Aggies, Titans Clash on ESPN3
Big West Softball Weekly Release No. 10
The season's first ESPN3 doubleheader takes place this weekend as resurgent UC Davis visits league leading Cal State Fullerton Saturday afternoon. The Titans are the lone undefeated club in the league while the Aggies have won three of their last five.
BIG WEST TEAM NOTES
CAL POLY (16-17, 0-6 Big West)
Putting In Work: Senior first baseman Breana West is enjoying her best season in her final go-round in a Mustang uniform. West is batting .333 so far in 2016, a 100-point jump from her career average coming into the season. She has also shown a reliable eye at the plate as she has struck out just eight times in 87 at-bats. One place that has remained steady for West is her play at first base as she has committed just 12 errors in 181 career games.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (31-10, 6-0 Big West)
Freshman Sensation: The Titans are known to have a potent offense, but a freshman stud in the circle has shut down opposing hitters. Sydney Golden is 12-3 with a 1.96 ERA in 82.1 innings. She has struck out 55 batters, allowed only 16 walks and only 80 hits. Golden has appeared in 20 contests, picked up five complete games and has a save in what has already been a stellar rookie campaign.
CSUN (23-18, 3-3 Big West)
Savannah Shall Lead: Sophomore infielder Savannah Horvath is an all-around threat for the Matadors, leading the team in runs scored (37), home runs (8) and stolen bases (16). Horvath is also batting .311, has picked up 10 doubles and has just eight errors in 160 chances for a.950 fielding percentage.
LONG BEACH STATE (24-13, 4-2 Big West)
Not A Chance: Junior pitcher Christina Clermont has been lights out so far in conference play, recording a 1.18 ERA in 29.2 innings of work while striking out 27 and allowing just three walks and 18 hits. Clermont has gone the distance in all four of her starts, winning two of them. Overall Clermont has been just as stellar, going 14-5 with a 2.34 ERA, 138 strikeouts, just 30 walks and 105 hits in 128.2 innings of work.
UC DAVIS (14-19, 3-3 Big West)
These Thefts Are Legal: Junior centerfielder Brianna Warner already has a school record to her name as she is tops in career steals with 55 and counting. 32 of those steals have come this season, a number that is the best in the Big West. Warner is not only fending off the competition in that department, but she also has the league’s single season record in her sights. She is just 15 swipes shy of tying former UC Riverside great Dionne Anderson for the top spot.
UC RIVERSIDE (27-12-1, 3-3 Big West)
1-2 Punch: Junior outfielder Madeline Richard has had her exploits covered in vast detail, but one may be more impressive than any other. She has four consecutive three-hit contests, batting an incredible .857 over that span. The hot streak has upped her overall batting average to .504 which is fourth in the NCAA. At the moment, Richard would set the league single season record for batting and break the school DI record set by Melissa Sanchez in 2006.
UC SANTA BARBARA (20-20, 3-3 Big West)
Show Off The Wheels: Junior outfield Kristen Clark spends plenty of time on the basepaths as she has collected 57 hits on her way to a .437 batting average. Even more impressive is she has two home runs on the year, both of the inside the park variety. In fact all three of her career home runs have not left the yard.
HAWAI‘I (18-21, 2-4 Big West)
Been A While: Sophomore pitcher Brittany Hitchcock led the Rainbow Wahine to its only win in its series against CSUN last week, firing a six-hit shutout while striking out three and walking none. It marked the first shutout for Hitchcock since a victory over UMKC on February 12.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
Leaving The Yard Like No Other: Senior infielder Darian Tautalafua belted four home runs in last weekend’’s doubleheader against UC Davis, pushing her into the league lead but that’s not all.
Tautalafua’s power surge increased her career home run total to 49, passing former Cal State Fullerton slugger Yasmin Mossadeghi for the most in league history. Tautalafua’s next roundtripper will make her the first in Big West lore to reach the 50-homer mark.
National Recognition: Three clubs have found themselves in the polls this year as Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State have all received votes in both major polls. The Titans are the current club to receive recognition as they are receiving votes in both polls, including the top club in the receiving votes section in the USA Today/NFCA poll.
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 latest RPI report has two Big West clubs in the top 35 as Cal State Fullerton (27) and Long Beach State (34) have earned spots. Two more clubs rank in the top 100 as CSUN and Cal Poly are No. 72 and 96, respectively.
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.
This season the senior third baseman is hitting .387 with 35 runs, 25 RBI, 18 doubles, one triple and five homers, while drawing 27 walks on the season. Her doubles and walks lead both CSF and the Big West.