LOYOLA (1-2) at UNDER ARMOUR INVITE
March 1-3, 2013 - TBA
Clearwater, Fla. - Eddie C. Moore Complex
Series Record vs. Quinnipiac: First meeting
Series Record vs. Florida Gulf Coast: First meeting
Series Record vs. Eastern Kentucky: 0-1
Series Record vs. Central Michigan: 0-1
Series Record vs. Toledo: First meeting
Loyola embarks on its annual Spring Break trip this weekend and is scheduled to play 13 games in Florida during the 10-day excursion.
With a 7-0 victory over Rhode Island last Friday, the Ramblers won a season opener for the first time since 2010 when they knocked off Providence, 8-0, in five innings.
Senior outfielder Brooke Andresen has been named one of 30 national candidates for the prestigious 2013 Senior CLASS Award. The candidates will be pared down to 10 finalists midway through the season, with the winner to be announced at the Women's College World Series.
One year ago, Loyola reached the title game of the Horizon League Championship for the first time since 2004. The Ramblers have been one of the most successful teams in Horizon League play over the last decade-plus, earning at least a share of the conference's regular-season crown five times in the last 12 seasons.
Three runs was the barometer for success for Loyola last season. When the Ramblers scored at least three runs, they owned a 21-6 (.778) record, but were 5-17 (.227) when scoring fewer than three runs.
Loyola was picked to win the Horizon League title in the annual preseason poll of the League's coaches. This marks the first time since 2008 that the Ramblers have been tabbed to win the conference crown.
Junior third baseman Lauren Moore and junior pitcher Brittany Gardner were named Horizon League Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, on February 26. The honor is the first ever for Moore, while Gardner collected the award for the fifth time in her illustrious career.
Following the team's spring trip to Florida, it will return to the Midwest to compete in the Fighting Illini Invitational, March 15-17, in Urbana, Ill.
Junior third baseman Lauren Moore, who hit a career-best .281 (43 for 153) last year, got off to a torrid start this season, batting .500 (5 for 10) with a pair of home runs and four RBI at the Kickin' Chicken Classic. The Antioch, Ill., native, who was coached in high school by current Rambler assistant coach Jeff Tylka, hit only three home runs last spring and in her first at-bat of 2013, mashed a three-run home run to fuel Loyola's 7-0 victory over Rhode Island on February 22.
THE HIT DOCTOR
Senior outfielder Brooke Andresen has already established herself as one of the top hitters ever to wear the Maroon and Gold and the sweet-swinging lefty is also closing in on a couple of school marks. She enters this weekend's action with 169 hits, which puts her eight behind Loyola career record holder Ellen Antonacci (177), and she needs 28 runs to match Tara Miller's school record of 115. A three-time First Team All-Horizon League honoree, Andresen owns a .346 career batting average and has never hit below .325 in her illustrious career. Andresen got her senior campaign off to a strong start, going 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles in the season-opening win versus Rhode Island on February 22. One of the best clutch hitters on the roster, Andresen hit .373 (19 for 51) with runners in scoring position a year ago.
THE GREAT GARDNER
Last year, lefthander Brittany Gardner put together one of the best seasons ever by a Rambler hurler. The Orland Park, Ill., native compiled an 18-10 record and a 2.69 ERA and struck out a Loyola single-season record 205 batters en route to Horizon League Pitcher of the Year and Second Team All-Great Lakes Region honors. Gardner, who has allowed only 96 hits in her last 155.1 innings pitched, opened the 2013 season in sterling fashion, tossing her second career one-hitter and striking out six in a 7-0 win over Rhode Island. She tossed a pair of no-hitters last spring, blanking Cleveland State (3-0) on April 15, and she also threw the first no-no in Horizon League Championship play since 2006 when she held Green Bay without a hit in a 2-0 victory on May 10. Gardner enters this weekend's play 18 wins shy of Kari Klier's (1992-95) career record of 51 victories, and she also needs 130 strikeouts to equal Kiler's all-time record of 535 punchouts.
FAST START FOR A FRESHMAN
Freshman Brie Pasquale got her collegiate career off to a rousing start at the Kickin' Chicken Classic last weekend by batting .444 (4 for 9) with a home run, a double, and three RBI. The first baseman was the only Rambler to hit safely in all three games last weekend and she doubled home a run in Loyola's season-opening, 7-0 victory versus Rhode Island on February 22. In a 5-3 loss to Coastal Carolina two days later, she blasted a two-run homer, the first of her career, and in a 5-1 loss to the Chanticleers, she recorded her first career two-hit outing.
In two seasons under head coach Missy Beseres, Loyola owns five victories over BCS conference teams, with four of those wins coming against teams from the Big Ten Conference ... Under Beseres, the Ramblers are 15-11 in one-run games.