Lady Bucs 18th In JUCO Softball Poll

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COLORADO SPRINGS (March 19, 2008) - The Lady Gila Monsters of Eastern Arizona College sit atop the first NJCAA Division I Softball Poll of the 2008 regular season. EAC held the No. 1 spot in the pre-season rankings as well.

Santa Fe Community College (Fla.) follows EAC in the No. 2 spot, with Pima Community College (Ariz.) at No. 3.

Chattanooga State Community & Tech College (Tenn.) and defending national champion Chipola College (Fla.) round out the top five.

Overall, 21 teams from 'sun belt' states dominate the poll. A total of nine Region 8 (Florida) teams highlight the rankings, including four in the top 10. Region 1 (Arizona) has three teams in the top 10.

Eastern Arizona, a national tournament qualifier last season, is 31-6 overall and sits first in the Region 1 standings with a 13-3 league mark. EAC's early success has been due to the superb pitching of Noe Esperas, who ranks second in the nation with 154 strikeouts. She also ranks 11th nationally with a 0.63 ERA in 110 innings of work with a 16-2 record.

Sara Hopwood has also been a key contributor on the mound for the Gila Monsters. Hopwood has thrown 78 innings and posted a 1.70 ERA with a 13-1 record. She is also batting .537 and has driven in 34 runs.

Offensively, EAC is led by Marina Busman-Brown, who has a .477 batting average with 10 doubles, 15 triples, 10 home runs and 50 runs scored.

EASTERN ARIZONA COLLEGE STATISTICS

Santa Fe is off to a 32-2-1 start after beginning the season ranked 13th in the nation. Yesterday, the St. Bernard's swept Daytona Beach Community College (Fla.) 5-4 and 2-1 (both wins were in extra-innings).

Katelyn Murphee is SFCC's ace on the hill, posting a .077 ERA (17th in NJCAA) in 108.1 innings. She has a 15-1 record with 74 strikeouts.

Brittany Cannon leads the team with a .509 batting average and has totaled 13 doubles, 11 triples, 34 RBI and 41 runs scored thus far.

SANTA FE COMMUNITY COLLEGE STATISTICS

After being excluded from the pre-season rankings, the Pima Aztecs have proven all the prognosticators wrong by running out to a 23-5 start. They picked up a 12-2 win over South Mountain Community College (Ariz.) yesterday, but also fell 3-2 to Mesa Community College (Ariz.) for their fifth loss of the season.

Mariela Valles and Monical Llanez are the big sticks for the Aztecs. Valles leads the squad with a .550 batting average and has 22 RBI and 28 runs scored. Llanez is batting .444 and has 11 doubles with 33 RBI and 27 runs scored.

Meanwhile, Ashley Ralston-Alvarez is Pima's ace on the mound. She has logged 104.1 innings for Pima and has an 11-5 record with a 1.74 ERA.

PIMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE STATISTICS

DIVISION I SOFTBALL STAT RANKINGS

Place College Location Record Points 1st Pl Votes Last Week
1 Eastern Arizona College Thatcher, AZ 31-6 80 4 0
2 Santa Fe Community College Gainesville, FL 32-2-1 76 0 0
3 Pima Community College Tucson, AZ 23-5 72 0 0
4 Chattanooga State Technical Community College Chattanooga, TN 32-7 68 0 0
5 Chipola College Marianna, FL 24-6 64 0 0
6 Central Arizona College Coolidge, AZ 28-5 60 0 0
7 Indian River Community College Ft. Pierce, FL 28-8 56 0 0
8 Salt Lake Community College Salt Lake City, UT 19-5 52 0 0
9 Gulf Coast Community College Panama City, FL 23-6 48 0 0
10 Crowder College Neosho, MO 20-2 44 0 0
11 Galveston College Galveston, TX 23-3 40 0 0
12 Butler Community College - Kansas El Dorado, KS 13-3 36 0 0
13 Manatee Community College Bradenton, FL 24-5 32 0 0
14 College of Southern Idaho Twin Falls, ID 23-10 28 0 0
15 Shelton State Community College Tuscaloosa, AL 17-3 24 0 0
16 McLennan Community College Waco, TX 19-10 20 0 0
17 Central Alabama Community College Alexander City, AL 23-5 16 0 0
18 Blinn College Brenham, TX 21-6 12 0 0
19 Midland College Midland, TX 18-7 8 0 0
20 Garden City Community College Garden City, KS 10-4 4 0 0

Other schools receiving votes
College Location Record Points 1st Pl Votes Last Week
Bossier Parish Community College Bossier City, LA 19-6 0 0 0
Columbia State Community College Columbia, TN 8-4 0 0 0
Daytona Beach Community College Daytona Beach, FL 20-7 0 0 0
Florida Community College Jacksonville, FL 25-12 0 0 0
Miami-Dade College Miami, FL 19-11-1 0 0 0
Motlow State Community College Lynchburg, TN 7-4 0 0 0
Seward County Community College Liberal, KS 12-8 0 0 0
St. Petersburg College St. Petersburg, FL 19-10-1 0 0 0
Three Rivers Community College (MO) Poplar Bluff, MO 7-4 0 0 0
Wallace State Community College-Hanceville Hanceville, AL 26-7 0 0 0



 
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