Cal State Fullerton Heads Back To UCLA For NCAAs
Big West Softball Weekly Release No. 15
Cal State Fullerton's second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament will again begin in Los Angeles as the Titans are part of the four team Regional at UCLA.
The Titans (33-21) will open the postseason against former Big West rival San Jose State Friday at Easton Field at 6:00 p.m. live on ESPN3. The winner of that matchup will take on the winner of the second game Friday between Lehigh (36-18) and the host fifth-seeded Bruins (42-13) which will be at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN2.
The double-elimination regional will be played out over three days from May 19-21. The Titans have faced only one of the four teams this season, having lost a pair to UCLA by 2-0 and 7-3 scores.
CSF is the Big West all-time leader in postseason wins (36) and has recorded the lone Super Regional appearance in league history (2007). A year ago, the Titans lost two close games to host UCLA in the regional, narrowly missing an opportunity to record another Super Regional appearance. Cal State Fullerton also enters the postseason on a roll, having won 16 of its last 22 games which included a nine-game winning streak.
AROUND THE BIG WEST
TITANS GO BACK-TO-BACK
After waiting 10 years to claim another Big West title a year ago, Cal State Fullerton didn’t have to wait as long for another as the Titans claimed the 2017 regular season crown and automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. The Titans have also won consecutive Big West titles for the first time since a four-year run from 2000-03. After starting 3-3 in conference play, CSF was 13-2 against league foes including a nine-game win streak that propelled them to first place in the league.
MUSTANGS, GAUCHOS EXTEND SEASONS
Postseason softball will also be played by Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara as they will compete in the National Invitational Softball Championship. The Mustangs and Gauchos will be in a famililar place as the duo heads to the four-team double elimination regional hosted by former league member Pacific. UCSB and Nevada get things started at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday followed by Cal Poly against the host Tigers at 7:00 p.m. This also marks the first postseason appearance for the Mustangs since 2009 and first for the Gauchos since 2007.
HYLAND CEMENTING LEGACY
Cal Poly senior Sierra Hyland gets a couple more chances to add to her legacy in the Big West. The senior is all over the conference career record lists as she ranks first in strikeouts (933), second in appearances (156), seventh in wins (79) and third in innings pitched (911.0). She also boasts an impressive 1.56 career ERA and will finish with 200 or more strikeouts in three of her four seasons.
GLOVER’S PROLIFIC CAREER
CSUN’s Taylor Glover wrapped up an outstanding Big West career that littered . In the Big West career records, Glover is third in career batting average (.397), third in hits (292), second in runs scored (164), ninth in RBI (143), second in steals (93) and tied for ninth in triples (15).
ONE FOR THE BOOKS
Overall the season has been an impressive one for the league as six of the eight members will finish with at least a .500 mark, the second straight season that has occured. The last time at least six members finished with .500 records in back-to-back campaigns was 2006-07.That run came when the league had a seven team configuration. This also marks the first time since 1986 that six clubs in an eight-team Big West reached 10 conference wins.
Long Beach State freshman Cielo Meza had a delayed debut in 2017, but was well worth the wait. The pitcher was 6-4 with a 1.26 ERA in 66.2 innings over 13 appearances, 12 of those coming in a starting role. Meza has accumulated those numbers mostly against conference foes as 12 of her 13 appearances have been in conference play.
HYLAND CHOSEN IN NPF DRAFT
Cal Poly senior pitcher Sierra Hyland became the first Big West draftee in the National Pro Fastpitch draft in eight years last week, going fourth overall to the two-time defending champion Chicago Bandits.
Hyland is the second Big West player drafted into the NPF in conference history, joining fellow Mustang Melissa Pura who was drafted in the fourth round (17th overall) in 2009. Hyland is also the second-highest draftee in any sport in Cal Poly athletics history.
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