MORAGA, Calif. -- One of the busiest weeks of the year is upon the Saint Mary's softball team, as the Gaels will host Florida Gulf Coast in a doubleheader on Wednesday, then travel to Fresno for this weekend's Fresno State Classic.
Saint Mary's (4-9) wrapped up play last week with a split against UC Davis. The Gaels lost the first game 5-1, but came back in the second game to beat the Aggies 1-0.
In that win, senior pitcher Jessica Lemmon was dominant. The native of Castro Valley, Calif. tossed a two-hit shutout, striking out four and walking just two. The solid performance gave Saint Mary's its second home win of the season.
Helping Lemmon in her cause Saturday was her batterymate, Megan Smith. The senior catcher belted a solo home run, giving Saint Mary's the only run it would need to get the win. Smith enters play this week as the Gaels' leading hitter (.297 average).
Likely to be counted on throughout the week is Gaels freshman pitcher Lujane Mussadi. Despite taking the loss in the opening game against UC Davis, the native of Los Gatos, Calif. enters play this week with a team-best 2.03 ERA.
Florida Gulf Coast (12-5) enters Wednesday's twin bill having won four of its five games at last weekend's Under Armour Invitational at South Florida.
Leading the way for the Eagles is pitcher Shelby Morgan. The sophomore enters the week with a 0.75 ERA in 11 appearances.
The Eagles have also been strong offensively, ending play last weekend with a team batting average of .270. Chelsea Zgrabik leads the offense with a .396 average.
Action continues this weekend for the Gaels when they take part in the Fresno State Classic at Fresno State.
SMC gets started Friday at 3:45 p.m. against No. 24-ranked Oregon State. Saturday play begins for the Gaels at 1:30 p.m. against No. 10 Oregon, then continues at 6 p.m. against San Diego State. The tournament wraps up Sunday with an 11:30 a.m. game against No. 8 Cal, and a 1:45 p.m. contest against the host Bulldogs.
Friday's game against the Beavers will see the Gaels lined up against a hot-hitting group. Oregon State enters play this week with a team batting average of .322, led by freshman first baseman Natalie Hampton's mark of .446.
Oregon enters the tournament on a 12-game winning streak, having won all five of its games at the Citrus Classic in Orlando, Fla. At the tournament, the Ducks outscored their five opponents 62-12. They tied a school record with six home runs in a win over Michigan.
San Diego State comes to Fresno with a 10-9 record, having split four games at the San Diego Classic it co-hosted with San Diego last weekend. Pitchers Rebecca Arbino and Danielle O'Toole have seen most of the time in the circle this season, with each owning an ERA under 2.00 as they begin play in Fresno.
Cal enters Wednesday's game against Pacific at 15-2 and riding a 14-game winning streak. The Bears are led by the battery of pitcher Jolene Henderson and catcher Lindsay Ziegenhirt. Henderson owns a 1.21 ERA so far this season, and Ziegenhirt is hitting .395.
Finally, Fresno State enters the tournament at 13-10 overall after going 3-2 at the San Diego State Classic. The Bulldogs earned wins over BYU, Utah State and San Diego over the weekend. Fresno State defeated the Gaels 4-0 when the two met at the Bronco Classic.