COMPLETE SERIES PREVIEW (pdf)
SAN LUIS OBISPO – The Cal Poly softball program begins its 23rd season of Big West Conference action when visiting UC Riverside for a three-game, March 30-31 series. The series at Amy S. Harrison Field opens with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, March 30 before closing with a 1 p.m. single matchup on Sunday, March 31. Cal Poly (6-24), which plays three of its first four Big West series on the road, looks to snap a four-game slide when visiting UC Riverside. The Highlanders (17-12), meanwhile, enter the opening Big West weekend having won 13 successive games.
FOLLOW CAL POLY THIS WEEK: Live stats will be available for all three of Cal Poly's Big West-opening games at UC Riverside via GoPoly.com HERE.
CAL POLY VERSUS UC RIVERSIDE: Cal Poly seeks its first series victory against UC Riverside since sweeping the Highlanders at home to close the 2016 season. Cal Poly's last series victory at UC Riverside came in 2011, when the Mustangs took two of three games from the Highlanders. Overall, Cal Poly maintains a 37-21 series advantage.
YOUNG'S SUPERB SENIOR SEASON: A starter in 171 of a possible 188 games for Cal Poly and a .992 career fielder with just eight collegiate errors in 1,031 chances, senior catcher Makenna Young enters Saturday's doubleheader at UC Riverside leading Cal Poly with a .302 batting average and has already set new career highs for hits (26), home runs (three), RBI (14) and total bases (38). Young, who had never batted higher than .214 in a season prior to this year, has hit safely 18 times. She also owns three of Cal Poly's four three-hit games thus far and one of only two four-RBI efforts.
MARTIN CONTINUES TO SET THE OFFENSIVE PACE: Cal Poly's leading hitter a year ago, first baseman Hailey Martin ranks second in the lineup with a .301 batting average and 25 hits while leading the Mustangs with seven multi-hit games. Ranked ninth in program history with a .303 (109-for-360) batting average, Martin is a .988 career fielder with just 10 errors in 127 college games. She's also started 124 of a possible 139 games as a Mustang.
YAKIR SELECTED FOR ISRAEL WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM: Third baseman Noa Yakir – fourth among Big West Conference hitters with eight doubles – will have the opportunity to become the first Mustang to appear in the Olympic softball tournament as the senior was one of 12 initial players named in December to the Israel Women's National Team roster for qualifying tournaments in 2019. To reach its first Olympic tournament for the six-team, 2020 field in Tokyo, Israel first needs to finish as one of the top six nations at the European Softball Federation Championship (June 30-July 6, 2019). Those six countries, combined with the top two teams from the 2019 Africa Softball Championship, will play off for one spot at Tokyo 2020. Yakir's previous experience with the Israel National Team came last summer as she competed with Under-22 squad at the European Championship in Slovakia. She has also helped mentor and coach youth players in the organization.
MUSTANGS FACE NATION'S FINEST ONCE MORE IN 2019: In what has become a hallmark of 15th-year head coach Jenny Condon's tenure, Cal Poly will again contest one of the more competitive schedules in Division I during the 2019 season. In total, 13 of Cal Poly's opening 30 games occurred against programs ranked or receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll (ranking from date of game).