Feb. 5, 2013
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Season Opener:
USD vs. McNeese State (DH)
Thursday, Feb. 7 | 4 pm
USD Softball Complex
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The Toreros open the 2013 campaign by hosting McNeese State for an evening double-header on Thursday, Feb. 7. First pitch is set for 4 pm from the USD Softball Complex. This will be just the second time these teams have met. McNeese State won the only other meeting back in 2002 with a 4-2 victory over the Toreros in a tournament at Cal State Northridge.
McNeese State posted a 34-21 overall record in 2012, finishing third in the Southland Conference. This year the Cowgirls were picked to finish second in the conference under 2nd-year head coach Mike Smith. Six starters return from last year's squad, including four 2012 all-conference honorees in Sr. P Meagan Bond, Jr. OF Alanna DiVittorio, So. C/1B Ashley Modzelewski and So. Util. Lauren Langner.
USD is looking to build on their continued success over the past few seasons. In 2012, the Toreros just missed out on their first Pacific Coast Softball Conference Coastal Division title and finished in 2nd place for the second consecutive year. The division title race came down to the final weekend of the season with USD ultimately splitting their 4-game set with Sacramento State while Saint Mary's went on to clinch the division title.
The Toreros compiled a 26-19 (13-7 PCSC) record last year, giving them the most wins during head coach Melissa McElvain's 11-year tenure. McElvain, beginning her 12th season now, became USD's winningest coach with her 213th career victory in USD's win over Sacramento State on Apr. 28, 2012.
Four Toreros took home All-Coastal Division honors last season and all four return for the 2013 campaign. Sr. RF Lauren Tomey led the way as a 1st-Team selection with Jr. RHP Jenny Lahitte joining her on the 1st Team. Jr. RHP Cassidy Coleman was named to the 2nd Team, while So. 3B Chloe Kaneko earned honorable mention recognition.
USD earned their first win over an NFCA Top-25 team since 2003 with their 3-1 victory over then-No. 23 Houston on Feb. 24, 2012 at the Gaucho Classic in Santa Barbara, Calif.
Jr. RHP Jenny Lahitte threw the second no-hitter in team history on Apr. 7, 2012 at Saint Mary's. Lahitte went the distance with 7.0 innings pitched, while striking out eight and walking one in the 1-0 victory. Lahitte also made her mark on the USD record book by setting a new team record with 16 strikeouts vs. UNLV on Feb. 24, 2012. Meanwhile, Cassidy Coleman tied the USD single-game record by throwing 11.0 innings in the Toreros' 6-4 victory at Saint Mary's on Apr. 6.
USD established a new team record for home runs with 28 round-trippers during the 2012 campaign, surpassing the previous record of 23 set by the 2010 squad. Leading the way for USD was Taylor Hensley with 10 home runs, while Lauren Tomey and Caitlin Rooney belted four apiece. Altogether, nine different players hit home runs for the Toreros.
Righties Cassidy Coleman and Jenny Lahitte became de facto co-aces for the Toreros in 2012. Both pitchers emerged as interchangeable stoppers in the circle all season long, tying for fifth in the conference with 148 strikeouts apiece. Coleman (2.21) and Lahitte (2.23) finished second and third, respectively, in the PCSC in ERA. Coleman compiled a 12-6 record on the year in 126.2 innings pitched, while Lahitte went 12-10 in 138.0 innings. Each of them earned Coastal Division Pitcher of the Week honors during the season.