BEAR HEADLINES – The No. 9-ranked Washington University in St. Louis softball team WashU opens a six-game homestand by hosting the Mizuno Invitational Saturday-Sunday, March 19-20, at the WU Softball Field. The Bears take on Wartburg College (3-9) Saturday at Noon and Augustana College (7-7) at 2 p.m.
NFCA RANKING – Following a 16-4 start to the season, WashU is ranked No. 9 in the 2016 National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Top-25 Poll. The Bears are down one spot from their preseason No. 8 ranking. The Bears reached their highest ranking of No. 2 on March 9.
BEARS SECOND AT UAA CHAMPIONSHIP – WashU posted a 6-4 record at the 2016 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship Tournament to finish in a tie for second place with Brandeis. The Bears have finished first or second in the UAA in 16 of 17 seasons, and is 104-36 (.743) all-time at the UAA Championship.
UAA RECAP – WashU led the six-team tournament in fielding percentage (.954) and batting average (.322). Juniors Hannah Mehrle (.429) and Janet Taylor (.419) and senior Brooke Hofer (.410) all hit over .400 for the tournament. Mehrle was also first in the tournament in hits with 15. On the mound, senior Annie Pitkin was 4-2 with a 2.67 earned run average and had 55 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings pitched.
NCAA STATISTICS – WashU has four student-athletes ranked in the top-10 in NCAA Division III individual statistical categories: senior Brooke Hofer (toughest to strikeout, 0.0, 1st), sophomore Maggie Clapp (walks per seven inning, 0.0, 1st), junior Hannah Mehrle (triples, four, 3rd) and senior Annie Pitkin (strikeouts, 111, 2nd; shutouts, three, 6th; victories, nine, 9th).
TAKING THREE – Junior Hannah Mehrle has 10 career triples in her three-year career, and is one shy of tying Laura D'Andrea (2005-08) and Alyssa Abramoski (2009-12) for first on the all-time list.
APPROACHING CENTURY MARK – Junior Janet Taylor is two hits shy of 100 for her career. Taylor would become the second player this season to top 100 hits, joining classmate Kenzie James.
LIVE COVERAGE – All 18 home games will be broadcast live at no cost on the Bear Sports Network. Jay Murry will provide play-by-play. Live stats will also be available on the WashU Athletics website.