COMPLETE SERIES PREVIEW (pdf)
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Following Monday's doubleheader split against Fresno State, the Cal Poly softball program resumes Big West Conference action when visiting Cal State Fullerton for a three-game March 29-30 series. Cal Poly (12-20-1, 1-2), which kickstarted Big West play by dropping two of three home games against Long Beach State (March 23-24), opens its series against Cal State Fullerton (15-17, 2-1) at Anderson Family Field with a 4 p.m. doubleheader on Friday, March 29. Series play concludes with a 12 noon single game on Saturday, March 30. The Mustangs, who have prevailed just once during their previous six Big West road series, are seeking their first road series win since taking two of three games at UC Davis May 7-8, 2011. Just 9-10 at Anderson Family Field this spring, Cal State Fullerton opened its Big West campaign by winning two of three games at UC Santa Barbara (March 23-24).
HOW TO ENJOY MUSTANG SOFTBALL THIS WEEK: Live stats will be available for Cal Poly's three-game series at Cal State Fullerton via GoPoly.com HERE.
CAL POLY VERSUS CAL STATE FULLERTON: Swept at Anderson Family Field during their last visit in 2011, the Mustangs seek their first series victory at Cal State Fullerton since 2007. Coupled with a sweep of the Titans during the 2005 season, Cal Poly has only produced two series victories at Cal State Fullerton in seven trips. Overall, Cal Poly's last series victory against Cal State Fullerton was a 2010 home sweep. The Mustangs are 13-11 versus Cal State Fullerton under ninth-year head coach Jenny Condon and 31-20 against the Titans at the Division I level.
WURST MAINTAINS DOMINANT FORM IN THE CIRCLE: Though just 6-8-1 this season, two of lefthander Chloe Wurst's victories have come against ranked opposition and the sophomore enters Cal Poly's March 29 doubleheader at Cal State Fullerton ranked fourth among conference performers in innings pitched (99.2), fifth in starts (16), sixth in strikeouts (76) and seventh in ERA (2.60). Wurst, who owns victories against No. 18 Washington (Feb. 18) and No. 13 Georgia (Feb. 22), struck out a career-high seven hitters for the sixth time this season at CSU Bakersfield (March 17). Wurst also features a 4.0-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and is averaging 0.76 strikeouts per inning.
WESTLUND CONTINUES WHERE SHE LEFT OFF: An All-Big West second team selection last season after leading Cal Poly in seven offensive categories, junior shortstop Kim Westlund enters the program's March 29 doubleheader at Cal State Fullerton ranked second among Mustangs with a .305 batting average and 29 hits. Westlund also ranks third among Big West players with 18 walks and 10th with a .412 on-base percentage. A .299 (117-for-392) career hitter at Cal Poly, Westlund has produced a season-high three hits against San Jose State (Feb. 10) and San Diego State (Feb. 15), a season-high three RBI versus Long Island (Feb. 24) and No. 8 California (March 1), hit safely 19 times and reached safely in 25 contests. Defensively, Westlund has started all 33 games this season, 127 of a possible 129 during her Cal Poly career and currently leads all Big West players with 81 assists.
CAL POLY'S TABLE SETTER: Batting from the leadoff spot in the lineup, junior second baseman Ashley Romano has reached safely in 28 of 33 games this season and, at 10 successive games between Feb. 23 and March 8, owns Cal Poly's second-lengthiest streak of the season. Entering Cal Poly's March 29 doubleheader at Cal State Fullerton, Romano leads the Mustangs and ranks second among conference players in at-bats (111) and plate appearances (127), fifth in runs scored (22) and sixth in walks (16). Romano, who ranks second among Mustangs with just eight strikeouts, has struck out just once during the previous nine games. Defensively, Romano has started all 33 contests and ranks seventh among Big West players with 62 assists.
ANDERSEN ENJOYING BREAKOUT ROLE: A .182 career hitter entering her 2013 junior season, third baseman Jillian Andersen (above) has batted .423 (11-for-26) during Cal Poly's past eight games and enters the program's March 29 doubleheader at Cal State Fullerton leading the Mustangs with a .316 mark. Andersen also paces Cal Poly with 30 hits, eight multi-hit games and three three-hit games. Among Big West players, Andersen ranks second with eight sacrifice bunts and 11th with a .409 on-base percentage. Defensively, Andersen has started all 33 games for Cal Poly at third base after spending her first two seasons at second and in the outfield. She also ranks third among Big West performers with 76 assists.
CLOSE, BUT … : Spotlighted by a 7-6, nine-inning loss against No. 21 Stanford (Feb. 9), a 1-0 defeat versus No. 24 Kentucky (Feb. 14) and a 2-1 loss against No. 9 Oregon (Feb. 23), 10 of Cal Poly's 20 defeats this season have come by a single run. Conversely, Cal Poly has won just six games by a single run.
MUSTANGS FACE NATION'S FINEST IN 2013: In what has become a hallmark of head coach Jenny Condon's nine-year tenure, Cal Poly is again contesting one of the most competitive schedules in Division I softball during the 2013 campaign. In total, nine of Cal Poly's opening 18 games occurred against programs ranked or receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll.
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: For the first time through 924 contests during 19 Division I seasons, Cal Poly saw a game end in a tie after the program's Feb. 24 matchup versus Utah was halted at 1-1 due to the Utes' flight arrangements.
LOOKING AHEAD (APRIL 1-7): Cal Poly contests its second Big West home series of 2013 when hosting Pacific at Bob Janssen Field April 6-7. The series opens with a 12 noon Saturday doubleheader before concluding with a 12 noon Sunday single game. Cal Poly seeks its first series victory against the Tigers since taking two of three contests from Pacific during a 2009 home set. Pacific (18-16, 3-0), which swept UC Riverside to open its Big West slate, hosts UC Santa Barbara for a three-game March 29-30 series.
Cal Poly Resumes Big West Conference Action at Cal State Fullerton
COMPLETE SERIES PREVIEW (pdf)