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Softball

Long Beach State Plays Host to Cal State Fullerton For ESPNU Showing

Files associated with this release:
2012_SoftballRelease_13.pdf

5/2/2012

Long Beach State’s double-header against Cal State Fullerton will be televised on Saturday, May 5 set to air at 2:30 and 5:30.  ESPNU will broadcast both games of Saturday’s doubleheader while Mark Neely handles play-by-play duties with Garland Cooper providing colorful commentary.

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 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.

TOP BATTLE CONTINUES

Finishing the week with a series sweep, both Long Beach State and Pacific have found themselves in a top-seed battle with only two series left to play in conference matchups. Both teams were picked in the pre-season poll by Big West coaches to take the championship, now locked at 11-4 a piece in conference outcomes it is do-or-die for the remaining six games.
 
Long Beach State took the 3-0 series win against UC Riverside at home with a total 17 runs scored, while holding the Highlanders to just four runs in one game, with two shutouts in the later two competitions.  Erin Jones-Wesley led the 49ers with two wins last week garnering this week’s Big West Pitcher of the Week recognition.  Long Beach will travel to Cal State Fullerton this week before returning home to face Pacific in the final series of the season. 

Pacific faced Cal Poly last week to take the home series victory, their third sweep this season against conference opponents.  The Tigers continued to dominate on offense with Nikki Armagost collecting Big West Player of the Week for her improved batting average, as well as defending the circle with two wins for the Tigers.  The Tigers will play their last home series this week against UC Davis before traveling to Long Beach State to face top league competitor. 

FRESHMAN FOES
Gauchos freshman, Shelby Wisdom broke the UC Santa Barbara record for single season wins in the final game of the series against UC Davis.  The Gauchos lost the both contests in the double-header last week, but were able to bounce back to dodge the sweep the Aggies were looking for.  Wisdom improved 19-14 on the season, marking the highest single season win total in UCSB history.  The record was previously set by Krista Cobb, Jennifer Davis and Sandy Ortigies all collecting 18 wins in their season played.  But with Wisdom’s win, came battling freshman Justine Vela’s loss.  Vela holds the highest number of strikeouts this season in the Big West with 223, 10 of which she received against the Gauchos in the final matchup.  Vela fell to 15-11 on the season after allowing only five hits and one earned run. 

PITCHING STRIKES NATIONAL RECOGNITION

Rising Gaucho freshman, Shelby Wisdom takes the top slot in many categories for her outstanding performance in the circle across the league.  Wisdom holds the most wins (18), innings pitched (227.2), games started (31) and game appearances (44). She is also ranked nationally sitting at No. 50 for her 19 wins on the season with 206 strikeouts thus far.  Not too far behind is freshman competitor Justine Vela, leads the league with 223 strikeouts for the season while holding her opponents to a .196 batting average.  Her ability to blow it by those in the box garners her the No. 22 spot in NCAA rankings for overall strikeouts, as well as No. 10 for her 9.3 average strikeouts per seven innings. 

Long Beach State’s Taylor Petty and Erin Jones-Wesley pitched compete games for the 49ers last week, as Wesley garnered her tenth career Big West Pitcher of the Week recognition.  Petty leads the league with a 1.20 ERA while holding her competition to an impressive .182 batting average, with Jones-Wesley right behind with the second-leading ERA (2.04) and second highest innings pitched this season (188.1).

Also to be recognized is Tori Shepard of the Tigers that leads the conference in saves (7), while ranked No. 3 nationally.

TIGERS DOMINATE OFFENSIVELY
The Tigers competed to collect their third series sweep this season against Cal Poly at home last week.  The offensive drive continued to excel as Nikki Armagost led the week collecting Big West Player of the Week rewards and improving her batting average to .427 on the season. Junior Armagost led the way both at the plate and in the circle.  Offensively, Armagost finished her afternoon a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate on Sunday, picking up hits in each of her first three at bats before walking in her final trip to the dish.  In the first, Armagost was the only Tiger to record a hit. She went an a total 6-9 on the week with a .667 average and .700 on base percentage.
As a team the Tiger’s lead the conference in batting average (.316), slugging percentage (.460), on base percentage (.398), runs scored (236), hits (370), runs batted in (224), doubles (75) and home runs (34).  Ranked nationally at No. 16 for batting average (.316) and No. 9 in the nation for doubles per game (1.56).  Individually the Tigers dominate as well with Nicole Matson and Megan Hom taking the lead on most stats.

Starting senior Matson is just 3 RBI short of the tying her Big West career-record 50 RBI in a single season sitting in the sixth spot.  For the No. 1 spot in conference history Matson would have to obtain 12 more RBI on the season as Jenny Topping (59) holds the record from her 2001 season at Cal State Fullerton.  Nationally Matson is ranked No. 33 for her 0.98 RBI per game. Matson leads the league in home runs with 13 of the Tigers total 34 on the season. 

Nikki Armagost leads the league with a .427 batting average with a league high 17 doubles on the season. In the circle she holds the fourth-highest ERA in the conference (2.25) in her 19 starts for the Tigers this season.

HIGHLANDERS STRUGGLE AT HOME
Riverside suffered a series defeat this last week on the road at Long Beach, but returns home for their final home matchups against Cal State Northridge, looking to break the home record streak.  The Highlanders have struggled on familiar grounds with an overall 1-8 home appearance, while 0-6 in conference play.  The Matadors hold a 77-8 all-time record against the Highlanders while they have only been able to manage four wins against Northridge from home field in the 34 games played at Riverside.

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.

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.