CSF Hosts Alabama, Oklahoma In Busy Spring Break Slate
Big West Softball Weekly Release No. 6
With spring break making its way around the league, tournament play heats up as some of the nation's top teams appear on Big West schedules. Leading the schedule is Cal State Fullerton's Easton Tournament which will include national powers Alabama and Oklahoma.
BIG WEST TEAM NOTES
CAL POLY (15-6)
Mustangs Equal Best Start: Cal Poly has equaled its best start in program history with a 15-6 mark. The last time the club had such a hot start to the season was the 1995 campaign. The Mustangs are one of the hottest teams in the Big West, having won 14 of 18 since a 1-2 start.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (20-8)
Up to 7: Cal State Fullerton owns the league’s longest win streak, having been victorious in seven straight contests. The CSF offense has been absolutely on fire during the streak, outscoring the opposition 33-5.The Titan hot streak comes at a good time as it hosts both #6 Alabama and #13 Oklahoma as part of the Easton Tournament this weekend.
Hit Machine: Junior outfielder Taylor Glover has made a habit of picking up base hits this season, racking up a team-best 38 of them. Glover has five two-hit games, five three-hit games and recently had a 17-game hit streak snapped. She is also the lone CSUN hitter to collect 30+ hits and boasts a .465 on-base percentage.
LONG BEACH STATE (15-9)
Up To Second: Senior infielder Darian Tautalafua collected her sixth homer of the season in the win over Princeton, giving her 43 for her career. That moves her past former Pacific slugger Jennifer Curtier and into second place all-time in Big West history with 43 home runs. Four more roundtrippers and Tautalafua tied former CSF star Yasmin Mossadeghi for the top spot in conference history.
UC DAVIS (9-13)
Itching To Play: The Aggies may be excused for wanting to get out on the field and play after four of their five games were cancelled last weekend due to rain. UCD did make the most of its only opportunity to play, defeating Stony Brook, 5-0. The club is off this week but resumes play with another home tournament, the Aggies Spring Swing Invitational, on March 25.
UC RIVERSIDE (20-7)
Pair Of Aces: UC Riverside’s 20-7 start has been powered by an embarrassment of riches in the starting rotation. Sophomore Tayler Misfeldt leads the Big West in victories with 11 and has posted a 3.63 ERA, 61 strikeouts and eight complete games in 86.2 innings of work. Classmate Kaylynn Pierce has also put up solid numbers, going 9-3 with a 3.49 ERA, 62 strikeouts and eight complete games of her own in 80.1 innings.
UC SANTA BARBARA (13-10)
Watch Out In The 4th: The Gauchos lead the Big West with 5.5 runs per game, having scored 126 in 23 games so far. Whats even more impressive is that the club has scored 41 of those 126 runs in the fourth inning, by far its most effective frame. The next highest inning for UCSB is the 6th where it has scored 19 runs. The 4th inning is the best defensive frame in regulation for the team as well, allowing teams to score a total of 10 runs.
Comeback ‘Bows: The Rainbow Wahine snapped a five-game losing skid in dramatic fashion last week, defeating North Dakota State in nine innings by a 7-6 score. UH was down 5-0 after NDSU’s at-bat in the top of the third, but rallied with three of its own runs in the bottom half of the frame. The game would be back and forth into the extra frames with the Bison taking a 6-5 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, but the Rainbow Wahine scratched out two runs in the bottom of the inning to walk off with the victory.
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.
Ranked Wins: The Big West has played a difficult schedule so far in 2016 and three clubs have responded with wins over ranked opposition.
Cal Poly was the first club to defeat a team in the top 25 as the Mustangs defeated #9 Arizona on February 21 by a 2-0 margin.
Then on March 3, Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State each downed #17 Arizona State. The Titans defeated the Sun Devils by a 3-2 score, while the Beach outslugged ASU by a 10-8 final.
Hyland Still Setting Them Down: Cal Poly sophomore pitcher Sierra Hyland is one of the nation’s toughest pitchers, ranking second in the NCAA in strikeouts (137), seventh in strikeouts per seven innings (10.7) and 28th in hits allowed per seven innings (4.43).
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.