COMPLETE SERIES PREVIEW (pdf)
SAN LUIS OBISPO – The Cal Poly softball program returns to ESPN3 for the first time in two seasons as the Mustangs visits CSUN for a three-game series April 19-20. With all three games broadcasted via ESPN3, the series opens with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on Friday, April 19 before concluding with a 1 p.m. matchup on Saturday, April 20. Despite having won just once in its last eight outings, Cal Poly (8-31, 2-7) trails sixth-place CSUN (19-23, 3-6) by just a game in the Big West Conference standings and fourth-place UC Riverside (23-16, 5-4) by only three games. Having dropped each of its three Big West-opening series, CSUN enters Friday's doubleheader having prevailed in just one of its last five games.
FOLLOW CAL POLY THIS WEEK: Tim Becwar (play-by-play) and Erin Jones-Wesley (color commentary) will have the ESPN3 call for all three of Cal Poly's series games at CSUN HERE … live stats will also be available for the series via GoPoly.com HERE.
CAL POLY VERSUS CSUN: The Mustangs swept the Matadors at home last season, but seek their first series victory at CSUN since 2009. With a 9-3 home record versus Cal Poly since 2011, the Matadors lead the Division I series, 41-30.
YOUNG'S SUPERB SENIOR SEASON: A starter in 180 of a possible 197 games for Cal Poly and a .992 career fielder with just nine collegiate errors in 1,062 chances, senior catcher Makenna Young enters Friday's doubleheader at CSUN leading Cal Poly with a .266 batting average while setting new career highs for hits (29), home runs (three), RBI (15) and total bases (42). Young, who had never batted higher than .214 in a season prior to this year, has hit safely 21 times. She also owns three of Cal Poly's four three-hit games and has posted one of only two four-RBI efforts.
MARTIN BUILDING ON STANDOUT CAREER: Cal Poly's leading hitter a year ago, first baseman Hailey Martin ranks second in the lineup with a .257 batting average and 27 hits while co-leading the Mustangs with seven multi-hit games. Ranked 12th in program history with a .291 (111-for-382) batting average, Martin is a .989 career fielder with just 10 errors in 136 college games. She's also started 133 of a possible 148 games as a Mustang.
YAKIR SELECTED FOR ISRAEL WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM: Cal Poly's leadoff hitter in 35 of 38 games, senior third baseman Noa Yakir – sixth among Big West Conference hitters with nine doubles and Cal Poly's co-leader with seven multi-hit games – 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.
ETC.: Senior third baseman Noa Yakir became the first Mustang in three years to finish a game 4-for-4 during Cal Poly's 4-0 home loss to Hawai'i (April 6). Previously, All-American Sierra Hyland posted a 4-for-4 performance versus St. Peter's on March 3, 2016 … Cal Poly head coach Jenny Condon became just the seventh coach in Big West Conference history to manage at least 300 conference games at a member program during a 5-0 loss at UC Davis (April 14).