yote notes - edition 13 (SEASON REVIEW)
COMING UP: Season Complete
LAST WEEK: vs. Southern Oregon (W 1-0, L 2-0), vs. No. 8 Oregon Tech (L 2-0, L 10-1)
APRIL SWOON SINKS COYOTE SHIP: The Lady Yotes were rolling, recording their best 15-game, 20-game, and 25-game starts in program history, holding a 23-6 record and a Top-25 position in the NAIA national poll. Following an epic 14-inning victory over Southern Oregon on April 1 – The C of I struggled the rest of the way, losing nine of their final 15 games, including three in a row to end the season, missing out on the Cascade Conference postseason tournament for a third-straight year. During the skid, the Yotes scored less than three runs per game, hit just .249, and recorded just 21 extra base hits in the 15 games combined.
LACK OF OFFENSE: The big difference between the 17-3 record for the Lady Yotes in non-conference action and the 12-12 finish in CCC play was the offensive production. In CCC play, the squad hit .260, averaging three runs per game, while in the 20 preseason games, the Yotes hitting .332, scoring seven runs a contest. The C of I also got production from their No. 2 pitchers during the non-conference season, with the trio of hurlers combining for a 10-3 record and a 3.78 ERA, but in league contests, the group struggled – going 2-5 with an 8.34 ERA.
CONFERENCE PLAYOFF PICTURE SET: The three teams in the CCC Tournament have been determined – as Oregon Tech, Corban, and Concordia will meet next weekend to determine the automatic berth to the NAIA National Championships in Orange Beach, Ala. However, the playoff seeding is still to be determined – as OIT’s magic number to clinch the host berth and No. 1 seed in the tournament is one. The second and third-place teams will play in a winner-take-all playoff to earn the right to join the top-seed in a best-of-three game series to determine the champion. It marks the third-straight season that the CCC has conducted the three-team tourney.
MONSTER SEASONS BY MILLS, SKINNER: The downer of a final month of the season did not put a damper on the play of Molly Mills (Burley, Idaho / Burley HS) and Nickayla Skinner (Mountain Home, Idaho / Mountain Home HS) – who capped huge seasons. Mills established a quartet of school records in 2012 – logging the highest batting average, on base percentage, the most hits, and most hit-by-pitches in a season in program history, finishing second in the CCC in doubles, and third in batting average and hits. The junior ended the year with an eight-game hit streak. Skinner was the most dominant pitcher in the CCC, earning a record six Red Lion-CCC Pitcher of the Week awards, leading the league in ERA, strikeouts, and lowest opponents’ batting average. The sophomore recorded 11 games with 10-or-more strikeouts during the season.
SEASON REVIEW: The Lady Yotes opened the year with a five-game win streak, outscoring their opponents 46-15, before an extra-inning 3-2 loss to current No. 1 ranked Concordia-Irvine. After winning 4-of-6 games at the Northwest Cup, the squad swept a pair of four-game home series against Dickinson State and British Columbia to push their record to 17-3 – climbing to No. 19 in the Top-25 poll. Nickayla Skinner followed with four-straight shutout wins – earning NAIA Pitcher of the Week honors, but the Yotes were just 5-3 after the opening two weeks of league play. A grueling 12-game road trip ensued, with the team dropping four-games in a row at one stretch, finishing the trek with a 6-6 record, setting up a tough final weekend at home.
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: The Lady Yotes set a school record in 2012 by scoring 10-or-more runs in eight games, while recording 10-or-more hits in a game 17 different times. 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).
SINGLE GAME RECORDS: Multiple single-game records were established by the Lady Yotes in 2012, including team records for hits (17) and at bats (59) in the 7-5 victory at Southern Oregon on April 1. During that same game, sophomore Julia Henrie (Eagle, Idaho / Eagle HS) and freshman Alexis Macias (Stockton, Calif. / San Joaquin Delta CC) established records for most at bats in a game (7), with Kristen Haugen (Salem, Ore. / South Salem HS) tying the record for assists (8) in the win. Henrie tied the record more most runs scored (4) in a win over Patten in February, with Kendall Pavey (Spokane, Wash. / Lewis & Clark HS) tying the record for RBI in a game (6) against Pacific in February.
SEASON RECORDS: As a team, the Yotes established a new season record for most wins to open a year (5), recorded their longest win streak (12), while recording a 42-game stretch without being shutout – also a new record. The team set new records for best fielding percentage (.956), most saves in a season (6), fewest hits allowed (260), and lowest opponents’ batting average (.230). A total of 35 individual marks cracked the Top-10 list, led by Nickayla Skinner – who ranks No. 2 in ERA (1.45), No. 3 in wins (17), complete games (21), appearances (33), innings pitched (174.0), and strikeouts (223), No. 4 in starts (24) and decisions (24), No. 5 in home runs (6), and No. 9 in batting average (.364). Molly Mills cracked the list seven times – ranking No. 1 in batting average (.421), hits (56), hit by pitches (11), and on base percentage (.497), No. 5 in doubles (11) and sacrifice hits (10), and No. 7 in runs (33), with Nikki Shumway (Boise, Idaho / Boise HS) No. 3 in at bats (151) and runs scored (37), No. 5 in hit by pitches (7), No. 7 in hits (50), and No. 8 in home runs (5). Alexis Macias was No. 1 in fielding percentage (1.000), No. 4 in RBI (38), and No. 8 in home runs (5), Kristen Haugen was No. 7 in assists (69) and RBI (29), along with No. 9 in at bats (143), with Hannah Johnson (Homedale, Idaho / Homedale HS) No. 5 in sacrifice hits (10) and No. 9 in on base percentage (.431). Rachael Strong (Clackamas, Ore. / Clackamas CC) was No. 7 in putouts (239) and chances (262), Kaitlin Howell (Boise, Idaho / Capital HS) was No. 1 in fielding percentage (1.000), Kaci Baldwin (Lewiston, Idaho / Lewiston HS) was No. 6 in assists (76), and Julia Henrie was No. 7 in hit by pitches.
CAREER RECORDS: Seven Lady Yotes cracked the career Top-10 list in 2012 – with only one career record broken. Nickayla Skinner set the new mark for saves in a career (6), while ranking No. 2 in shutouts (10), No. 3 in wins (32) and strikeouts (389), No. 4 in complete games (37), No. 5 in starts (45), No. 6 in appearances (58) and innings pitched (319), No. 7 in walks (pitching) (79) and home runs hit (10), and No. 10 in doubles (19). Nikki Shumway ranks No. 3 in runs (90) and home runs (14), No. 4 in triples (3), No. 6 in stolen bases (30) and hit by pitches (9), No. 7 in at bats (435), hits (135), and walks (33), No. 8 in games played (152), No. 9 in RBI (58), and No. 10 in batting average (.310) and games started (136). Kristen Haugen ranks No. 3 in assists (174), No. 7 in RBI (66), No. 8 in at bats (426), and No. 10 in games played 147), with Hannah Johnson ranking No. 4 in sacrifice hits (21), No. 6 in triples (2), and No. 9 in walks (32), hit by pitches (8), and assists (127), and Molly Mills No. 4 in hit by pitches (13) and sacrifice hits (12). Two others were on the list – Julia Henrie, who is No. 6 in triples (2) and No. 9 in hit by pitches (8), and Rachael Strong, who is No. 10 in putouts (239).
GAME RECAP – C OF I 1, SOUTHERN OREGON 0; SOUTHERN OREGON 2, C OF I 0: Offense was at a premium this afternoon at Symms Field, as pitchers' from The C of I and Southern Oregon dominated - with the Lady Yotes earning a 1-0 victory in Game 1, with the Raiders winning Game 2, 2-0. After both teams squandered opportunities early in Game 1, starters Nickayla Skinner for the Coyotes and Jordyn Kurtz for SOU rolled - Skinner retiring 11 straight and Kurtz 11-of-13 batters in the middle innings. The Yotes won it in the bottom of the seventh, as Rachael Strong led off with an infield single and was lifted for pinch-runner Jordan Huttash (Nampa, Idaho / Bishop Kelly HS). Kendall Pavey dropped down a perfect bunt base-hit past Kurtz, allowing Huttash to move to third. SOU would look to intentionally walk Paige Gabiola (Payette, Idaho / Payette HS) - but on ball four, Kurtz uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Huttash to score to end the game. The C of I had four hits in the win, including a Molly Mills double, her school-record 53rd hit of the season. Skinner tossed a three-hit shutout - her seventh of the season, picking up her 17th win. Southern stranded five runners in the loss - all in scoring position. Game 2 saw SOU tally an unearned run in the third as Brooke Springer stole second with one out - scoring when the throw to second went into centerfield and eluded the C of I defense. The Raiders would tack on an insurance run in the seventh on a solo homer by Stephanie Vandenbusch. Karlie Stephens handcuffed the Yotes for a second time this season, allowing just four hits in the shutout win - as The C of I did not have a runner reach third base. Skinner took the tough-luck loss for the Coyotes, allowing just three hits and fanning eight.
GAME RECAP: OREGON TECH 2, C OF I 0; OREGON TECH 10, C OF I 1: A dominating day by Taylor Schmidt eliminated The C of I from the postseason chase, as No. 7 ranked Oregon Tech swept a doubleheader from the Lady Yotes, winning 2-0 and 10-1, at Symms Field. Game 1 saw Tech squander opportunities in the second and third innings – as C of I starter Nickayla Skinner fanned Melissa Logan and Amber Knight with runners and second and third to get out of the second, then worked out of a second-and-third, no out jam in the third. The Owls broke through in the sixth, loading the bases with one out – with Janelle Cromie and Logan following with RBI singles. Schmidt did the rest in the circle, getting Kristen Haugen to line-out with the bases loaded to end the sixth, then stranding the bases loaded in the seventh to pick up the win. Schmidt allowed just four hits for the victory, with Jess Plummer and Logan recording two hits apiece. Skinner struck out 10 in the loss – her 11th game with 10-or-more strikeouts. The visitors jumped out to an 8-0 lead in Game 2 and were never threatened, as Schmidt lined a two-run double in the first, as Tech plated three in the frame. Cromie doubled in a run in the third to make it 4-0, with Schmidt doubling home another run in a four-run fourth inning. The Yotes averted a mercy-rule loss, as Skinner and Haugen each doubled in the fourth. OIT capped the scoring in the seventh on a two-run Plummer single. Schmidt went the distance for her 21st win of the season in Game 2, scattering five hits with three strikeouts, while going 3-for-4 with three RBI. Plummer went 2-for-5 with three RBI – part of a 12-hit attack. Skinner went 2-for-3 in the loss, with Molly Mills recording a hit – extending her school record to 56 safeties this season. Today’s twinbill marked the final home game for four C of I seniors – Haugen, Nikki Shumway, Jordan Huttash, and Kayla Park (Ontario, Ore. / Treasure Valley CC).
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 182-127 - 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.