Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mountain West shines in latest NCAA stats

The first batch of NCAA softball statistics have been released this season, and the Mountain West is well-represented among the nation's elite.

Fresno State and Nevada both rank among the Top 50 in eight combined team categories (four apiece), while Colorado State, UNLV and San Diego State all appear in one Top 50 category.

Multiple Mountain West players rank in the Top 10 nationally of separate individual categories, highlighted by Brenna Moss of Fresno State.  Moss, a sophomore center fielder, stands alone at the top, ranking No. 1 in the nation in triples with six.

Already with 11 triples in less than one and a half seasons of collegiate action, the next triple by Moss will move her into a tie for eighth place in Fresno State history in the category.  Just one month into her sophomore season, Moss is only 14 triples shy of tying the school record set nearly two decades ago by 4-time All-American and U.S. Olympian Laura Berg.

Another player making noise statistically is Erin Jones, Nevada's junior third baseman.  Jones, after a medical redshirt season in 2012, has come back stronger than ever and ranks sixth in the country in doubles per game.  She has 13 doubles in 25 games for a 0.52 average.

Another Mountain West player to rank in the Top 10 of an individual category is San Diego State senior pitcher Rebecca Arbino, who shows up in the category of walks allowed per seven innings.  Arbino ranks No. 10 nationally, having walked only 12 batters in 95 1/3 innings this season, for an average of 0.88 per seven-inning game.

The two Mountain West newcomers this season -- Fresno State and Nevada -- currently have the best overall records in the conference and also rank among the Top 50 in eight different statistical categories combined.

Fresno State is 3rd in the nation in triples (with 11), 8th in triples per game (0.42), 36th in double plays per game (11, for a 0.42 per game average), 39th in stolen bases per game (42, for a 1.62 per game average), and an impressive 39th in team fielding percentage (.970).

Nevada is tied for 7th in the nation in doubles (with 44), 18th in doubles per game (1.76), 42nd in slugging percentage (.464), 50th in scoring (5.52 runs per game), and an impressive 41st in team batting average (.307).

San Diego State has a team earned run average of 2.06, good enough to rank 39th nationally.  It's a stat that is far more impressive than it looks when one considers the Aztecs' impressive strength of schedule.  Coach Kathy Van Wyk's squad has played nine games against Top 25 competition this season.

Colorado State and UNLV both rank 37th in the nation in separate categories.  The Rams are 37th in triples per game (0.29), while the Rebels are 37th in double plays per contest (10, for a 0.42 per game average).

For a complete look at all the current NCAA statistics through games of March 10, click here.  See where other Mountain West players and teams rank statistically in a variety of categories.