Aggies, Gauchos Host Tourneys in Light Softball Week
Big West Softball Weekly Release No. 7
Only two teams will be in action this weekend as UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara host their final non-conference tournaments of the season. This is the final weekend of non-conference play as the league schedule starts next weekend.
BIG WEST TEAM NOTES
CAL POLY (16-11)
Much Needed Break: After winning 14 of 18, Cal Poly is in the midst of a rut as it has dropped five in a row and six of its last seven. The offense has struggled during the five game losing skid, scoring 11 runs over those contests with seven of those scores coming in one game. The Mustangs won’t play again until April 2 when it travels to rival UC Santa Barbara to begin Big West play.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (25-9)
Topping The Best: Cal State Fullerton leads the Big West with three wins against top 25 clubs, two of those coming in the last week. Last Friday, the Titans topped #13 Oklahoma at home by a 7-5 score, then just four days later defeated #23 Fresno State by a 5-0 final. In all, CSF is 3-3 against top 25 teams this season, having lost by more than two runs only once.
Extra-Base Collectors: CSUN doesn’t get cheated when it puts the ball into play, recording 79 extra-base hits among its 236 base knocks. The Matadors lead the league in extra-base hits and are the only club to rank in the top three in doubles, triples and home runs on the conference leaderboard. Not surprisingly, the club leads the league in slugging percentage at .442, the lone club in the league to slug over .440.
LONG BEACH STATE (18-11)
#44 Left The Yard: Senior infielder Darian Tautalafua collected her seventh homer of the season in last weekend’s loss to #24 Fresno State, giving her 44 for her career. Three more roundtrippers and Tautalafua ties former CSF star Yasmin Mossadeghi for the top spot in conference history. As for this season, Tautalafua is second in the Big West with her seven homers, one behind CSUN’s Savannah Horvath.
UC DAVIS (9-13)
Two-Way Threat: Senior utility player Kelly Zboralske is arguably the top two-way player for the Aggies. She is hitting .295 with 15 RBI, five doubles and an .394 on-base percentage. In the field Zboralske has recorded just one error in 159 chances, recording 144 putouts, 14 assists, helping turn four double plays and committing just one error.
UC RIVERSIDE (23-9-1)
That’s A First: UC Riverside recorded the first tie in its Division I history with a 5-5 deadlock in the second game of a doubleheader against Saint Mary’s. The game was ended after nine innings to accomodate the travel needs of the Gaels who required a 4pm stop time for the game. The Highlanders were down to their last out down one in the bottom of the seventh with a man on second, but they were able to knock in the tying run. The game was also the first extra inning contest for the club this season.
UC SANTA BARBARA (14-14)
Back Home: UC Santa Barbara is back home after spending three straight weekends in road tournaments, hosting the Gaucho Classic II. The club welcomes CSU Bakersfield, San Diego, Santa Clara and Seattle to Campus Diamond. After the tourney, UCSB hosts Loyola Marymount before opening Big West play in its home ballpark against rival Cal Poly.
Time Off: After playing 21 straight games at home, the Rainbow Wahine will take time off before the start of conference play. The club finished up its long homestand on March 21 and won’t play again until April 1 when it opens Big West play at UC Davis.
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.
RPI Report: The first RPI report of the season was release and the Big West has put itself in a strong position a week away from conference play.
Four clubs rank in the top 100 led by Long Beach State at No.38. Cal State Fullerton is close behind at No. 42, while Cal Poly (51) and CSUN (74) round out the top 100 representatives from the league.
Highlanders, Titans Stay At The Top: Cal State Fullerton and UC Riverside look poised to enter Big West play as the top two teams in the league. The Titans have the league’s best mark at 25-9, while the Highlanders are right behind them at 23-9-1. The schedule won’t make Big West softball fans wait for the league matchup at they open conference play against each other starting on April 2.
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.