Unblemished Long Beach State Invades Cal State Fullerton
Weekly Softball Release No. 11
Long Beach State, off to the best conference start in school history (9-0), visits Cal State Fullerton for a midweek series. The two teams play a single game Wednesday on ESPNU, and a Thursday doubleheader on ESPN3.
BIG WEST AT A GLANCE
Hyland Joins K Club: Freshman Sierra Hyland struck out 12 batters in her two starts last week to boost her season total to 208 strikeouts. She is just the second pitcher in Cal Poly history to reach the 200 strikeout plateau – Desarie Knipfer did it back-to-back in 1997 and 1998 – and now ranks third in school single-season annals. With 19 wins, Hyland is on the cusp of becoming only the third pitcher in Mustang history to reach the 20-win mark.
CAL STATE FULLERTON
Taukeiaho Joins Home Run Pantheon: Sophomore Missy Taukeiaho clubbed her league-leading 13th home run of the season against No. 2 UCLA on Thursday. It placed Taukeiaho in a tie for fifth on the Cal State Fullerton single-season list with three others. The Titan slugger needs one more home run to move for a third place tie.
CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE
Elder Sniffs 20-Win Mark: Junior Brianna Elder is 18-8 on the season, tied for second in the Big West in victories, and on the verge of becoming the first Matador pitcher in over a decade to tally 20 wins in a season. Sarah Farnworth was the last to accomplish the feat when she posted a 25-16 record in 2001.
LONG BEACH STATE
Best Ever Big West Start: Long Beach State has outscored three conference opponents – UC Davis, UC Riverside and Hawai‘i – by a combined total of 66-11 en route to a program best 9-0 Big West start. The 49ers have won 11 straight overall, marking the longest winning streak in the eight-year Kim Sowder era, and they hope to continue the momentum with a big midweek conference road series against Cal State Fullerton.
Ags Grab First Series Victory: UC Davis notched its first Big West series win, taking two of three against Cal Poly on the road. The Aggies won the first two games by identical 3-2 scores, and extended their winning streak versus the Mustangs to six straight. That streak fell in the very next game as Cal Poly won by a 6-0 shutout.
Razo Tosses Shutout: Junior Alyssa Razo hurled her first shutout of the 2014 season as she blanked Cal State Fullerton with a five-hitter in Sunday’s conference series finale. Razo earned two complete game wins against the Titans to give UC Riverside the series victory.
UC SANTA BARBARA
Running Down Records: Freshman Kristen Clark is inching closer to break a pair of school records during an impressive freshman season. The outfielder owns a league-leading .429 average and 67 hits. The .429 mark betters the current Gaucho record of .417 set by Christine Ramos in 2009. Her hits record (75), also set in 2009, is endangered.
That’s A First: For the first time in 11 Big West series, Hawai‘i was swept by a conference opponent. The Rainbow Wahine was able to muster only five runs in three games against Long Beach State pitching. UH has now lost five of its last six games.
Stellar Senior: Long Beach State senior Erin Jones-Wesley is poised to finish her career among the top pitchers in Big West history. She already has etched her name in both the LBSU and Big West record book as she looks to become just the seventh player in conference history to earn first-team all-conference honors four times.
• Jones-Wesley’s 82 wins ranks No. 1 in LBSU history and is tied for No. 5 in the Big West record book.
• Jones-Wesley is LBSU’s all-time leader in strikeouts (680), a figure that ranks 10th in Big West history. She is six K’s shy of surpassing former Cal State Fullerton standout Gina Oaks (685) for the No. 9 spot.
• Jones-Wesley is now the record holder with 15 career Big West Pitcher of the Week awards.
• With an 18-4 record in the circle this season, Jones-Wesley needs two more victories to secure four consecutive 20-win seasons.
• The Alta Loma, Calif. native is tied for No. 6 in Big West career appearances (135), and will move into a tie for fifth when she next steps into the circle.
Still Looking Good: The fourth RPI report of the 2014 season came out and the Big West remained steady with three schools in the top-60 and five in the top-100. Long Beach State’s sweep of Hawai‘i last week moved the 49ers up six spots to No. 37. UC Santa Barbara is the second-highest ranked squad at No. 53, followed closely by Cal State Fullerton at No. 55. Hawai‘i (86) and Cal Poly (91) also appear among the top 100 teams.
49ers, Titans Set To Duel: Long Beach State and Cal State Fullerton meet this week in a battle between the first place 49ers and third place Titans. The 49ers hope to lengthen their program best undefeated 9-0 start, while the Titans (5-4) seek to trim LBSU’s lead. The series opener Wednesday will appear on ESPNU, while Thursday’s doubleheader is slated for ESPN3.
Anderson Seeks Historic Steal: UC Riverside senior Dionne Anderson, already the program’s Division I stolen bases leader with 37 this season, is on the cusp of rewriting the Big West record book. Anderson is chasing UC Santa Barbara’s Leslie Simien for the title of single-season stolen bases record holder. Simien has held the distinction since 2002.
|Big West Single-Season Steals
||Leslie Simien, UCSB
||Dionne Anderson, UCR
||Andrea Benford, NMSU
||Kristen McDowell, PAC
||Leslie Simien, UCSB
Wisdom On A Roll: UC Santa Barbara junior Shelby Wisdom has won each of her last five starts in the circle and has gone the distance in each of them. She threw all 21 innings in UCSB’s series sweep of Cal State Northridge. Wisdom is 14-11 this season, with her 14 wins tying for fourth among Big West pitchers. She now ranks third in Gaucho history with 55 career wins. Wisdom is within range of the school wins record (62) that belongs to Sandy Ortigies (1984-87).
Kimbrough Targeting .400: Long Beach State junior shortstop is one of three Big West players currently batting above .400, and she seeks to become just the second 49er to accomplish the feat. Melanie Muniz hit .407 in 1999 as the program’s single-season record holder. Kimbrough is hitting .403 and ranks second among Big West players with 18 multi-hit games.