Final Home Weekend For Lions

April 20, 2005

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LMU will play its final home games this weekend, hosting the San Diego Toreros. The Lions will honor their nine seniors in a ceremony between games of Sunday's noon doubleheader. LMU is currently in first place in the PCSC with a 10-2 record, and looks to stay atop the standings and gain ground with wins over the Toreros this weekend.

About LMU
The Lions had a small stumble against Cal State Fullerton last week, but rebounded with a 3-1 series win over Santa Clara. Margo Pineda is the hottest hitter on the team and earned her second straight PCSC Player of the Week award after hitting .462 with a 1.231 slugging percentage in the SCU series. Kayla Meeks also had a phenomenal weekend at Santa Clara, throwing two shutouts and allowing just one hit in Saturday's game. She also hit a home run, and scored the game-winning run in Sunday's 1-0 win.

Senior Day
LMU will honor half of its team on Sunday when the Lions will have their Senior Day. Seven players have played at LMU for four years- Emily Foltz, Jessica Grassi, Lauren Hiramoto, Megan Julian, Danielle Kaminaka, Tiffany Lawson and Casie Phillips. Lisa Abbott is in her fifth year at LMU after redshirting in 2002 with an injury, and Caylin Hornish transfered to LMU from Cal State Fullerton after two years with the Titans.

Playing the Best, Beating the Best
The Lions played their toughest non-conference schedule in school history, and finished non-conference play with an outstanding 18-14 record. LMU recorded an impressive 4-1 win over then-#24 Arizona State on March 14th for its first win over a ranked opponent this season. LMU has lost to just four teams that have not appeared in this season's top-25 rankings or received votes in the polls.

Going, Going, Gone
Jessica Grassi hit her first home run of the season against Cal State Fullerton. Now every LMU player that has started at least 17 games has hit a home run, led by Margo Pineda and Danielle Kaminaka who have a team-high seven homers. With 43 home runs in 44 games, LMU is averaging almost one per contest. The 2005 squad features three of LMU's top home run hitters in school history- Kaminaka (1st, 42), Lisa Abbott (4th, 21), and Emily Foltz (5th, 17). In addition, six other players have at least six career home runs.

Lions Among Nation's Leaders
When the NCAA stats came out on Wednesday, LMU was ranked among the nation's top teams in several categories. Freshman Kayla Meeks is 13th with a 0.77 ERA. Senior Danielle Kaminaka is 30th in the country, averaging 0.61 walks per game. LMU's powerful offense averages 0.98 home runs per game, good for 15th.

Threepeat for Pineda
Sophomore Margo Pineda was honored as the PCSC Player of the Week for the second week in a row, and the third time this season on April 18th. Against the Broncos, Pineda hit a blistering .462 with a 1.231 slugging percentage. She was 6-for-13 with three home runs and a double. She also scored four runs and had four RBI. Her solo home run was the difference in LMU's 1-0 win in game two of Saturday's doubleheader. In game one of Sunday's doubleheader, she hit two home runs. In the series finale, she drove home LMU's only run for a 1-0 win. Pineda hit .571 to lead LMU to a four-game sweep of Saint Mary's that put LMU in first place in the PCSC. She drove in three runs, and had a home run and a double for the week. She was also honored on Feb. 28th. The infielder hit .455 in the tournament with a two-run home run and a double. She led the team with four RBI. Pineda made the most of her first career start against Notre Dame. She went 1-for-4 against the Irish, but hit a two-run home run and drove in another run to help LMU record a 7-0 win. She finished the weekend by going 2-for-3 against the #1 team in the nation, California. She had a double, an RBI, and a run scored in her first career start at third base.

Breaking Records
Danielle Kaminaka entered the 2005 season in the top five of several LMU career lists, and has continued to climb as the season rolls on. This past weekend, she became the leader in both doubles and walks. Earlier in the year, she broke the LMU RBI and runs record. She entered the season as the career home run hitter, and has added to that with seven more homers this season.

Hornish Hits
Caylin Hornish leads the team in batting average and is one of LMU's most consistent hitters. She has had hitting streaks of nine and seven games this season. She leads the team with nine doubles, and has hit three home runs this year. The senior catcher has reached base in all but seven games, and leads the conference in runners picked off at seven. She has thrown out runners trying to steal ten times this season, and has only committed three errors.

Pagano Pitches No Hitter
Tiffany Pagano threw her first career no-hitter in LMU's 1-0 win over UC Santa Barbara on March 23rd. It was LMU's first no-hitter since May 5, 2002 when Sami Strinz pitched a 1-0 no hitter against Portland State. Pagano faced just two batters over the minimum. She allowed a walk, and the LMU defense made one error. The win was Pagano's fourth shutout of the season and her ninth complete game.

"Cook"ing at the Plate
Tracy Cook was LMU's biggest power threat for a 18 day span in March. Between March 5th and March 23rd, the freshman hit .353 with six home runs, four doubles, and an .824 slugging percentage. She had 17 RBI in 17 games. She recorded seven multi-hit games, and four multi-RBI games. Against Eastern Illinois, she hit two home runs.

Meeks Does it All
Freshman Kayla Meeks has been one of LMU's top contributors at the plate and in the circle. Her 0.77 ERA leads the team and the PCSC, and is 13th in the nation. She has an 11-4 record with ten complete games, and five shutouts this season. At the plate, she is contributing as well. She is hittin g.296 with four home runs and four doubles. When she is the starting pitcher, she hits even better. In her 13 starts this season, she is hitting .333 with a .639 slugging percentage. Three of her four home runs have come in games when she is the starting pitcher. Incidently, she has a 0.60 ERA in games that she has started in the circle.

Abbott At It Again
Lisa Abbott is a four year starter for LMU, and continues to be one of LMU's most consistent offensive threats. She leads the team with 13 multi-hit games, and is among the team's top hitters with a .308 batting average. Despite being the leadoff batter, she leads the team in RBI with 24. She has recorded hits in 24 of her 37 starts, and is tied for second on the team with six home runs.

Lions Sweep Weekly Award
LMU swept the PCSC weekly awards on March 9th, as Danielle Kaminaka won the Player of the Week honor and freshman Tiffany Pagano was named the Pitcher of the Week. Kaminaka hit .421 with two home runs, 6 RBI and a .789 slugging percentage. She had hits in all but one game on the week.

Pagano was spectacular in the circle, going the distance in all three starts, and recording two shutouts. She was 3-0 on the week with a 0.61 ERA. She allowed just two runs on the week in an extra inning game against Cal Poly after pitching seven scoreless innings.

Looking Ahead
The Lions wrap up the regular season with a four-game series at Sacramento State. The Hornets currently sit in second place in the PCSC heading into this weekend's series with Portland State. Sac State was picked to finish second in the PCSC in the preseason coaches poll, just two points behind LMU.

A Look At This Week's Opponent
San Diego: The Toreros are 17-17 overall, and are tied for third in the PCSC with a 7-5 record. Last weekend, USD split a four-game series with Portland State. USD is led by Kathleen Bonja who is hitting .375 with 13 doubles and 14 RBI. Christina Haake leads a 1.61 ERA and a 7-8 record. Amazingly, USD has hit just one home run this season, and has allowed just two. One of those home runs was to LMU's Kayla Meeks when the two teams met earlier this season at the Hawaii Tournament. LMU pulled out a 4-3 come-from-behind victory in the first meeting, with Meeks hitting a game-tying home run in the bottom of the sixth inning. A walk to Caylin Hornish brought in the go-ahead run.




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