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Cal Poly Looks to Climb into Big West Race at No. 17 Long Beach State

Cal Poly Looks to Climb into Big West Race at No. 17 Long Beach State

COMPLETE WEEKLY PREVIEW (pdf)

SAN LUIS OBISPO – Winners of four straight games to climb into third place in the Big West standings, the Cal Poly softball program looks to join the conference title race when visiting No. 17 Long Beach State for an April 28-29 series. The three-game set opens with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, April 28 and closes with a 1 p.m. matchup on Sunday, April 29. After sweeping a three-game home series from CSUN (April 21-22), Cal Poly (22-19, 6-6) now resides just four games behind second-place Long Beach State (36-9, 10-2) in the Big West standings. First-place Cal State Fullerton (26-20, 11-1), meanwhile, sits a game above the 49ers. Against Long Beach State, Cal Poly seeks its first victory against a ranked opponent this season and first win against a ranked opponent since twice defeating then-No. 9 Oklahoma last season.

FOLLOW CAL POLY THIS WEEK: Live stats and streaming video from all three series games at Long Beach State will be available via GoPoly.com HERE.

CAL POLY VERSUS LONG BEACH STATE: The Mustangs have lost their last six home games to Long Beach State … but produced a pair of three-game sweeps during the program's last two visits to Long Beach State. The 49ers, however, lead the all-time series, 43-26.

CHALMERS ONCE MORE A STANDOUT IN THE CIRCLE: Having earned a victory in 12 of her last 16 starts – including a first career no-hitter versus UC Davis (April 14) – senior righthander Lindsey Chalmers (17-7) ranks second among conference pitchers in victories, third in complete games (16), fourth in opposing batting average (.217) and starts (23), fifth in innings pitched (142.0) and seventh in strikeouts (86). Chalmers, who has struck out a season high eight hitters in wins against Maryland (Feb. 9) and North Dakota (March 9) and earned three Big West Pitcher of the Week awards this year, has conceded just one earned run during her last 29.0 innings. One of only five pitchers in Cal Poly's Division I history with 300-plus career strikeouts, Chalmers ranks third all-time with 87 starts, fourth with 350 strikeouts and 15 shutouts, fifth with 45 victories, sixth with 507.1 innings pitched and 102 appearances and seventh with 48 complete games.

CONVISSAR CAL POLY'S OFFENSIVE CATALYST: Cal Poly's leading returning hitter from a season ago, senior shortstop Chelsea Convissar has hit safely in a team best 30 games and enters Saturday's doubleheader leading the Mustangs with 42 hits, 11 multi-hit games, 65 total bases and 21 runs while ranking second with a .313 (42-for-134) bating average. Having reached base in all but eight games this year, Convissar is a .281 (162-for-576) career hitter who has started 194 of a possible 205 games for Cal Poly.

HEYWARD KEEPS UP STELLAR CAREER: The second leading hitter in Cal Poly program history with a .339 (201-for-593) career average and one of only four Mustangs with 200-plus career hits, senior third baseman Stephanie Heyward also ranks third all-time with 11 triples, fourth with 201 hits, fifth with 105 runs, eighth with 266 total bases and ninth with 31 doubles. A starter in 196 straight games, 203 of a possible 206 during her career and having missed just one game since the start of the 2015 season, Heyward also ranks fifth all-time with 204 games played. Cal Poly's leading hitter during three of her four seasons, Heyward tops the lineup once more this year with a .339 (38-for-112) batting average. She's also second with 38 hits, third with eight multi-hit games and has reached base in 21 of Cal Poly's last 22 games.

MARTIN CONTINUES TO SET THE OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE PACE: The Big West's second leading fielder with a .996 mark through 40 games, sophomore first baseman Hailey Martin is third in Cal Poly's lineup with a .313 (36-for-115) batting average while ranking seventh among conference players with nine doubles and ninth with 27 RBI. Also Cal Poly's leader with eight multi-RBI games and second with 10 multi-hit games, Martin has batted safely 27 times. Ranked ninth in program history with a career .301 (75-for-249) batting average, Martin is a .994 career fielder with just three errors in 88 college games.

HARD OUT: A starter in 39 of 41 games, senior center fielder Amanda Sandoval ranks 89th among NCAA Division I players in averaging just one strikeout per 18.4 at-bats. Overall, Sandoval has struck out just five times in 111 plate appearances. A starter in 197 of a possible 205 games, Sandoval requires just three more appearances to become the 17th player in Division I program history to reach 200 games played. Offensively, she ranks second in program history with 38 sacrifices.

THE WINNING EDGE: Of Cal Poly's 22 victories this season, 12 have been decided by two runs or fewer. Overall, the Mustangs are 11-6 in one-run decisions this season.

MUSTANGS FACE NATION'S FINEST ONCE MORE IN 2018: In what has become a hallmark of 14th-year head coach Jenny Condon's tenure, Cal Poly will again contest one of the more competitive schedules in Division I during the 2018 season. In total, five of Cal Poly's opening 16 games occurred against programs ranked or receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll (ranking from date of game).

ETC.: A March 4 victory versus Michigan State allowed the Mustangs to become just the third Cal Poly program in the Division I era (1994-) to achieve 600 victories at the Division I level (following Cal Poly's volleyball and baseball programs) … Cal Poly's 4-1 victory versus Marist (March 10) marked the program's 1,200th Division I game … 14th-year Mustang head coach Jenny Condon became just the fifth individual in the Big West's 34-year softball history to manage 700 games at a member program during the second game of Cal Poly's March 30 doubleheader versus UC Riverside … Cal Poly's 11-0, five-inning loss at Hawai'i (April 7) marked the program's first Big West Conference run-rule defeat since an 8-0, five-inning loss at UC Riverside (April 27, 2013) … Cal Poly's 5-2 victory versus CSUN marked the program's 200th win in the 18-year history of Bob Janssen Field.