Mayfair Invitational Highlights Potential Soggy Softball Slate
Big West Softball Release No. 4
Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State are co-hosting one of the top tournaments in the country this weekend, the Mayfair Invitational. The weekend long affair attracts some of the top clubs around the country, led by No. 7 Michigan and No. 8 UCLA. Mother Nature may play a big role though as a late winter storm is forecast to pass through the area over the weekend.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Mustangs Look To Streak: Cal Poly hosts the Mustang Invitational this weekend looking for its first three-game win streak of the season. The Mustangs have won two in a row three separate times so far this season.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Another Ranked Foe Falls: Cal State Fullerton picked up its second win over a ranked team this season when it defeated No. 15 Baylor by a 6-1 count. The previous win over a ranked foe was also over a Big 12 team as CSF downed then No. 2 Oklahoma on the opening day of the season.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
Lengthy Homestand: After playing 15 games on the road, Cal State Northridge will be spending a lot of time at Matador Diamond. CSUN will play 10 straight at home and 15 of its next 16 in front of its home fans.
LONG BEACH STATE
On Fire Is An Understatement: Junior Ashley Holmes has done most of the heavy hitting for the Long Beach State offense. Holmes ranks second in batting (.457), second in RBI (20), tied for second in home runs (6), tied for fourth in on base percentage (.500) and second in slugging (.886).
Two (Or More) At A Time: Sophomore Christa Castello is tied for sixth in the Big West in hits (20) and multi-hit games (8). Overall Castello is batting .328 and has struck out only three times in her 67 plate appearances.
Turnaround Time: UC Riverside had a difficult start to the season, going just 1-6 in its first seven games. Since then the Highlanders are on a roll going 7-2 over their past nine outings. UCR has won games in different ways as it owns a 15-10 slugfest and a 1-0 pitchers duel.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Record Setting Offense: UC Santa Barbara made history in its 15-1 win over Northern Iowa last week. The 15 runs were the most in the Brie Galicinao era and the most the club has scored since a 16-run effort against Akron on March 1, 1997.
Bye Week: Hawai‘i has the week off from competition but will return on March 5 for the Hawai’i Spring Fling Tournament. The Rainbow Wahine will play California, Pacific and James Madison over the five-day tourney.
Jones-Wesley Maintains Record Pace: Right-handed pitcher Erin Jones-Wesley enters her senior season at Long Beach State with an opportunity to set a couple of school records as well as enter the Big West career top 10. The three-time All-Big West First Team selection has collected three consecutive 20-win seasons and has garnered 68 victories in the yellow and black. In addition to potentially becoming just the seventh player in conference history to capture first-team all-conference acclaim four times, Jones-Wesley is in line to break 49er career records for wins and strikeouts. Meredith Cervenka (2002-05) owns both marks with 78 wins and 634 strikeouts. Jones-Wesley is No. 3 in LBSU annals with 582 strikeouts. She is also 10th in league wins all-time, passing former LBSU star Brooke Turner in the process.
Second-Year Stud: UC Santa Barbara sophomore Arianna Palomares has been a star in year two, batting .460 with a .532 on-base percentage, .540 slugging percentage and 23 hits.
Hyland’s No-No: Cal Poly freshman pitcher Sierra Hyland was outstanding in the circle against Maryland at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Hyland tossed a no-hitter with 12 strikeouts, pitching around five walks and retiring eight of the final nine batters she faced in the 4-0 win. She became the fourth Mustang to throw a no-hitter and the first since Anna Cahn against Utah State on March 7, 2009.
11s: Three clubs have posted a league-best 11 wins as the first month of the season comes to a close. Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State and UC Santa Barbara have all reached the number.
Taking Several For The Team: Cal State Northridge has led the Big West in hit by pitches two seasons in a row and three times in the past five seasons. So far this season, the Matadors have been below their usual clip as they’ve only been plunked four times in 15 games.