A Look Back At The 2017 Softball Season
Final 2017 Big West Softball Weekly Release
Cal State Fullerton successfully defended its title while several players reached milestone achievements to highlight another exciting Big West softball campaign.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
TITANS GO BACK-TO-BACK
After waiting 10 years to claim another Big West title a year ago, Cal State Fullerton didn’t have to wait as long for another as the Titans claimed the 2017 regular season crown and automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Titans have also won consecutive Big West titles for the first time since a four-year run from 2000-03. After starting 3-3 in conference play, CSF was 13-2 against league foes including a nine-game win streak that propelled them to first place in the league.
MUSTANGS, GAUCHOS EXTEND SEASONS
Postseason softball was played by Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara as they competed in the National Invitational Softball Championship. The Mustangs and Gauchos played in a famililar place as the duo played at the Stockton Regional hosted by former league rival Pacific. This marked the first postseason appearance for the Mustangs since 2009 and first for the Gauchos since 2007. UCSB was eliminated in the Regional while Cal Poly advanced to the Championship round in Lynchburg, Va., after going undefeated in the Stockton Regional. The Mustangs were eliminated in the Championship after losing to Lamar, defeating Weber State and falling to host Liberty.
Cal Poly senior Sierra Hyland cemented her legacy as one of the top pitchers in Big West history. The senior is all over the conference career record lists as she ranks first in strikeouts (965), tied for first in appearances (161), tied for sixth in wins (82) and third in innings pitched (942.0). She also boasts an impressive 1.56 career ERA, will finish with 200 or more strikeouts in three of her four seasons and collected 104 complete games in her career. Hyland is also the first Mustang to be selected to an NFCA All-Region team on four occasions and just the fourth to earn All-America honors.
GLOVER’S PROLIFIC CAREER
CSUN’s Taylor Glover wrapped up an outstanding Big West career that littered her name all over the conference career lists. Glover is third in career batting average (.397), third in hits (292), second in runs scored (164), ninth in RBI (143), second in steals (93) and tied for ninth in triples (15).
ONE FOR THE BOOKS
Overall the season has been an impressive one for the league as six of the eight members will finish with at least a .500 mark, the second straight season that has occured. The last time at least six members finished with .500 records in back-to-back campaigns was 2006-07.That run came when the league had a seven team configuration. This also marks the first time since 1986 that six clubs in an eight-team Big West reached 10 conference wins.
Long Beach State freshman Cielo Meza had a delayed debut in 2017, but was well worth the wait. The pitcher was 6-4 with a 1.26 ERA in 66.2 innings over 13 appearances, 12 of those coming in a starting role. Meza has accumulated those numbers mostly against conference foes as 12 of her 13 appearances were in conference play.
UC Santa Barbara’s Kristen Clark quietly had an outstanding career for the Gauchos. Clark finished her career with a .378 batting average, the eighth-best career batting mark in Big West history. She also fell just four hits shy of becoming only the second player in Big West history with 300 career hits (296). Clark was also a rock defensively as she committed 16 errors in 422 chances over her four-year career.
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.
.379 - The career batting average of UC Riverside's Madeline Richard, ninth-best all-time in league history
4 - CSUN's Taylor Glover became the 8th player in Big West history to earn four first team All-Big West honors
8 - Big West players named to All-Region Lists
16 - Pitcher of the Week honors won by Sierra Hyland, the most in Big West history
92 - Career steals by UC Davis' Brianna Warner, third-most all-time in Big West history
Follow Along All Season