A Look Back At The 2016 Softball Season
Big West Softball 2016 Final Weekly Release
Several records fallling, a program regaining its championship glory and plenty of storylines highlighted an outstanding 2016 Big West softball season.
CAL POLY (27-23, 10-11 Big West)
Better Make Room: Junior Sierra Hyland finished her season with 194 strikeouts, just missing her third consecutive 200-plus strikeout campaign. Hyland did move into select company this year as her 690 career punchouts is 10th all-time in conference history. She was also placed on the first team All-West Region team, her program-record third All-Region honor and just the second Mustang to earn first team accolades.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (45-16, 17-4 Big West)
Two-Step: Senior infielder Missy Taukeiaho finished off a spectacular career with another fine season, batting .360 with 10 home runs, 41 RBI, 62 hits, 22 doubles, 43 walks and 52 runs scored.
Taukeiaho also wrapped up Titan career listed among the best in conference history. She is fifth in batting average (.393), ninth in doubles (46), sixth in walks (110) and 10th in runs scored (146). Taukeiaho was well decorated for her efforts, earning Big West Player of the Year honors twice (2014, ‘16), twice earning first team All-West Region (2014-15) and twice earning third team All-America honors (2014-15).
CSUN (34-22, 14-7 Big West)
Stretching Them Out: The Matadors finished the season with 124 extra-base hits, the second-most in the Big West this season. The CSUN lineup was second in the conference with 68 doubles and lead the league in triples (14) and home runs (42). Four players appeared in the Big West top 10 list for homers led by sophomore slugger Savannah Horvath who ranked second in the league with 13 bombs.
LONG BEACH STATE (32-23, 12-9 Big West)
Strike Three: Junior pitcher Christina Clermont was the ace of the staff for the second straight year, going 23-12 with a 2.37 ERA in 230.1 innings of work. Clermont, who is a two-time first team All-Big West pick, led the league with a career-best 205 strikeouts, the second-most in a single season in LBSU history. She was also the lone pitcher in the Big West to pass the 200-strikeout plateau this season.
UC DAVIS (15-35, 4-17 Big West)
Brianna On The Base Paths: Once junior Brianna Warner got on the base paths this season, big things would happen. Warner ranked second in the Big West in steals (37), tied for sixth in walks (23) and tied for 10th in runs scored (32). She led the Aggies in each of those categories and added hits (46), triples (2) and on-base percentage (.392) for good measure.
Warner is also making her mark on both the program and Big West career steals list. Her 37 steals this year crushed the UCD single season record (20) and is tied for fourth on the single season conference list. In addition, her 64 career steals are a program record and eighth on the Big West career ledger.
UC RIVERSIDE (32-22-1, 8-13 Big West)
Underrated Power: Junior Madeline Richard had an outstanding campaign in her first year as a starter for the Highlanders. Richard led the Big West in batting (.452), hits (80), stolen bases (38), on-base percentage (.513) and fourth in runs scored (46). Richard’s stolen base total is the third most in Big West single-season history, while her batting average ranked 12th in the NCAA.
UC SANTA BARBARA (28-28, 11-10 Big West)
The First: Junior Kristen Clark earned a place in UCSB history this season, becoming the first player to finish the season batting .400 or better (.403) for the second time in a career. Her batting average, hits (72) and runs (41) are all third on the single-season Gaucho lists, while her 231 hits are just 27 shy of tying the UCSB career record.
HAWAI‘I (24-30, 8-13 Big West)
1st, 2nd, Honorable: Senior Keiki Carlos had a decorated career in a Rainbow Wahine uniform, earning first team All-Big West as a freshman, honorable mention as a junior and second team status as a senior. Carlos’ playing career ends after appearing in 214 consecutive games in addition to ranking third in UH history in doubles (45) and eighth in walks (71).
AROUND THE BIG WEST
Titans Claim Crown: Cal State Fullerton reclaimed the Big West title for the first time since 2006, ending the second-longest championship drought for the program as a member of the Big West. The 45 wins for the club were the most since 2003 and the 17 conference wins were the most since 2009, which was also the last season CSF was selected to the NCAA Tournament.
All-Region Squads: The Big West is well represented on the NFCA All-Region teams as 10 players earned honors.
The bulk of the players appeared in the West Region. On the first team, Cal State Fullerton senior pitcher Desiree Ybarra, CSUN junior outfielder Taylor Glover and Cal Poly junior utility/pitcher Sierra Hyland earned acclaim. The second team in the region featured Long Beach State junior pitcher Christina Clermont, Cal State Fullerton freshman pitcher Sydney Golden, Long Beach State third baseman Darian Tautalafua and Cal State Fullerton junior designated player Alexis Gonzalez. The third team in the West had CSUN junior pitcher Daphne Pofek and Cal State Fullerton senior third baseman Missy Taukeiaho.
The lone Big West player outside the West Region was UCR outfielder Madeline Richard. She claimed second team honors in the Pacific Region.
Power Like No Other: Senior infielder Darian Tautalafua has etched her name in Big West history, placing putting up top five showings in several categories.
Tautalafua is the conference career leader in home runs (53) and RBI (176), while ranking fifth all-time in walks (116) and tying for fifth in runs scored (152). She also finished her senior season with 57 RBI, tying for third on the Big West single season list. Tautalafua is also the first player in league history with 50+ career homers and just the second with 170 or more RBI.
National Recognition: Big West champion Cal State Fullerton appeared in one of the national polls for 10 straight weeks, one of those as a top 25 team. They are one of three Big West clubs (Cal Poly, Long Beach State) to appear in a national poll this season.
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.
That group wasn’t the only one to reach milestones this year as Cal State Fullerton’s Kelly Ford and UC Riverside’s Linda Garza each reached 100 career wins this season. Both are in their fifth season at the helm of their programs.