Davis Tops Stanford For Big West First Win Against Ranked Opponent
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UC Davis picked up the Big West’s first and only win against a top-25 ranked opponent last week, while Big West teams have played 19 total games this season against ranked teams. Stanford, ranked 12/8 (ESPN.com/USA Softball and NFCA/USA Today) traveled to Davis midweek where the Cardinal were handed its second loss of the season, dropping to 4-2. The win was the first for the Aggies against Stanford in nearly 17 years, the last coming on Feb. 22, 1995. The 2-1 defeat over the Cardinal was its first matchup against a ranked opponent this season, as they went 2-4 for the week. Davis faced two more ranked opponents in last week’s play but were unable to come out with another win.
While holding a losing record against ranked competitors (1-3), Davis has scored on average two runs a game against the top-25 picks, while only allowing on average 6.2 runs scored, compared to league foes who allow on average 11.1 runs by those ranked and only scoring on average 0.83 runs. This week the Big West will be playing 11 games against the nation’s top ranked teams, including the No. 1 ranked team by ESPN.com/USA Softball, California, who will take on Cal Poly and UC Riverside.
Long Beach State 50/50
The 49ers finish their second week of non-conference play at .500 with an overall 5-5 record, continuing to sit at the top of Big West Conference standings. With the second Big West Player and Pitcher of the Week sweep, individuals for Long Beach continue to step up to the plate to record big numbers.
The underclassmen have proven themselves as starters as returning pitcher Erin Jones-Wesley went 2-1 last week with a 1.88 ERA in her 22 innings of work. She pitched two complete games against Indiana and Memphis for the wins, and managed to hold Portland to no earned runs in her five-inning appearance. Sophomore teammate, Hannah De Gaetano went 8-16 (.500) last week with two home runs and five RBI’s. De Gaetano holds the second highest slugging percentage (.677) and third highest on base percentage (.472) for the conference in her first two weeks of tournament play.
Long Beach will face Stanford (15/14), its first top-25 ranked opponent this week at the Cathedral City Classic in Cathedral City, Calif.
Big West Being "Watched"
The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) announced February 1st that Pacific junior pitcher/utility Nikki Armagost has been selected to the Top 50 “Watch List” for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award.
Now in its 11th year, the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award, given by the National Governing Body for softball in the United States, recognizes outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country.
As a sophomore, Armagost was named the 2011 Big West Player of the Year as well as an All-Big West First Team honoree and a Second Team All-Region award winner. Armagost was a vital two-way player in helping Pacific capture the 2011 Big West championship. She ended the season posting a .367 average with 65 hits, and went 19-11 overall in the circle with a 2.66 ERA.
Pacific Picks Up
Pacific is in the top three in the Big West standings. After a 0-2 start to the season, Pacific picked up wins in two of its five games last week, improving to 2-5 overall. The two wins push Coach Brian Kolze (582) ahead of former Cal State Fullerton head coach Judi Garman (580) for the second spot in all-time career victories in Big West history.
Returning for her final season, Nicole Matson came in looking to break into the top-10 runs scored list in program history. She had 105 runs scored, just three short of Lindsey Pierce (2008-11), who is No. 10 with 107. Matson managed to collect those two runs scored against Nevada, and has now taken over the 10th spot from Pierce with 108 career runs scored.
Returning starter and Top-25 Watch List candidate, Nikki Armagost went 7-for-17 at the plate last week to record a .412 batting average and .529 slugging percentage, while playing first base and pitching a pair of contests for the Tigers. Offensively Armagost drove in the first run in the tournament opener against Nevada at the Nike Invitational in Stanford to pick up the Tigers first win, 4-1. She was also perfect at the plate, going 3-3 in the first matchup against Bradley with a double for the Tigers second win.
Fullerton Leads in Offense
Cal State Fullerton leads the Big West in a variety of offensive categories bringing in the highest batting average (.296), the most runs scored (53), and highest on-base percentage (.383). With the highest on-base percentage, the Titans lead the conference going 16-of-21 on steals, pushing across 53 runs this season on 87 hits, consisting of 11 doubles, two triples and two home runs. Fullerton is led by Elizabeth Crawford (.412) and Ashley Carter (.400) offensively, both ranked in the top ten for batting average in the Big West Conference. Carter is ranked first in the league for total plate appearances (43), hits (16) and runs scored (9) in her 11 games played this season.
UCSB Looking For Win
UC Santa Barbara coach Brie Galicinao is looking to set a record this week, as she is just one win shy of her 100th overall career win. The Gauchos were unable to come away last week with a win, but will look to take one this week while hosting the Gaucho Classic I. UCSB plays six games in the tournament as it seeks to achieve the milestone for Coach Galicinao.
Moore Makes National Team
Junior catcher Amy Moore will be the first player in Tigers’ program history to be an active player on the roster of a national team. Moore was one of 16 players to be named to the 2012 Great Britain National Team on February 17 to represent Great Britain at the Canadian Cup in Vancouver during the Summer of 2012.
Moore will join the Great Britain squad at the conclusion of her junior season at Pacific to play for the currently ranked No. 11 squad in the world and No. 3 in Europe. The Canadian Cup is used as a warm up for the 2012 World Championships played in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada among the top 16 teams from around the world.
ESPNU & ESPN3
In collaboration with ESPN and the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, the Big West Conference launched a ten-game distribution package on ESPN3 this past Fall. The first appearance for Big West women’s softball will be the double-header at Cal State Fullerton against Long Beach State for conference play on May 5 at 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm on ESPNU. The second double-header televised will be a LBSU at Pacific battle on May 11, slated for 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm on ESPN3.
This year’s package included a volleyball match, two baseball, two men’s basketball, two women’s basketball, one MPSF men’s volleyball and two softball games. The addition of games on ESPN3 extends ESPN’s current five-year deal with the Big West, which continues through the 2012-13 season.
ESPN3 is currently available in more than 70 million households through computers, tablets and smart phones and in 25 million households via Xbox gaming consoles.
Back for more
Three-year All-Big West First-Team recipient Alex Holmes will return to the Aggies’ dugout this season but in a different capacity. Holmes will be returning as a student-assistant coach under head coach Karen Yoder. While on the Davis’ lineup Holmes made club and conference rankings including national recognition from NCAA Division I statistics with eight triples in 2011.