COMPLETE SERIES PREVIEW (pdf)
SAN LUIS OBISPO – The Cal Poly softball team looks to achieve the program's highest finish in the Big West Conference standings in four years when closing the 2018 regular season with a three-game, May 11-12 series at UC Santa Barbara. The series opens with a 3 p.m. matchup on Friday, May 11 and closes with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, May 12. Winners of six of its last nine games, Cal Poly (24-23, 8-10) enters the final week of the season in fourth place in the Big West standings. The Mustangs, however, trail third-place UC Riverside (32-20, 9-9) by just a game. A third-place finish in the Big West standings would mark Cal Poly's highest showing since finishing as runners-up in 2014. The Mustangs can also cement their third straight winning season and fourth winning season in the past five years with a pair of wins against the Gauchos. Last-place UC Santa Barbara, meanwhile, has dropped eight of its last nine games.
FOLLOW CAL POLY THIS WEEK: Live stats from all three series games will be available via GoPoly.com HERE.
CAL POLY VERSUS UC SANTA BARBARA: The Mustangs have won two of their last three series against UC Santa Barbara, but were swept in their last visit to Campus Diamond in 2016. Having dropped eight of its last nine games at UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly seeks its first series victory at Campus Diamond since sweeping the Gauchos in 2010. The most frequent opponent in Cal Poly's program history, UC Santa Barbara trails in the Division I series, 40-36.
CHALMERS CLOSES SUPERB SENIOR SEASON: Having earned a victory in six of her last eight starts – including a first career no-hitter versus UC Davis (April 14) – senior righthander Lindsey Chalmers (19-9) requires just one more victory in Cal Poly's final three games to become only the fourth Mustang in the program's Division I history to record a 20-win season. Among Big West players, Chalmers ranks second in victories, and complete games (19), third in starts (27), fourth in opposing batting average (.223) and innings pitched (168.2) and seventh in strikeouts (93). 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 (March 26, April 16, April 23), has conceded just eight earned runs during her last 55.2 innings. One of only five pitchers in Cal Poly's Division I history with 300-plus career strikeouts, Chalmers ranks second all-time with 91 starts, fourth with 357 strikeouts, 16 shutouts and 106 appearances, fifth with 48 victories and 534.0 innings pitched and sixth with 51 complete games.
HEYWARD WRAPS UP STELLAR CAREER: The second leading hitter in Cal Poly program history with a .334 (204-for-610) career average and one of only four Mustangs with 200-plus career hits, senior third baseman Stephanie Heyward also ranks third all-time with 204 hits and 11 triples, fifth with 105 runs, seventh with 269 total bases and ninth with 31 doubles and 610 at-bats. A starter in 202 straight games, 209 of a possible 212 during her career and having missed just one game since the start of the 2015 season, Heyward also ranks fourth all-time with 210 games played. Cal Poly's leading hitter during three of her four seasons, Heyward tops the lineup once more this year with a .318 (41-for-129) batting average. She's also second with 41 hits, third with nine multi-hit games and has reached base in 24 of Cal Poly's last 28 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 32 games and enters Friday's matchup leading the Mustangs with 45 hits, 12 multi-hit games, 70 total bases and 23 runs while ranking second with a .296 (45-for-152) bating average. Among Big West players, Convissar also ranks second with four triples and sixth with 11 doubles. Having reached base in all but 11 games this year, Convissar is a .278 (165-for-594) career hitter who has started 200 of a possible 211 games for Cal Poly. Just the 18th player in Division I program history with at least 200 appearances, Convissar ranks third all-time with 35 sacrifice hits, seventh with seven triples and ninth with 28 doubles and 86.
MARTIN CONTINUES TO SET THE OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSIVE PACE: The Big West's second leading fielder with a .997 mark through 46 games, sophomore first baseman Hailey Martin is also third in Cal Poly's lineup with a .293 (39-for-133) batting average while ranking 10th among conference players with 27 RBI. Also Cal Poly's leader with eight multi-RBI games and second with 11 multi-hit games, Martin has batted safely 29 times. A .292 (78-for-267) career hitter, Martin is a .995 career fielder with just three errors in 94 college games.
HARD OUT: A starter in 45 of 47 games, senior center fielder Amanda Sandoval remains Cal Poly's leader with just one strikeout per 13.3 at-bats. Overall, Sandoval has struck out just eight times in 126 plate appearances. A starter in 203 of a possible 211 games during her career, Sandoval is one of only 18 players in Division I program history to reach 200 games played. Offensively, she ranks second in program history with 39 sacrifices.
THE WINNING EDGE: Of Cal Poly's 24 victories this season, 12 have been decided by two runs or fewer. Overall, the Mustangs are 11-8 in one-run decisions this season.
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 … Cal Poly's 4-1 win at No. 17 Long Beach State (April 29) marked the program's first victory against a ranked opponent since twice defeating then-No. 9 Oklahoma in 2017.