Cal Poly Softball Hosts Cal State Fullerton in Big West-Opening Series
COMPLETE SERIES PREVIEW (pdf)
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The Cal Poly softball program opens its 16th season of Big West Conference action and looks to stem a nine-game slide by securing its first home victory of 2012 when hosting Cal State Fullerton for a three-game set at Bob Janssen Field. The Mustangs (7-20), whose current 10-game home stand is their lengthiest in 18 Division I seasons, open the series versus the Titans (12-16) with a 12 noon doubleheader on Saturday, March 31. The series closes with a 12 noon single game on Sunday. The Mustangs are 6-9 all-time in Big West opening games, but have won their Big West-opening series during five of the previous seven years. Cal State Fullerton, which saw the last half of its annual Judi Garman Classic (March 14-18) rained out, has been idle since dropping a March 14 doubleheader against Notre Dame and Purdue.
HOW TO ENJOY MUSTANG SOFTBALL THIS WEEK: Cal Poly fans that can't make it to Bob Janssen Field in 2012 can catch all of the action with live play-by-play streamed through GoPoly.com. Dave Grant provides commentary for all 19 of Cal Poly's home contests during the 2012 campaign, continuing with this weekend's series versus Cal State Fullerton. Live stats from each of Cal Poly's remaining games can be found at GoPoly.com. Streaming video of Saturday's doubleheader versus Cal State Fullerton is also available through GoPoly.com
CAL POLY VERSUS CAL STATE FULLERTON: The Mustangs have swept the previous two home series from Cal State Fullerton (2010, 2008) at Bob Janssen Field, but the Titans maintain a 29-19 all-time series advantage since the first Division I meeting between the two squads on May 5, 1995. The Titans swept last year's season series from Cal Poly at Anderson Family Field in Fullerton.
HOMELAND SECURITY: Cal Poly's current 10-game home stand is the program's lengthiest home stretch since playing eight-straight contests at Bob Janssen Field from March 6-10, 2009. Cal Poly also played eight-successive home games during the 2005 (Feb. 26-March 5) and 1995 (April 16-May 5) campaigns.
MUSTANGS LOOK TO STEM THE TIDE: Cal Poly's current nine-game slide is the program's lengthiest since dropping 10 straight from Feb. 20-March 6, 2011. Through 377 games under eighth-year head coach Jenny Condon, Cal Poly has suffered a losing streak of five or more games just six times.
WESTLUND CONTINUES TO SET THE OFFENSIVE PACE: A year after opening her collegiate career by batting safely during Cal Poly's first 11 games, sophomore shortstop Kim Westlund remains one of only two Big West players to rank among the top-10 conference performers for batting average (.338), slugging percentage (.506), on-base percentage (.411), RBI (19) and total bases (39). Westlund, also first among Mustangs with six multi-hit games and four multi-RBI games, has reached base in 23 of 26 games this season and hit safely 19 times.
VOGELSANG ON A TEAR: Sophomore first baseman Madi Vogelsang (above) entered the 2012 campaign without a collegiate hit, but opens Big West action ranked ninth among conference players 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 (Feb. 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 31 total bases. Defensively, Vogelsang – who made just three starts at first base as a freshman in 2011 before starting all 27 games this season – leads Cal Poly and the Big West with a perfect fielding percentage in 178 chances.
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 its conference-opening series versus Cal State Fullerton pacing all conference programs in fielding percentage (.961) and fewest errors committed (29).
FRESNO STATE SHOWDOWN RESCHEDULED: Cal Poly's matchup at Fresno State – originally slated for March 19, but cancelled due to rain – has been rescheduled for Monday, April 9 at Bulldog Diamond. The matchup will be a single game instead of a doubleheader and feature a 5 p.m. first pitch.
MUSTANGS FACE NATION'S FINEST IN 2012: In what has become a hallmark of head coach Jenny Condon's eight-year tenure, the Mustangs are again contesting one of the most competitive schedules in Division I softball during the 2012 campaign as 10 of Cal Poly's opening 27 games occurred 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).
BIG WEST CONFERENCE RESHUFFLES THE DECK: Hawai'i, currently ranked No. 16 in the March 27 edition of the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll, will join the Big West for the 2012-13 academic term while San Diego State will become a conference member prior to the 2014 season. Reigning Big West champion Pacific, however, will depart the Big West for the West Coast Conference prior to the 2013-14 term.
THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD: Cal Poly's 20-game road trip to open the season marked the third lengthiest away stretch in program history while a March 23 home opener marked the latest date on the calendar that the Mustangs contested their first game of the year at Bob Janssen Field. Prior to the 2011 season – which also featured a 20-game road trip – Cal Poly's lengthiest road swings included a 25-game hiatus (2007) and a 21-game stretch (2006). Prior to this season, Cal Poly's previous longest wait before contesting a home game occurred last year, on March 13.
LOOKING AHEAD (APRIL 2-9): Cal Poly hits the road for the first time in Big West play to visit Long Beach State (12-18). The series at 49er Softball Complex opens with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Friday, April 6 before closing with a 1 p.m. single game the ensuing Saturday. Long Beach State opens Big West action when visiting UC Santa Barbara for a three-game March 31-April 1 set. Cal Poly's four-game road trip concludes with a 5 p.m. single game at Fresno State (22-13) on Monday, April 9. The Bulldogs continue Western Athletic Conference action when hosting BYU for a three-game series April 30-31.
ETC.: The 14 runs scored by UCLA during both ends of a March 27 doubleheader matched a year-old program record for total runs conceded by Cal Poly. The 18 hits collected during the second game by UCLA, meanwhile, established a new opponent record.