Mustangs Visit Long Beach State and Fresno State on Four-Game Swing
COMPLETE WEEKLY PREVIEW (pdf)
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Just a game out of first place in the Big West standings following the opening weekend of action, the Cal Poly softball program (8-22, 1-2) continues conference play when visiting Long Beach State for a three-game April 6-7 series before heading to Fresno State for a Monday, April 9 single game. The series at Long Beach State (13-20, 1-2) opens with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Friday, April 6 before closing with a 1 p.m. single game the ensuing Saturday at 49er Softball Complex. Long Beach State, a 2011 NCAA Tournament qualifier, opened its Big West campaign by dropping two of three contests at UC Santa Barbara. Cal Poly's April 9 game at Fresno State (24-13, 4-1) – which received votes in the April 3 edition of the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll – is a rescheduled contest from a March 19 doubleheader that was rained out. Currently second in the Western Athletic Conference standings behind No. 15 Hawai'i, Fresno State hosts UNLV for an April 4 doubleheader and Utah State for an April 6-7 three-game series before welcoming Cal Poly.
HOW TO ENJOY MUSTANG SOFTBALL THIS WEEK: Live stats for Cal Poly's series at Long Beach State and game at Fresno State will be available HERE. Dave Grant returns to the headset to provide play-by-play commentary of Monday's contest at Fresno State HERE.
CAL POLY VERSUS LONG BEACH STATE: Along with Cal State Fullerton's Anderson Family Field (5-7), Long Beach State's 49er Softball Complex (4-5) ranks as one of only two Big West opponent venues in which the Mustangs have a losing record under eighth-year head coach Jenny Condon (overall, Cal Poly is 46-23 in Big West road games under Condon). The 49ers lead the all-time series versus Cal Poly, 32-19, although the Mustangs are 12-9 versus Long Beach State under Condon. Long Beach State captured last year's season series, 2-1, with Cal Poly prevailing during the April 23 series finale, 5-4, in eight innings.
CAL POLY VERSUS FRESNO STATE: The Mustangs have prevailed just once at Bulldog Diamond in 13 games – a doubleheader split on May 7, 1995 – and have dropped their previous 12 road contests at Fresno State. The Bulldogs own a 16-3 all-time series advantage against the Mustangs with Cal Poly's last victory against Fresno State coming via a 9-4 triumph on Feb. 26, 2006.
BIG WEST CONFERENCE SNAPSHOT: None of the Big West's eight member programs produced a sweep during the March 31-April 2 opening series of play leaving the four conference co-leading sides (Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbara) just one game above the remaining chasers (Cal Poly, Long Beach State, UC Riverside and Pacific) in the standings.
YATES DEPOSITS VICTORY INTO CAL POLY'S ACCOUNT: Freshman righthander Jordan Yates made 15 appearances before earning her first collegiate victory, a 4-1 April 1 home triumph against Cal State Fullerton that ranked as, arguably, the finest pitching performance by a Mustang this season. During the victory, which broke a 10-game slide and doubled as Cal Poly's first home victory of 2012, Yates struck out a career-high five batters and allowed just four Titan hits in the complete-game effort.
COCHIOLO COMES AROUND: Having reached base in 10-successive games, sophomore catcher Mariah Cochiolo (above) has also batted a team-best .381 during Cal Poly's previous eight contests to push her season average to a high of .254 entering Friday's doubleheader at Long Beach State. Cochiolo, who swatted her first home run of the season against Cal State Fullerton (April 1) to help fuel Cal Poly's 4-1 victory, ranks second among Mustangs with 11 RBI. Defensively, Cochiolo has started 26 of 30 games behind the plate and registered a .971 fielding percentage.
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 four Big West players to rank among the top-10 conference performers for batting average (.341), slugging percentage (.489), RBI (19) and total bases (43). Westlund, also first among Mustangs with eight multi-hit games and four multi-RBI games, has reached base in 25 of 29 games this season and hit safely 21 times.
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 Friday's doubleheader at Long Beach State pacing all conference programs in fielding percentage (.963) and fewest errors committed (31). Leading the way on an individual basis for Cal Poly is sophomore first baseman Madi Vogelsang, whose .995 fielding mark through 200 chances ranks as the second best figure among conference players.
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 Monday's game at Fresno State, 11 of Cal Poly's opening 34 games will have 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. 15 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.
LOOKING AHEAD (APRIL 10-16): Cal Poly returns to Bob Janssen Field to open a six-game home stand that begins with a three-game April 14-15 series versus Cal State Northridge. The Matadors (7-24, 1-2), who opened their Big West campaign by taking two of three games at Pacific (April 1-2), host UC Davis for a three-game April 6-7 series before welcoming New Mexico for an Easter doubleheader.
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 … 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 … Cal Poly's 10-game home stand between March 23-April 1 ranked as the program's lengthiest home stretch in 18 Division I seasons.