The Madness of March Tournaments Continues For Softball
Links associated with this release:
This Week In The Big West
Big West Softball Weekly Release No. 5
Big West clubs earn hosting duties this week as five of the six softball tournaments on the docket will take place at Big West parks.
BIG WEST TEAM NOTES
CAL POLY (14-5)
Mustangs Grab Recognition: Cal Poly is earning some national recognition thanks to its quick start, receiving votes in the ESPN/USA Today softball poll. The Mustangs have garnered acclaim thanks to some impressive performances thus far, including a 7-3 win over Oregon State and 2-0 over Arizona. Winners of nine of 10, Cal Poly is seeking the program’s best 20-game start since the 1995 team started 15-5.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (13-8)
Gold Glover: Senior Melissa Sechrest is about as surehanded as an infielder can be, posting a 1.000 fielding percentage over her 21 games. The ball has certainly found her as she has 159 total chances, resulting in 151 putouts and eight assists. She has also helped turn six double plays for the Titans.
Muscle Up: Sophomore infielder Savannah Horvath supplied the power against Charleston Southern last Tuesday, notching her first two-homer game in her collegiate career. Horvath has already smacked five homers this year, just four shy of her total from her freshman season.
LONG BEACH STATE (11-8)
Throwing Not Swinging: LBSU is adept at striking out opposing hitters, while not registering many third strikes. The 49ers’ pitching staff ranks second in the Big West in strikeouts with 138, while the team’s batters have the fewest strikeouts in the league with 56. In fact the Beach is the only lineup in the conference that has not recorded at least 71 strikeouts, posting 15 less strikeouts than the next best team.
UC DAVIS (8-13)
Well That Was Easy: It took all of 21 games for junior outfielder Brianna Warner to tie the Aggie single-season stolen base record, already recording 20 stolen bags. At her current pace, she is on pace to record 51 steals which would rank second on the all-time program list and be a single-season Big West mark.
UC RIVERSIDE (17-6)
Winning Like No Other: Thanks to a doubleheader sweep Tuesday, the Highlanders have the longest win streak in the league at 10. That winning march is the longest in UCR’s Division I era. The club will have a chance to extend the streak at home this week as it hosts Southern Utah, Boston University and Yale in the Mizuno Invitational.
UC SANTA BARBARA (12-8)
Not One But Two: Freshman Veronika Gulvin and senior Ashley Ludlow were literally unhittable last week, as the duo each notched a no-hitter. First up was Ludlow as she allowed just two walks and struck out a season-high 11 in the victory over Georgia Tech. Gulvin then took the circle two games later and delivered a seven strikeout masterpiece that saw only three hitters reach base (two errors, hit-by-pitch).
First Two W’s: Freshman pitcher Jennifer Iseri started the first two games of her collegiate career last week, both resulting in wins over Coastal Carolina for the rookie. In her first start, Iseri went 8.0 innings, allowing six hits, two runs, two walks and striking out three in an extra inning victory. She was just as consistent in her second start as she went seven innings, allowing four runs, no walks and striking out two.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
Coaching Power: The 300 win club has three seats in the Big West table as Hawai’i’s Bob Coolen and Cal Poly’s Jenny Condon joined Long Beach State’s Kim Sowder in the milestong. Sowder reached it last season while both Coolen and Condon earned it within a week of each other this season.
National Stat Check: On the Big West leaderboard, several teams and players rank in the top 25 on various lists.
On the team side, UC Santa Barbara ranks 22nd in the country with a .345 team batting average, while on the flip side UC Riverside has shown to be a top defensive club as it ranks 11th on the national leaderboard in fielding percentage at .978. The Highlanders also find themselves tied with Cal State Fullerton in the 21st position in stolen bases per game at 2.0.
Sierra Hyland of Cal Poly ranks second in the country with her 123 strikeouts entering the week, just two behind the national leader, while the Big West batting leaders, Taylor Glover of CSUN and Madeline Richard of UC Riverside are tied for 21st with their .515 averages.
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.