CSUN and Cal State Fullerton Meet In Crucial Series on ESPN3
Big West Softball Weekly Release No. 13
Another key softball matchup will be shown on the airwaves as CSUN and Cal State Fullerton will battle on ESPN3 live from Anderson Family Field. The league-leading Titans have a chance to clinch the Big West title, while CSUN can jump right back into the title race with a series win. The doubleheader between the two on Saturday gets the E3 treatment as first pitch is scheduled for 2:00 pm PT.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
TITANS GETTING CLOSER TO TITLE
A torrid stretch has put Cal State Fullerton in a prime position to defend its Big West title. Winners of six in a row and nine of 10, the Titans can claim the championship outright with a home sweep of CSUN. If CSF wins two of three, it will claim at least a share of the title pending the results of both Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara. CSF is seeking back-to-back titles for the first time since winning four championships in a row from 2000-03
HYLAND APPROACHING ANOTHER TOP 10 LIST
Cal Poly pitcher Sierra Hyland is already in the Big West all-time top 10 in wins (77 - 8th), appearances (152 - 2nd), innings pitched (885.2 - 3rd) and strikeouts (921 - 1st). The senior is now approaching the single season strikeout list, a ledger that she has already made a mark on. Hyland needs 30 strikeouts to tie for 10th on the list, while her 263 strikeouts as a freshman in 2014 is ninth-most all-time.
BEACH PUTTING AWAY LEAGUE FOES
The Long Beach State pitching staff has been lights out in conference play, recording a 1.98 ERA and just 89 hits and 32 earned runs in 113.0 innings. The club allowed half of those earned runs in a four-game span but has allowed 1 or less earned run in nine conference games.
BIG RED (AND BLACK) MACHINE
CSUN brings a big-time lineup into its key series against Cal State Fullerton. The Matadors lead the Big West in runs (233), batting average (.288), triples (12), home runs (44), RBI (213), stolen bases (69), extra-base hits (118) and total bases (563). The team is coming off a solid offensive series against UC Riverside, totaling 18 runs on 24 hits across the three-game set.
Hawai’i sophomore Nicole Lopez had a solid rookie campaign, but her follow up act has made her one of the top players in the league. Lopez is 10th in the Big West in batting (.338), third in slugging (.662), 10th in RBI (30), second in total bases (96) and tops in home runs (12). Lopez has also gotten it done in the field as she has 119 assists, second-most in the Big West, and has not committed an error in eight of her last 11 games.
UC Riverside has shown an eagle eye at the plate, leading the Big West in walks with 156. That total is 35 more than the next best team and has led the Highlanders to a .363 on-base percentage, the second-best in the league. Its a team effort in the walk department for UCR as seven players have recorded at least 13 walks, two of which are over 21 walks for the season.
HYLAND CHOSEN IN NPF DRAFT
Cal Poly senior pitcher Sierra Hyland became the first Big West draftee in the National Pro Fastpitch draft in eight years last week, going fourth overall to the two-time defending champion Chicago Bandits.
Hyland is the second Big West player drafted into the NPF in conference history, joining fellow Mustang Melissa Pura who was drafted in the fourth round (17th overall) in 2009. Hyland is also the second-highest draftee in any sport in Cal Poly athletics history.
34 - Consecutive 20-win seasons by Long Beach State
1206 - Wins by the Cal State program all-time during Big West membership, tops in league history
1 - Players all-time who have multiple seasons in the Big West single season pitching strikeout list (Tara Glaister, CSUN - 1997 & 99)
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