UC Davis, UC Riverside Host Tournaments In Softball Action
Big West Softball Weekly Release No. 3
Two clubs will host their first Tournaments of the young softball season as UC Davis and UC Riverside host the Aggie Invitational I and Amy S. Harrison Classic, respectively.
BIG WEST TEAM NOTES
CAL POLY (6-4)
Wildcat Takedown: Junior right handed pitcher Sierra Hyland went the distance in a eye-opening win over #9 Arizona, striking out nine and allowing just four hits. Not only did she deliver in the circle, but she also drove in a run to lead the Mustangs to the win. It marked the first time since 2014 that the team defeated a ranked opponent.
CAL STATE FULLERTON (8-2)
Offensive Explosion: Cal State Fullerton saw its offense explode in a big way in the final day of the Bronco Classic, scoring 19 combined runs in wins over Seattle and host Santa Clara. Junior infielder Alexis Gonzalez belted a pair of homers, one in each game, and knocked in five runs to lead the Titan offense on the day.
Home Run Derby: CSUN has shown a flair for the long ball over its first 10 games, putting 10 balls beyond the fences. Even more impressive is of the 75 hits registered by the Matadors, 30 of them have gone for extra bases (18 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR).
LONG BEACH STATE (6-3)
The Arms Are Leaders: Junior Christina Clermont and freshman Cielo Meza are off to impressive starts this season. Clermont is 3-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 27.1 innings, while her teammate is 3-1 with a 1.91 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 29.1 innings. Meza already has two 10+ strikeout performances in her debut collegiate season.
UC DAVIS (3-6)
Have Yourself A Day: Freshman infielder Meghan Bradbury nearly singlehandedly defeated Nevada in the opening game of the DeMarini Desert Classic. Bradbury went 2-for-4 with two home runs, five RBI and two runs scored. She was the first Aggie to knock in five runs since March 22, 2015 and the first to hit two homers in a game since May 4, 2014.
UC RIVERSIDE (7-6)
So Hot Right Now: Junior outfielder Madeline Richard is off to a torrid start this season, batting a league-best .533 in her first season in a Highlander uniform. Richard also leads the league in hits (24), on-base percentage (.580) and stolen bases (12) and is third in runs scored (12).
UC SANTA BARBARA (4-6)
That Was Rough: UC Santa Barbara had a difficult schedule during the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, facing #9 Washington, #23 Texas A&M and #4 LSU. UCSB is the only club to play three ranked foes in one weekend tournament so far in the 2016 season.
The New Staff: After searching for new aces in the offseason, Hawai’i may have found two in sophomore Brittany Hitchcock and junior Kanani Aina Cabrales. Hitchcock is 3-4 with a 3.10 ERA in 40.2 innings, while Cabrales is 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA in 34.1 innings. The duo leads a revamped staff that ranks third in the Big West in ERA (3.15) and tied for third in earned runs (36).
AROUND THE BIG WEST
Coaching Power: Two Big West coaches are on the cusp of 300 career wins as Hawai’i’s Bob Coolen (297) and Cal Poly’s Jenny Condon (293) are approaching the milestone. They would join Long Beach State’s Kim Sowder (306) who reached that number at the end of last season.
All-America Status: Cal State Fullerton senior Missy Taukeiaho earned her first honor of the 2016 campaign as she was named to the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year watchlist.
The infielder was one of 50 players to be named to the list and the lone player to appear from the Big West Conference. This is the second consecutive season Taukeiaho has been named to the preseason list for the prestigious award.
LBSU The Favorite: Long Beach State earned the nod of 2016 softball favorite as the club was overwhelming choice in a vote of the league’s eight head coaches. The Beach claimed six first place votes and 62 points overall to claim the top spot in the preseason poll.