Mustang Softball Team Visits Stanford’s Louisville Slugger Classic
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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The Cal Poly softball program embarks on its fourth pre-Big West Conference tournament of the spring when visiting Stanford for the March 9-11 Louisville Slugger Classic, hosted at Jill and Boyd Smith Family Stadium. Winners of four of the previous six contests, Cal Poly (6-9) opens tournament action on Friday, March 9 with a 9 a.m. doubleheader against Ole Miss (8-6) and Colorado State (7-13). Action resumes on Saturday, March 10 with a 6 p.m. twinbill versus James Madison (6-7) and San Jose State (10-11). The Mustangs complete Louisville Slugger Classic action against No. 10 Stanford (8-3) on Sunday, March 11 at 1:30 p.m. The Mustangs are seeking their second-successive victory against a ranked opponent following a 14-7 dispatching of then-No. 22 Nebraska (Feb. 25). Cal Poly posted a 3-1 record during their only previous trip to the Louisville Slugger Classic in 2010, though the program's 2011 slate at the tournament was washed away due to rain.
HOW TO ENJOY MUSTANG SOFTBALL THIS WEEK: Live stats for all Louisville Slugger Classic games will be provided by Stanford and available HERE.
CAL POLY VERSUS LOUISVILLE SLUGGER CLASSIC OPPONENTS: Cal Poly will renew four matchups at Stanford's Louisville Slugger Classic while meeting James Madison for the first time in program history. Cal Poly, 1-1 all-time against Ole Miss, prevailed during the last matchup versus the Rebels on March 24, 2007, 6-3. Cal Poly improved to 10-3 against Colorado State with a 2-1 victory on March 22, 2009. Despite being dealt a 15-3 defeat earlier this year by San Jose State, Cal Poly still holds a 12-9 all-time advantage versus the Spartans. Cal Poly has only defeated Stanford thrice during 13 Division I meets and not since delivering a 6-2 triumph on March 2, 2007.
PATTON NAMED BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK: After posting a 0.79 ERA and earning two victories in three appearances at the March 2-4 San Diego Classic, Cal Poly softball junior Rebecca Patton was named Big West Pitcher of the Week on March 5. Patton's strong week in the circle lowered her season ERA to 3.83 and the righthander – who matched a career high with 11 strikeouts against New Mexico (Feb. 26) – enters play at the Louisville Slugger Classic ranked fourth among Big West pitchers in victories (four) and fifth in strikeouts (39).
WESTLUND SETS THE EARLY PACE ONCE AGAIN: A year after opening her collegiate career by batting safely during Cal Poly's first 11 games, sophomore shortstop Kim Westlund (above) enters Louisville Slugger Classic play ranked third among Big West players in batting average (.357), fourth in slugging percentage (.595) and seventh in on-base percentage (.426). Entering Louisville Slugger Classic action, Westlund has hit safely in eight of Cal Poly's previous nine games and reached base in 14-successive games.
VOGELSANG ON A TEAR: Sophomore first baseman Madi Vogelsang entered the 2012 campaign without a collegiate hit, but opens play at the Louisville Slugger Classic ranked fourth among Big West hitters with three home runs. Vogelsang had produced just two hits (neither for extra bases) during Cal Poly's opening six games this season before belting a pair of homers versus then-No. 22 Nebraska (March 25) to help drive the Mustangs to a 14-7 triumph. She added her third homer of the season during an 8-2 victory against Nevada (March 4) and currently ranks second among Mustangs with 19 total bases.
FIELDING A TURNAROUND: A year after committing the second most errors (71) among Big West programs and ranking second from bottom in fielding percentage (.953), Cal Poly enters Louisville Slugger Classic action pacing all conference programs in fielding percentage (.968) and fewest errors committed (13).
MUSTANGS FACE NATION'S FINEST IN 2012: In what has become a hallmark of head coach Jenny Condon's eight-year tenure, Cal Poly is again contesting one of the most competitive schedules in Division I softball during the 2012 campaign. Continuing with Sunday's showdown at No. 10 Stanford, 10 of Cal Poly's opening 33 games will occur against programs ranked or receiving votes at some point this season in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll (ranking from date of game).
LOOKING AHEAD (MARCH 12-19): Cal Poly's Big West opener will be just two weeks away when the Mustangs kickstart play at the March 17-18 Saint Mary's Classic. Cal Poly's tournament slate opens with a 10 a.m. St. Patrick's Day doubleheader against Iowa State (6-11) and Santa Clara (3-16). The Mustangs will face the Broncos again the following afternoon with a 12 noon doubleheader that concludes versus the host Gaels (5-9). Cal Poly will cap its three-day road trip with a Monday, March 19 doubleheader at Fresno State (12-7).