Cal State Fullerton Takes Early Lead As Tournaments Continue
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This Week In The Big West
Big West Softball Weekly Release No. 2
After the first week of the softball season, Cal State Fullerton finds itself atop the standings with a 4-1 record, one of two teams to come into week two with four wins. The Titans, along with the seven other Big West clubs, continue tournament play this weekend.
BIG WEST TEAM NOTES
CAL POLY (3-2)
Heard This Before: Junior right handed pitcher Sierra Hyland started the 2016 in fine form. Hyland matched her career-high with 15 strikeouts against Georgia State, then fanned 13 more against Oregon State. In all, Hyland became the second pitcher in program history with 500+ career strikeouts over the first weekend.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (4-1)
Century Club: Now in her fourth season at the helm of the Cal State Fullerton program, Kelly Ford is close to a milestone. One more win and Ford reaches 100 as the skipper of the Titan program. The Titans have increased their win total every season under Ford and are off to a 4-1 start this season.
Young Arms: CSUN’s revamped pitching staff had a solid first weekend at the Kajikawa Classic. Junior Daphne Pofek went 2-1 with a 2.94 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 16.2 innings. Junior Katie Chenault picked up her first career win against Utah State, going five innings, allowing three hits, one run and striking out five.
LONG BEACH STATE (2-3)
National Recognition: Long Beach State’s play over the first weekend earned some national acclaim at the Beach is receiving voted in both of the major polls. LBSU run ruled both of its wins at the Sportco Classic in Las Vegas, one of those coming against Big Ten club Minnesota. The squad also had close losses against Syracuse and Texas Tech. The Beach will look to continue its early season momentum in Palo Alto at the Stanford Nike Invitational.
UC DAVIS (2-2)
Starting Off Right: Senior pitcher Leah Munden picked up where her 2015 left off, leading UCD to a pair of wins at the Aggie Kick-Off. Munden went 2-1 with a 1.31 ERA in 16.0 innings of work. She delivered a complete game win over Santa Clara to wrap up the tourney, allowing five hits, no runs and no walks in the 3-0 win.
UC RIVERSIDE (4-4)
Offensive Explosion: UC Riverside exploded on the offensive end in its win over Army Thursday, scoring 11 runs in a mercy rule victory. The impressive part of the output was the second inning, a 10-run frame that broke that game open. In all, six Highlander batters recorded two RBI, while all but two of the starting position players recorded a base hit.
UC SANTA BARBARA (2-3)
Wait...What Was The Score?: UC Santa Barbara had an impressive offensive weekend at the Arizona Hillenbrand Invitational, but its game against Nebraska-Omaha could give you a double take. The Gauchos fell to the Mavericks, 17-16 in nine innings, combining for seven home runs and 15 extra base hits. UCSB scored in all but two innings but didn’t score more than three runs in any frame. In all, the Gauchos scored 47 runs over the five games at the tourney, eight more than any other club over the first weekend of play.
Pack Lightly: Hawai‘i is doing something this weekend that it won’t be doing much of this season, playing on the road. The Rainbow Wahine will head to the DeMarini Desert Classic in Las Vegas this weekend, their last road trip until Big West play begins in April. Following this road swing, UH will play in 21 straight home games before taking on UC Davis on the road April 1-2.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
Coaching Power: Two Big West coaches are on the cusp of 300 career wins as Hawai’i’s Bob Coolen (295) and Cal Poly’s Jenny Condon (290) are approaching the milestone. They would join Long Beach State’s Kim Sowder (300) who reached that number at the end of last season.
All-America Status: Cal State Fullerton senior Missy Taukeiaho earned her first honor of the 2016 campaign as she was named to the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year watchlist.
The infielder was one of 50 players to be named to the list and the lone player to appear from the Big West Conference. This is the second consecutive season Taukeiaho has been named to the preseason list for the prestigious award.
LBSU The Favorite: Long Beach State earned the nod of 2016 softball favorite as the club was overwhelming choice in a vote of the league’s eight head coaches. The Beach claimed six first place votes and 62 points overall to claim the top spot in the preseason poll.