Softball Battles Ranked Opponents, Rain In Week 2
Big West Softball Weekly Release No. 2
While rain is in the forecast for some local matchups, the majority of the league will battle tough foes in the desert as well as in Mexico in a packed tournament slate.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
THE NO-NO BRIGADE
The first weekend of play produced some dominant pitching as three no-hitters were recorded. The first one came in the inaugural game of the season as senior Christina Clermont and freshman Devyn Magnett recorded the first combined no-hitter in LBSU history. The next two were the work of Cal Poly’s Sierra Hyland, including one in which the senior actually allowed an unearned run but was able to complete the no-hit bid against Purdue.
Speaking of Hyland, she has the chance to become the league’s all-time leader in strikeouts barring injury. Hyland enters the week with 721 career punchouts, the sixth-best total in Big West history. She needs just 126 more to claim the top spot. Hyland is even in reach of another major milestone as 179 more K’s would make her the first pitcher in Big West history to post 900 career strikeouts.
PICKING UP WHERE SHE LEFT OFF
UC Santa Barbara senior Kristen Clark had a sizzling first weekend as she recorded hits in each of the Gauchos’ five games. Clark, the only player in UCSB history with multiple 200-hit seasons, had two multi-hit games including a 3-for-3 showing in the win over Wright State. Clark’s eight hits over the first weekend led the league as did her .571 batting average. She is also just 20 hits shy of becoming the all-time hit queen at UCSB.
COME OUT RUNNING
UC Riverside senior Madeline Richard got off to an early start on the basepaths this year, swiping four bags without getting caught in the season’s first weekend. Richard has 44 career steals which leaves her 15 shy of tying for 10th on the Big West career list.
QUITE THE DEBUT
UC Davis freshman Katelyn Kibby had an outstanding debut in her first collegiate start, shutting out Santa Clara. Kibby went the distance in the 2-0 win, allowing two hits, one walk, striking out four while facing just three batters over the minimum.
DOESN’T HAPPEN OFTEN
Rain, darkness and a see-saw contest conspired to give Long Beach State a tie in its game against Weber State. The deadlock was the first for the program in the Kim Sowder era and the first for the team since 1997.
TAYLOR, HYLAND NAMES TO POY WATCHLIST
The top 50 “Watch List” for the 2017 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year was announced and two Big West players were included in the list for the prestigious honor.
The senior duo of CSUN’s Taylor Glover and Cal Poly’s Sierra Hyland garnered mention, kickstarting a process that will culiminate in the Player of the Year announcement in late May.