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Hawaii Attempts To Disrupt First Place Long Beach State On ESPN3

4/8/2014

Weekly Softball Release No. 10

ESPN3 will provide live coverage of this weekend's entire Long Beach State-Hawai‘i showdown, as the first-place Big West undefeated (6-0) 49ers take on the 2013 champion Rainbow Wahine from the 49er Softball Complex.

BIG WEST AT A GLANCE

CAL POLY
Offensive Outburst: Cal Poly walloped Central Coast rival UC Santa Barbara in game one of their series by a 14-1 score.  The Mustangs set season single-game highs for runs scored, RBI (13) and triples (2), while tying their highwater mark for hits (15).  Freshman Sierra Hyland was a perfect 5-for-5 with a home run and four RBI.

CAL STATE FULLERTON
Island Triumph: Cal State Fullerton visited Hawai‘i last week and handed the Rainbow Wahine just their second series loss since UH rejoined the Big West for the 2013 season.  The Titans used an 11-run third inning to subdue the ‘Bows in the rubber game, earning a 12-3 victory.

CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
Glover Up For Stolen Base Mark: Freshman Taylor Glover stole her 15th base of the season on Saturday against UC Davis.  She moved to within five steals of setting a new Cal State Northridge Division I single-season record.  Jaci Carlsen is the current leader with 19 swipes in 2011.

LONG BEACH STATE
Headed For 30: Long Beach State extended its winning streak to eight straight, including a 6-0 mark in the Big West, after sweeping UC Riverside last week.  The 49ers are 29-9 overall, and need one more victory to reach the 30-win plateau for the fifth time in the eight-year head coaching tenure of Kim Sowder.  LBSU awaits a crucial series this week against defending league champion Hawai‘i.  All three games from the 49er Softball Complex will be aired on ESPNU.

UC DAVIS
Bats Awaken: The Aggies have scored one run or less six times in the last seven contests, but found a brief respite for their slumping bats in Saturday’s 5-4 win at Cal State Northridge.  Freshman Lauryn Saunders belted her fourth home run of the season to aid the effort.

UC RIVERSIDE
Ercolano Goes Yard: Sophomore Ashley Ercolano deposited her seventh home run of the season in the series finale against Long Beach State, giving her one roundtripper against each of the first two Big West opponents the Highlanders have faced.  Her team-leading seven home runs already eclipses the five she hit as a freshman.

UC SANTA BARBARA
Wisdom Gets To 50: Junior pitcher Shelby Wisdom collected her 50th and 51st career wins as she pitched two complete games versus Cal Poly last week.  The 51 victories put her third on the UC Santa Barbara career list, just 10 short of Jennifer Davis (2004-07) for the No. 2 spot and 11 away from tying Sandy Ortigies (1984-87) for the record.

HAWAI‘I
Willmon Adds To Total: Freshman Lindsey Willmon homered twice against Cal State Fullerton to increase her season total to a team second-best nine.  She also ranks second among ‘Bows with 20 RBI.  The center fielder also smacked a walk-off single to give UH a 6-5 win against CSF in game two of the series.

EXTRA BASES

Jones-Wesley Rises Up The Charts:
Right-handed pitcher Erin Jones-Wesley cemented her place in Long Beach State lore with her performance last week against UC Riverside. The three-time All-Big West First Team selection won both of her starts to pick up career wins No. 79 and No. 80, making her the program’s all-time leader and separating her from former record holder Meredith Cervenka’s (2002-05) 78-win total.

Jones Wesley, who is 16-4 in the circle in 2014, is on pace for four consecutive 20-win seasons.  Earlier this season, Jones-Wesley knocked Cervenka from her post as LBSU’s strikeout queen.  Jones-Wesley now has 661 career strikeouts.

The Alta Loma, Calif. native is now moving up in the Big West record book.  She is just the sixth player in league history to amass 80 career wins.  Jones-Wesley also ranks No. 10 in career strikeouts, and is tied for No. 7 in appearances (133).

Still Looking Good: The third RPI report of the 2014 season came out and the Big West remained steady with two schools in the top-50 and six in the top-100. Long Beach State leads the way, sticking at No. 43 for the second straight week, followed right behind by Cal State Fullerton at No. 47.  UC Santa Barbara (58), Cal Poly (77), Hawai‘i (78) and Cal State Northridge (87) display the Big West’s depth of competition and talent.

ESPN3 Lights Shine On Long Beach: The Big West’s ESPN3 softball debut occurred last week when Long Beach State hosted UC Riverside for a conference series.  The same cameras descend upon the 49er Softball Complex again this week as LBSU fans will be treated to a matchup against defending conference champion Hawai“i.  ESPN3 will broadcast Saturday’s doubleheader with a 1:00 p.m. (PDT) first pitch, as well as Sunday’s series finale. 

A total of 10 softball games are slated to appear on ESPN3 in 2014, utilizing the Big West’s new mobile production facility that provides full ESPN production standards, including graphics, replay and on-air crew.

Stolen Bases Queen: UC Riverside senior Dionne Anderson became the program’s Division I stolen bases record holder when she swiped career bag No. 73 against Long Beach State Saturday.  She previously was tied with former teammate Ariel Shore (2010-13) for that distinction.  Anderson’s 34 steals so far in 2014 are the most by a Highlander player at the D-I level.

With 15 games to play, Anderson is inching forward toward the Big West’s single-season steals record (39), established by UC Santa Barbara’s Leslie Simien (2002).  Anderson is tied with UNLV’s Tricia Reimche (1990-93) for fourth place on the Big West career steals list.

Big West Single-Season Steals
1. 39 Leslie Simien, UCSB 2002
2. 37 Andrea Benford, NMSU 1996
3. 36 Kristen McDowell, PAC 1991
4. 35 Leslie Simien, UCSB 2004
5. 34 Dionne Anderson, UCR 2014
  34 Cyndie Malone, NMSU 1996

Hyland Ties Cal Poly Record: Cal Poly freshman sensation Sierra Hyland, a four-time recipient of the Big West’s Pitcher of the Week honor this season, is pretty effective at the plate, too.  She tied a 16-year-old school record with five hits against UC Santa Barbara on Saturday, the highest single-game hit total since Kelly Sack recorded five versus Long Beach State on March 22, 1998.  Hyland is No. 10 in average (.367).  In the circle, she’s No. 1 in both wins (18) and ERA (1.57).