COMPLETE SERIES PREVIEW (pdf)
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The Cal Poly softball program wraps up the 2013 regular season when visiting UC Davis for a three-game set at LaRue Field that opens with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Friday, May 10 and closes with a 12 noon matchup on Sunday, May 11. Cal Poly (19-31-1, 8-13) enters the final series of the year deadlocked with UC Davis (22-27, 8-13) for seventh place in the Big West Conference standings, but the Mustangs can finish as high as fifth by sweeping the Aggies. Cal Poly, which hasn't finished in the top half of the Big West standings since ending the 2010 season in third, also seeks its first double-digit conference win total since posting a 12-9 mark three years ago. After edging No. 17 Stanford 5-4 on May 1, UC Davis tumbled to seventh place in the Big West standings after being swept during a three-game May 4-5 series at second-place Long Beach State.
HOW TO ENJOY MUSTANG SOFTBALL THIS WEEK: Audio play-by-play and live stats for each of Cal Poly's May 10-11 series games at UC Davis will be available through GoPoly.com HERE.
CAL POLY VERSUS UC DAVIS: Despite winning just one series against UC Davis during the past three years (2011), Cal Poly has won five of its previous six contests at LaRue Field. Overall, Cal Poly is 8-7 versus UC Davis in Division I contests and holds a 15-9 all-time advantage.
ANDERSEN ENJOYING BREAKOUT ROLE: A .182 career hitter entering her 2013 junior season, third baseman Jillian Andersen is batting .373 (25-for-67) during Big West play and enters the program's May 10-11 series at UC Davis ranked eighth among conference players with a .329 overall mark, 10th with a .410 on-base percentage and 11th with 50 hits. Andersen, who has hit safely in 19 of Cal Poly's past 25 games, also leads all Mustangs with 13 multi-hit contests. After failing to produce a three-hit game during her first two years, Andersen owns a team-leading five such performances this season. Andersen, who ranks fourth among Big West hitters with 11 sacrifice bunts, has successfully advanced baserunners a Cal Poly-best 49 of 84 times (58.3 percent). Among NCAA Division I hitters, Andersen ranks as the 45th toughest player to strike out, having averaged just one strikeout per 19.0 at-bats. Overall, Andersen has struck out just eight times in 184 plate appearances. Defensively, Andersen has started all 51 games for Cal Poly at third base after spending her first two seasons at second and in the outfield and ranks fifth among Big West performers with 115 assists.
WURST MAINTAINS FORM IN THE CIRCLE: Though just 11-14-1 this season, two of lefthander Chloe Wurst's victories have come against ranked opposition and the sophomore enters Cal Poly's May 10-11 series at UC Davis ranked fourth among conference performers in inning pitched (172.2), sixth in ERA (2.47) and strikeouts (102), eighth in victories and 11th in opposing batting average (.270). 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 seventh time this season versus No. 15 Hawai'i (April 19). Wurst's other notable performances this season include back-to-back complete-game shutouts of Cal State Fullerton to earn April 1 Big West Pitcher of the Week praise. In 35 appearances this season, Wurst features a 3.2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, is averaging 0.59 strikeouts per inning and, among NCAA Division I pitchers, ranks 31st with just 1.34 walks allowed per seven innings.
CAL POLY'S TABLE SETTER: Batting from the top spot in the lineup during 40 of 51 games this season, junior second baseman Ashley Romano has reached safely in 38 contests and is hitting a team-best .455 (35-for-77) in leadoff situations. Entering Cal Poly's May 10-11 series at UC Davis, Romano leads the Mustangs and ranks fourth among conference players in at-bats (167) and seventh in plate appearances (191). Romano, who has struck out just 11 times this season and only three times during the previous 22 games, also ranks third in Cal Poly's lineup with 40 hits. Defensively, Romano has started all 51 games and sits 11th among Big West players with 92 assists.
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 May 10-11 series at UC Davis ranked second among Mustangs with a .309 batting average and 46 hits. Westlund also ranks fifth among Big West players with 25 walks and 11th with a .406 on-base percentage. Currently seventh in program history with a career .303 (135-for-446) batting average, Westlund has produced a season-high three hits against San Jose State (Feb. 10), at San Diego State (Feb. 15) and at Cal State Northridge (April 13); a season-high three RBI versus Long Island (Feb. 24) and No. 8 California (March 1); hit safely 30 times; reached safely in 40 contests and leads the Mustangs with 13 multi-hit games. Defensively, Westlund has started all 51 games this season, 145 of a possible 147 during her Cal Poly career and currently ranks third among Big West players with 127 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), a 2-1 loss against No. 9 Oregon (Feb. 23) and a 2-1 home defeat to No. 15 Hawai'i, 14 of Cal Poly's 31 defeats this season have come by a single run. Conversely, Cal Poly has won nine games by a single run. Overall, one run has decided 45.1 percent of Cal Poly's games this season.
MUSTANGS FACE NATION'S FINEST IN 2013: In what has become a hallmark of head coach Jenny Condon's nine-year tenure, Cal Poly again contested one of the most competitive schedules in Division I softball during the 2013 campaign. Overall, nine of Cal Poly's opening 18 games and 12 total contests during the 2013 season occurred against programs ranked or receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll (ranking from date of game).
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 (2014 SEASON): Including the top nine hitters currently on the roster and all three pitchers, the Mustang program is expected to return 16 letterwinners to its 2014 roster. Additionally, righthanded pitcher Sierra Hyland (Visalia, Calif.; El Diamante HS), outfielder Shawna McDonough (Belmont, Calif.; Carlmont HS), third baseman Kiersten Nordin (San Jose, Calif.; Mitty HS), infielder Ashley Tornio (Tracy, Calif.; West HS) and outfielder Courtney Tyler (San Mateo, Calif.; Hillsdale HS) signed National Letters of Intent in November 2012 with the anticipation of joining the Mustang program for 2014 campaign.
ETC.: Cal Poly's three-game sweep of Cal State Fullerton (April 29-30) marked the program's first conference road sweep since rolling UC Santa Barbara (April 10-11, 2010) and the first road sweep of the Titans in program history … Cal Poly's 2-1 win at Cal State Northridge (April 14) helped ninth-year head coach Jenny Condon became just the 10th individual in Big West history to earn 100 conference victories.
Cal Poly Softball Team Concludes Regular Season at UC Davis May 10-11
COMPLETE SERIES PREVIEW (pdf)