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This Week Home Is Where The Softball Is

3/9/2017

Big West Softball Weekly Release No. 5

This week's softball schedule is takes place in familiar confines as seven of the eight clubs host tournaments in their home ball parks. The lone club not hosting a tournament is league-leading Cal Poly as the Mustangs head north to play in the Louisville Slugger Invitational hosted by Stanford. Meanwhile of all the teams hosting, UC Santa Barbara will host its fans for the first time as they welcome teams for the Gaucho Classic.

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AROUND THE BIG WEST

HOME AT LAST
Two clubs finally got a chance to play in front of their home fans last week after difficult early schedules. Cal Poly hosted their annual Mustang Classic and went a perfect 4-0, outscoring the opposition 18-1. Meanwhile CSUN took a break from tournament action and hosted Sacred Heart in a week day affair. The Matadors took advantage of the home crowd as they swept the Pioneers, 8-0 (5) and 3-2.

NO-NO
Speaking of the CSUN doubleheader against Sacred Heart, game one saw a personal achievement reached as senior pitcher Daphne Pofek tossed her first career no-hitter. Pofek was rarely challenged on the afternoon as she struck out three and was one error away from recording a perfect game.

THE BREAKTHROUGH
After several near-misses against a slate packed with power foes, Cal State Fullerton got its second win over a ranked opponent with a thrilling 1-0 walk-off victory over #22 Baylor. Senior Kelsey Kessler was dominant in the circle, allowing four hits, one walk and striking out eight in a complete game effort. Freshman Irieanna Siofele was the hero in the bottom of the seventh as her fielder’s choice knocked in Brooke Clemetson for the win. The Titans are the only team in the league with multiple wins over ranked opposition.

SENIOR STANDOUT
UC Davis senior utility Taylor Peters is off to a sizzling start in 2017. Peters leads the Big West in batting average (.406), hits (26) and stolen bases (9). Peters has been so good that she has nearly equaled her 2016 outputs in hits (34) and steals (18).

MOSTLY ALL, LITTLE OF NOTHING
CSUN’s offense was expected to be prolific and the Matador hitters have not disappointed. The club leads the Big West with 96 runs, 23 home runs, 89 RBI and 51 extra-base hits. The 96 runs are 17 more than the next best team, while they are also the lone club to this point to collect 50+ extra base hits.

ITS ALWAYS SUNNY IN RIVERSIDE
After a 1-6 start to the season, UC Riverside returned home and has seen its fortunes reversed with a 6-2 mark. In Amy S. Harrison Field, the Highlanders are batting .315 with 54 runs and a .416 on-base percentage, while posting a 2.77 ERA with just 18 walks and one home run allowed with 26 strikeouts in 53.0 innings of work.

SOMEBODY THAT CAN DO BOTH
Cal Poly senior Sierra Hyland continues to amaze in her final season as a batter and pitcher. At the dish, Hyland is batting .346 with 18 RB, four doubles, 18 hits and 27 total bases. In the circle, she is 6-4 with a 1.31 ERA, 85 strikeouts and a .142 batting average allowed in 64.0 innings.

THREE CANDIDATES FOR SENIOR CLASS AWARD
Three Big West softball players are among the 30 student-athletes selected as candidates for the 2017 Senior CLASS award it was announced. CSUN has two of the candidates as Taylor Glover and Daphne Pofek garnered acclaim. The other selection is Christina Clermont of Long Beach State. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.

TAYLOR, HYLAND NAMED TO POY WATCHLIST
The top 50 “Watch List” for the 2017 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year was announced and two Big West players were included in the list for the prestigious honor.

The senior duo of CSUN’s Taylor Glover and Cal Poly’s Sierra Hyland garnered mention, kickstarting a process that will culiminate in the Player of the Year announcement in late May.

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