0 lead in the opening inning of Game 1, as Amanda Reiss lined a two-out, two-run double. The Yotes would even the game an inning later, as Rachael Strong (Clackamas, Ore. / Clackamas CC) hit her third home run of the season. Ally Mittleider led off the fifth with a solo home run, giving the hosts a 3-2 lead. The margin would last until the seventh, when Julia Henrie led off with an infield single, moving to third with two outs. After an intentional walk to Nikki Shumway, Mills tied the game with a base hit to right. Nickayla Skinner gave The C of I their first lead with an RBI single, Alexis Macias doubled home a run to make it 5-3, with the fourth run of the inning scoring on a passed ball. It was enough for Skinner, who struck out 12 batters for the victory - her ninth game this season with 10-or-more strikeouts. Strong had the lone multi-hit game for the Yotes, going 2-for-3, while five different NCU players had one hit. Brooke Davis allowed eight hits in six-plus innings for the loss. Game 2 was dominated by Skinner, allowing just three hits and striking out six, in tossing her sixth shutout of the season. The Yotes would get all the runs they'd need in the first, as Kristen Haugen singled home a run. A two-run Mills single in the second made it 3-0, with Henrie driving in a run with a single in the third. Haugen capped the scoring in the seventh with an infield RBI single. Mills, Skinner, and Haugen each had two hits for the Yotes, who logged 11 hits in the win. Kalyssa Koontz allowed three runs on five hits in two innings of work, taking the loss for NCU, as the Beacons had just one runner reach third base.
GAME RECAP – CONCORDIA 2, C OF I 1; C OF I 4, CONCORDIA 1: Nickayla Skinner roped a three-run double in a four-run third inning outburst in Game 2, as The C of I split a doubleheader with Concordia University, dropping the opener, 2-1, but earning a 4-1 win in the nightcap, Saturday at Delta Park in Portland, Ore. A pitchers’ duel in Game 1 saw The C of I take a 1-0 lead in the second – as Alexis Macias singled, moving to third with two outs, and scoring on a wild pitch. The score would hold until the bottom of the sixth, as with two outs, the Cavaliers would load the bases on an infield single, a hit batter, and a walk. Laura Luther provided the big blow, lining a two-run single into center to give CU the 2-1 lead. The Yotes would have the tying run in scoring position in the seventh before a ground out ended the game. Skinner went the distance in the loss, allowing just three hits and striking out 10. Paige Gabiola (Payette, Idaho / Payette HS) had the lone multi-hit game for either team, going 2-for-3. The Yotes used the big third inning to take control of Game 2, as Gabiola led off with a single, with Hannah Johnson and Molly Mills adding infield singles to load the bases. Skinner cleared the bases with her double, scoring on a Macias ground out to give The C of I a 4-0 lead. CU would get on the board in the fourth on a throwing error and would load the bases with two outs. However, Skinner got Mary Lugar to ground out to end the threat – retiring 10 of the last 11 batters to earn her 16th win of the year. Skinner limited the Cavs to just three hits in the win – as neither team had a player with more than one hit. Mills’ single in the third gave her 52 hits on the season – tying the single-season C of I record.
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 181-124 - 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.