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Softball

Deciding Series Finale At Long Beach To Be Broadcasted On ESPN3

Files associated with this release:
2012_SoftballRelease_14.pdf

5/8/2012

Long Beach State’s double-header against Pacific will be televised on Friday, May 11 set to air at 1:00 and 3:00.  ESPN3 will broadcast both games of Saturday’s doubleheader. Mark Neely handles play-by-play duties while Garland Cooper provides color 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.

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.

1-2-3 Sweep
Three of the four matchups last week ended in sweeps in Big West softball with the final games of competition on Sunday all ending early due to run-rule.  UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State and UC Riverside all collected the wins for the weekend against conference opponents, while the Pacific and UC Davis matchup ended in a 2-1 series win for the Aggies.

With the three victories this past week, Long Beach State took sole possession of the top slot in conference, after starting the weekend knotted at 11-4 with Pacific.  Pacific lost the series to UC Davis 2-1 dropping them to a 12-6 league record in a three-way tie with UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis.  In order to claim their second consecutive Big West Title, the Tigers will have to sweep the 49ers this weekend in the last week of Big West Softball regular season play. 

Long Beach State must win at least two games this week against fighting opponent for first, Pacific.  The two wins will secure their spot at the top of the conference standings and the at-large bid to postseason play.  With one loss the destiny becomes faint in the results of UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis sweeping opponents.  This would result in a three-way tie for first that comes down to math-ups against next highest ranked, Pacific.  Both UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara have won the series against the Tigers, while the 49ers if only one win would drop to third.  UC Davis would take the title due to winning the series against competitor UC Santa Barbara.

RECORD SETTING HIGHLANDERS
With a 10-0 defeat in five innings against Cal State Northridge on Sunday, UC Riverside set a Division I program record for wins.  Improving to 23-27 overall and 6-12 in league play, the 23 wins by the Highlanders are the most in the team’s division I history, bettering the mark set by the 2006 and 2010 squads with 22 wins on the season.

This was the Highlanders second series win of the season, and the first series sweep for the 2012 conference competition. The Highlanders took the doubleheaders in day one for the series win and sweep in the final game of the series, with their fifth run-rule victory of the season.  Riverside will enter the last week of conference play 6-12 with a matchup against Cal Poly on the road.

CONFERENCE WATCH LIST
Justine Vela finished last week with a total 25 strikeouts in her three game outing to give her a season total 248 strikeouts thus far for the Aggies freshman season.  This breaks Vela into the top-10 list for Big West all-time single season records where she surpassed Tiffany Boyd of Cal State Fullerton who had 246 strikeouts in her 1991 season.  Vela is just 10 strikeouts away from being in a three-way tie for eighth and is the only UC Davis player listed in the all-time single season records for strikeouts. 

The Gauchos freshman pitcher has made 47 game appearances so far in the 2012 season making her ranked tied for fifth in Big West single season records for appearances.  The freshman has pitches season-high 245.2 innings thus far and second-best 227 strikeouts, just 19 shy of the top-10 all-time Big West list.

With a total 48 RBI on the season, Pacific’s Nicole Matson is just two RBI short of tying last season’s record of 50, which earned her the sixth spot in all-time Big West single season top-10 marks for RBI.  Accompanying her RBI record is her 13 home runs, which claim her a spot in the Big West top-10 list for single season record as well.  Teammate Megan Hom holds the No. 9 slot for all-time Big West career record in batting average with a .367 the past three years.  She currently holds a .415 average that levels out to .391 across her career as a Big West competitor going into the last series matchup, currently garnering her at fifth all-time (.391).  With one series left to play, the Tigers Nikki Armagost has a .433 average for the seventh spot in Big West single season marks in batting average.

PITCHING STRIKES GETS 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 (21), innings pitched (245.2), games started (34) and game appearances (47). She is also ranked nationally sitting at No. 43 for her 21 wins on the season with 227 strikeouts thus far.  Not too far behind is freshman competitor Justine Vela, leads the league with 284 strikeouts for the season while holding her opponents to a .199 batting average.  Her ability to blow it by those in the box garners her the No. 19 spot in NCAA rankings for overall strikeouts, as well as No. 9 for her 9.4 average strikeouts per seven innings. 

Long Beach State’s Taylor Petty and Erin Jones-Wesley pitched compete games for the 49ers last week, as Petty garnered her the Big West Pitcher of the Week recognition.  Petty leads the league with a 0.99 ERA while holding her competition to an impressive .172 batting average, with Jones-Wesley right behind with the second-leading ERA (2.02) and second highest innings pitched this season (197.1). The pair are the only two to collect wins for the 49ers in conference play with a 1.04 ERA against league opponents and a total 118 innings pitched.

Combined the 49ers lead the league with a team ERA of 2.49 while holding their opponents to an impressive .239 batting average. 

Also to be recognized is Tori Shepard of the Tigers that leads the conference in saves (7), while ranked No. 4 nationally.

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.

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