Cal Poly Visits Cal State Fullerton in ESPN3 Curtain Raiser
Big West Softball Weekly Release No. 9
The first ESPN3 matchup of the softball season takes place this week as the series between Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton gets the spotlight. The Mustangs take the league's best record (26-7) into Anderson Family Field, home of the defending Big West champion Titans.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
MUSTANGS/TITANS ON E3
A matchup of Big West powers is on tap for this weekend as Cal Poly visits defending league champion Cal State Fullerton. The Mustangs own the league’s top record away from home, having gone 17-7 in road/neutral contests. Meanwhile, the Titans are just 7-10 at home but come into the weekend having won nine of their last 12 games overall.
The showdown will also be the first of the league’s ESPN3 schedule as the entire series will be televised live. First pitch on Saturday is scheduled for 12 pm, while Sunday’s first pitch will be at 1pm at Anderson Family Field.
After seeing spot duty early in the season, Cal State Fullerton senior Cerissa Rivera has settled into a groove as one of the staff’s top options. Rivera has allowed just one run in her last 32.0 innings of work, lowering her ERA to 1.43 and picking up 39 strikeouts during that span. Last weekend, Rivera went 12.0 innings to geta 1-0 win over UC Riverside.
SO MUCH BETTER THAN BEFORE
The Hawai’i offense has come alive in 2017, posting numbers that have already exceeded 2016 totals. The ‘Bows have 30 home runs, 30 stolen bases and are batting .306 this year, numbers have already surpassed totals from a year ago. The most frequent home run flyer has been sophomore Nicole Lopez who leads the league in homers with nine. A year ago, Lopez managed five home runs in 54 games.
LETS NOT FORGET TAYLER
We would be remiss in this column if we didn’t mention UC Riverside’s Tayler Misfeldt’s effort last week against Cal State Fullerton. Misfeldt pitched 22.0 innings over three appearances against the Titans, going 1-1 and allowing just one run and 15 hits. Misfeldt’s loss was a tough one as she went 12.0 innings in the series finale, allowing one run and eight hits.
THEY’LL TAKE A DOUBLE
UC Santa Barbara has found the gap more than any other team this season, leading the Big West in doubles (57) and tying for fourth in triples (6). The Gauchos’ doubles figure is 13 more than the next-best team and the 63 combined doubles and triples is tops in the conference.
MUSTANG STAFF RIDING HIGH
Cal Poly’s pitching staff has been lights out all season, ranking sixth in the NCAA in ERA (1.25). Senior pitcher Sierra Hyland has continued her stellar work in the circle, ranking 12th in the NCAA in ERA (0.94), 10th in hits allowed per seven innings (3.62), tied for ninth in shutouts (6) and fifth in strikeouts (185).
EASING HER WAY BACK
After throwing an inning against Loyola Marymount earlier in the week, Long Beach State freshman Cielo Meza made her first start of the season in the second game against CSUN. Meza was brilliant in a small sampling, going 4.0 innings and allowing two hits and one walk while striking out four to pick up the win.
SOFTBALL READY FOR ITS CLOSE UP
Several softball series have been selected a national audience across ESPN platforms. Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State will play the final game of their rivalry set on ESPNU, a matchup scheduled for 3 pm on Sunday, April 30.
Softball will also make three appearances on ESPN3. First will be the series between Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton April 8-9. UC Santa Barbara and Long Beach State will then have the honors for their series April 22-23. CSUN and CSF will then wrap up the scheduled E3 softball package with their doubleheader on May 6.
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