April 28, 2010

By Amy Farnum

  North Georgia held on to the top spot of the NFCA Division II Top 25 for the ninth straight week as the Saints enjoyed an off-week after concluding their 45-0 season with a Peach Belt Conference Championship two weeks ago.  The Saints will not play until May 14 when NCAA Regional action begins.

At 45-0, North Georgia currently holds the record for most consecutive wins in Peach Belt Conference history, and sits just 10 victories shy of the all-time NCAA mark for consecutive wins at any level, held by Northern Kentucky at 55, a record established during the 2005 season.

Quincy University cracked the NFCA Division II Top 25 at No. 20 after posting a 7-0 mark last week and extending its winning streak to nine games.

The Lady Hawks were sparked by the spectacular pitching of Torie Bunzell, who compiled a 4-0 record and 0.32 ERA while striking out 45 batters on the week.  The junior from Utica., Ill., fanned 18 batters against Truman State and followed it up with a no-hitter against Southern Indiana in which she struck out 17 batters.  Bunzell capped the weekend with a shutout of Kentucky Wesleyan, tying the school’s career mark with 31.  She has won 18 straight games and leads the Great Lakes Valley Conference with a 23-4 record, 0.54 ERA and 283 strikeouts.  Bunzell’s accomplishments earned her GLVC Pitcher of the Week for the fourth time this season.  

Quincy enters the weekend in first place in the GLVC standings and will travel to Indianapolis and Northern Kentucky – two of the top four teams in the league -- to finish out the regular season this weekend.

HORNETS KEEP STINGING: Emporia State swept a doubleheader against Washburn on Tuesday as the Hornets improved to 16-0 in Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play behind the hot bat of junior second baseman Angela Mahan.

After garnering MIAA Hitter of the Week honors with five hits, a home run, four RBI and four runs scored against Central Missouri last week, the native of Liberty, Mo., continued her offensive assault by going 3-for-6 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored against Washburn.  She has hit safely in six of the last seven contests, with multi-hit outings in five of those games.

The Hornets return to the field on Friday for a non-league doubleheader at Fort Hays State before wrapping up the regular season with a MIAA doubleheader at Southwest Baptist on May 4.

VIKING VICTORS:  Augustana (S.D.) stretched its winning streak to 10 games with a doubleheader sweep of Minnesota Duluth on Tuesday as the Vikings improved to 19-1 in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference action.  The Vikings hold a one-game lead over Concordia in the league standings with six regular season contests remaining.

Junior infielder Traci Fransen extended her hitting streak to six games against UMD, including a three-run home run that gave the Augies a lead in the first game.  On Tuesday, she drove in six of the Augies’ 15 runs.  

Fransen was coming off a week in which she compiled a .692 batting average that included a home run in each of Augustana’s four games.  She posted 13 RBI and six runs without a strikeout, earning NSIC Player of the Week for her contributions.

SHORT HOPS:  Grand Canyon University set a school record for victories as the Antelopes (42-11) concluded the regular season with a doubleheader sweep of Dominican University of California on Tuesday … Midwestern State’s Mallory Mooney returned from an 18-game injury absence to bat .455 with two homers and seven RBI as the Mustangs clinched their first outright Lone Star Conference North Division title since 2007 with a sweep of Northeastern State.  The sophomore third baseman was named LSC North Hitter of the Week for her efforts … Valdosta State junior right-hander Holly Satterfield (22-2) was voted Gulf South Conference East Division Pitcher of the Year after leading the league with a 1.25 ERA and .167 opponent batting average.  The second-ranked Blazers begin GSC Tournament action on Friday against Ouachita Baptist.