April 1, 2009

By Amy Farnum Novin

Lock Haven’s Kristen Erb needs just one victory to tie the NCAA Division II all-time wins record after registering a pair of victories against Clarion March 31.

The senior from Reading, Pa., improved her career record to 140-16, putting her within one of the current mark of 141 wins by Danielle Penner of California (Pa.) set in 1995-98.   Erb, the reigning Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II National Player of the Week, has put together a 22-3 record and 0.49 ERA this season, and ranks in the top five nationally in both victories and ERA.

Erb has an opportunity to tie and break the Division II record as sixth-ranked LHU hosts Indiana (Pa.) in a doubleheader in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Central Division play April 1.

EAGLES FLY: Ashland University is riding its longest winning streak since 1999 with a 12-game stretch with help from sophomore Logan Hursey, who shined at the plate and in the circle for the Eagles last week.

The pitcher/first baseman from Zanesville, Ohio, batted .500 with five RBI last week as the Eagles posted a 6-0 record, including sweeps of Hillsdale and Findlay in Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action.  Hursey also recorded three pitching victories to improve her season mark to 7-3.  She was named GLIAC Player of the Week for her contributions.

Hursey paces Ashland with a .373 batting average, five home runs and 17 RBI.  The Eagles have won 17 of their last 18 games, and are off to a 6-0 start in conference play.

HITTING THEM SOFTLY:  Angelo State continued its reign as the top-ranked Division II team in the nation after downing No. 25 West Texas A&M, 7-3, in the Rambelles’ only game of the week. 

Freshman first baseman Sandy James belted her Division II-leading 21st home run during a 3-for-4 outing as she stretched her hitting streak to 16 games against WTAMU, just two short of the school record.  James, who was named Lone Star Conference South Hitter of the Week, has knocked out at least one home run in eight of her last nine contests.

The native of Kilgore, Texas, already owns the school and conference single-season records for home runs, and is just seven shy of the NCAA Division II mark of 28.  She also is within reach of the NCAA all-division freshman home run record of 25, held by Kelly Kretschman of Alabama (1998).  James enters a three-game series against No. 16 Abilene Christian this weekend with a team-leading .440 batting average.

NOTABLE:  Wayne State (Mich.) head coach Gary Bryce became the seventh NCAA Division II softball coach to win 900 games during a doubleheader sweep of Northwood as the Warriors started Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play with a 2-0 mark … Winona State senior Amanda Wilhelm garnered Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division II National Player of the Week honors after batting .667 with five home runs, eight runs scored and 10 RBI as her team stretched its winning streak to eight games, including a sweep of Northern State to open Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference play.  Winona State jumped four spots to No. 9 in the latest national poll following its recent success.