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Kelcie Matesa
Courtesy: Saint Louis Athletics

Billikens Aim For Tourney Berth in Regular-Season Finale

Courtesy: Saint Louis Athletics
          Release: 05/03/2012
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THIS WEEK: Saint Louis softball (22-32, 8-10 A-10) closes the regular season Saturday, May 5, with an Atlantic 10 Conference doubleheader against George Washington (21-27, 10-8 A-10). Game one at the Billiken Sports Center starts at noon. Prior to the start of play, Billiken seniors Kerri Dockins, Rachel Faletto, Kelly Flanagan, Hannah Huebbe, Liz Jones and Kelcie Matesa will be honored.

FOLLOWING THE ACTION: Live statistics will be provided for all Billiken home games this season. Go to the home page of www.SLUBillikens.com and find the Upcoming Events entries, located just below Top Stories, to access this feature.

SAINT LOUIS TO HOST A-10 CHAMPIONSHIP: Saint Louis will host the 2012 Atlantic 10 Conference Softball Championship. The six-team, double-elimination tournament will be held Wednesday through Saturday, May 9-12, at the Billiken Sports Center on the SLU campus. The tournament winner receives the A-10's automatic NCAA Tournament bid. Three games (1, 3:30 and 6 p.m.) are scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Saturday's games are set for 1 p.m. and, if necessary, 3:30 p.m. (or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the 1 p.m. game).

BILLS IN SEVENTH PLACE ENTERING FINAL WEEKEND: Saint Louis is in seventh place in the league standings, one-half game behind Dayton. Massachusetts (15-0) and Fordham (14-2) have earned first-round byes for the A-10 Championship. Temple (10-6) is third, followed by George Washington (10-8), Charlotte (9-9), Dayton (8-9), Saint Louis (8-10), Saint Joseph's (7-10-1), St. Bonaventure (6-10), Rhode Island (3-12-1) and La Salle (1-15).

ABOUT THE BILLIKENS: Jessica Buschjost leads Saint Louis in batting average (.335), hits (59), runs (27), on-base percentage (.378), total bases (63) and stolen bases (34-for-37). Alyson Brand tops the SLU charts in slugging percentage (.440), doubles (seven-tied), sacrifice flies (three) and walks (16-tied), and she is second in batting average (.266), RBIs (24), on-base percentage (.366) and home runs (four-tied). Laura Bohning is the team leader in home runs (five), RBIs (28) and doubles (seven-tied) while ranking second in hits (32), slugging percentage (.376) and total bases (56). Erin Harcar has a team-high two triples and is second in runs (17), home runs (four-tied) and stolen bases (22-of-25). Kerri Dockins is first in sacrifice bunts (12) and walks (16-tied); Lindsay Friedman is first in hit-by-pitch (11); Rachel Faletto is first in walks (16-tied); Jessica Van Nostrand is second in sacrifice bunts (10); Kelsey Biggs is second in home runs (four-tied); and Kelly Flanagan is second in hit-by-pitch (10). In the circle, Hannah Huebbe leads the pitching staff in wins (10). Kelcie Matesa has six wins and a 3.17 ERA and leads the Bills in saves (three), shutouts (two-tied), strikeouts per seven innings (7.0), fewest hits per seven innings (5.8), strikeouts-to-walks ratio (2 to 1) and lowest opponents' batting average (.225). Julian Austin owns six victories and a save and leads Saint Louis in ERA (3.08), shutouts (two-tied) and fewest walks per seven innings (2.6).

LAST WEEK: Saint Louis posted a 3-4 record last week. The Billikens fell 2-1 to SIU Edwardsville and split with Temple (lost 6-5, won 7-5), Saint Joseph's (lost 2-0, won 5-3) and Southeast Missouri State (won 1-0, lost 6-1).

BILLIKENS IN THE NATIONAL STATISTICS: Saint Louis ranks 34th nationally in stolen bases per game (1.50). Individually, Jessica Buschjost is 15th (0.63) and Erin Harcar is 51st (0.42) in stolen bases per game, while Kelcie Matesa is 32nd in saves (three).

BILLIKENS IN THE A-10 STATISTICS: Saint Louis leads the Atlantic 10 Conference in stolen bases (81), hit by pitch (47) and saves (four) and is tied for first in sacrifice bunts (44). The Billikens have thrown out 20 potential base-stealers to rank second, and they are second in lowest opponents' batting average (.235) and assists (461), third in pitching strikeouts (275) and tied for third in fielding double plays (13). Jessica Buschjost leads the league in hits (59) and stolen bases (34) and ranks seventh in batting average (.335), while Alyson Brand is tied for second in sacrifice flies (three) and runners caught stealing (15). Jessica Van Nostrand is tied for first in assists (115), and Erin Harcar is tied for third in stolen bases (22). Lindsay Friedman (11) and Kelly Flanagan (10) are first and tied for second, respectively, in hit by pitch, and Kerri Dockins is tied for fifth in that category (nine) while also tying for fourth in sacrifice bunts (12). Kelcie Matesa is first in saves (three), fourth in lowest opponents' batting average (.225) and ninth in ERA (3.17), while Julian Austin ranks eighth in ERA (3.08).

ONE-RUN WONDERS: The Billikens have been tested in several close contests this season and have passed with flying colors. Seventeen of SLU's 54 games have been decided by one run, and the Bills have an 11-6 record in those affairs.

HITS IN BUNCHES: Jessica Buschjost had two-hit performances against Temple and Southeast Missouri State last week, giving her a team-best 16 multiple-hit games. Buschjost, who has hit safely in 40 of 54 contests, has three 3-hit games and 13 two-hit efforts. She is on a nine-game hitting streak, her longest and the team's second longest of the season, during which she is batting .400 (12-for-30).

MATESA, HUEBBE A TERRIFIC TANDEM: Billiken pitchers Kelcie Matesa and Hannah Huebbe appear on numerous Saint Louis career top-10 lists. Matesa is second in strikeouts (518), appearances (119), shutouts (14) and saves (six), and tied for second in wins (39) and starts (80); third in innings (544 1/3); and sixth in complete games (43). Huebbe is tied for second in wins (39); third in appearances (95); fourth in shutouts (10) and starts (77); fifth in innings (456 1/3) and complete games (44); and sixth in strikeouts (367).

CLIMBING THE CAREER LADDER: Several Billiken position players appear on various SLU career top-10 lists. Kelly Flanagan is first in hit by pitch (48) and tied for first in sacrifice flies (six). Alyson Brand is tied for first in sacrifice flies (six), fourth in walks (53), tied for fourth in home runs (11), seventh in RBIs (67), eighth in putouts (612) and ninth in chances (744). Kerri Dockins is second in sacrifice bunts (36), fourth in assists (304), fifth in hit by pitch (17), sixth in chances (770), tied for sixth in walks (51) and tied for seventh in games played (202). Rachel Faletto is tied for fourth in home runs (11), sixth in RBIs (68), ninth in assists (239), 10th in doubles (25) and tied for 10th in walks (46). Jessica Buschjost is fourth in stolen bases (68) and tied for 10th in runs (69), Laura Bohning is tied for fourth in home runs (11), and Lindsay Friedman is ninth in hit by pitch (11).

HEAD COACH CHRISTY CONNOYER: Second-year head coach Christy Connoyer has an 82-86 career record, including a 51-56 ledger at Saint Louis. Connoyer's first Billiken team registered a 29-24 mark. She spent the 2005 season as head coach at Tulsa, where she became the first coach in program history to compile a winning record (31-30) in her first season. Connoyer is a 1994 graduate of Notre Dame, where she was a four-time first-team All-Conference selection. Joining Connoyer in the dugout this season are first-year assistant coaches Pat Kies and Sarah Clynes.

SCOUTING GEORGE WASHINGTON: The Colonials have won four straight and six of their last seven games. Lauren Wilson owns GW's top batting average (.329) and on-base percentage (.481), is tied for the team lead in home runs (10) and stolen bases (22-of-28), and has 26 RBIs. Victoria Valos hits .320 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs, while Autumn Taylor carries a .297 batting mark, 10 homers and a team-high 30 RBIs. Amanda Zakeri is a .282 hitter and is tied with Wilson in stolen bases (22-of-25). Kara Clauss has a 12-17 record, a 2.86 ERA and five shutouts, while Heidi Penna is 5-1 with a 1.31 ERA and two shutouts.

BOHNING NAMED A-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Laura Bohning was named Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Week for the period of April 9-15. Bohning hit safely in all six games during the week and posted team highs in batting average (.421), hits (eight), runs (four), doubles (two), on-base percentage (.421) and total bases (13). She had two RBIs, including a solo home run at Fordham. Bohning was 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a stolen base in game two of a doubleheader at La Salle.

ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: Jessica Buschjost was named to the All-Tournament team at the Missouri Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament. Rachel Faletto, Erin Harcar, Kelcie Matesa and Hannah Huebbe earned All-Tournament nods at Kennesaw State's Phyllis Rafter Memorial Tournament.
Christy Connoyer, May 9 A-10 Championship
SLU Documentary: Liz Jones
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