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Pacific Moves To Familiar Spot In Conference Standings

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Big West softball continued with its third week of softball gradually improving from the start of the season.  Going into the week the conference held an 18-57 record, while only 1-of-19 against ranked opponents.  The first day of tournament play last week the Big West came together for a 6-6 overall split while 3-3 against nationally ranked teams, the best start this season.The Big West has improved its record to 37-79 (.319) while 6-for-26 in competitions against those ranked.  Four Big West teams walked away with an over .500 showing on the week.

Three teams will play host this week, while the remaining teams go on the road for their contests.  There are a total of 39 matchups this week including three against top-25 teams – California, Washington and Hawaii.

Pacific takes the top slot in Big West standings this week after a 4-1 record last week.  The Tigers improved to 6-6 this week, while receiving three votes in the top-25 poll.  With two matchups against ranked opponents, the Tigers came out on top in both battles for a record of 2-3 against top-25 teams so far this season.

Junior Megan Hom led the Tigers to a winning record last week in the leadoff spot with a .412 average. Hom recorded a hit in every game last week and scored at least one run in each contest to pace the Tigers.  Hom was instrumental in all games, but none more than in the final matchup when she stole a base resulting in Pacific’s insurance run for the 2-0 win over No. 14 Texas A&M.
The Tigers play host to three teams for the Louisville Slugger Invitational this week, while facing No. 1 California and No. 4 Washington.


Going into last week with only one win under their belt, the Highlanders brought the competition home for the aTen Construction Tournament where they came out on top with a 3-1 record.  Riverside improved to 4-10 suffering its only loss to South Dakota on the second day of play while turning around to defeat South Dakota 12-4 in a shortened game to close out the tournament.

Senior Brittany Keeney led the Highlanders with offensive dominance, scoring 25 percent of Riverside’s runs over the tournament (7-of-28).  She had a career-high four runs scored in the win over Illinois-Chicago (9-1) to start the four-game stretch.  Over the weekend she went 6-for-13 in the box with six hits and seven runs scored, averaging .462 at the plate.

Cal State Fullerton leads the Big West in a variety of offensive categories bringing in the highest batting average (.287), the most runs scored (65) and highest on-base percentage (.377). With the highest on-base percentage, the Titans lead the conference in steals (20 of 26), pushing across 65 runs this season on 118 hits, consisting of 16 doubles, three triples and two home runs. Fullerton is led by Ashley Carter (.400) and Eliza Crawford (.378) offensively, both ranked in the top ten for batting average in the Big West Conference. Carter is tied for first in the league for total plate appearances (60), hits (22) and runs scored (10) in her 16 games played this season.

UC Santa Barbara coach Brie Galicinao went into this week looking to set the record for her 100th overall career win as they hosted the Gaucho Classic I, after an 11-game road swing to start the season.  The Gauchos swept a doubleheader against visiting No. 23 Houston to record Coach Galicinao’s 100th career victory.  She has compiled a 101-122 record in her five seasons as head coach for UC Santa Barbara.

The Gauchos were off to a slow start losing their last 10 of 11 games on the road, but came home and picked up a 5-1 record, improving to 6-11 overall.  With two wins over Houston, Santa Barbara gained momentum defeating its next two opponents, before losing the tournament closer to San Diego State, 5-1.

Junior Jessica Soria led the pack going 5-for-9 with two runs, two RBI and a triple, in the two matchups against Houston. Defensively, Shelby Wisdom dominated the circle collecting three of their five wins over the week.  She pitched three complete games including the first game of the doubleheader against Houston where she faced 29 batters, only allowing eight hits with three runs.  In her last start, Wisdom posted a weekend-best nine strikeouts in the win over Nevada, 8-1.

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.

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.