SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The Torero softball team (3-5), coming off an off-week of competition, gets back to action this coming weekend when they co-host the San Diego Classic I with San Diego State over March 2-5, 2017. USD's first game will be on Friday at 6:00 p.m. when they host Detroit Mercy at the USD Softball Complex. The Toreros will follow with back-to-back games on Saturday against Boston University (3:30 p.m.) and UC Davis 6:00 pm. USD will close out the weekend with back-to-back games on Sunday against Oregon State (11:30 a.m.) and San Jose State University (2:00 p.m.).
PARKING FEES: - For fans planning to attend games on Friday at the USD Softball Complex, please be advised that there will be a fee for parking on USD's campus. Rates and additional information can be found at the parking machines. Parking is free on the USD campus on Saturdays and Sundays.
COMPLETE SCHEDULE OF GAMES AT USD: Friday, March 3rd: (10:30 a.m.) Oregon State vs. Miami University; (1:00 p.m.) BYU vs. Miami University; (3:30 p.m.) BYU vs. Detroit Mercy; (6:00 p.m.) USD vs. Detroit Mercy. Saturday, March 4th: (10:30 a.m.) Oregon State vs. McNeese State; (1:00 p.m.) BYU vs. Boston University; (3:30 p.m.) USD vs. Boston University; (6:00 p.m.) USD vs. UC Davis. Sunday, March 5th (9:00 a.m.) Detroit Mercy vs. Oregon State; (11:30 a.m.).
QUICK HITS ON SAN DIEGO OPPONENTS:
Scouting Detroit Mercy: The Titans come to town with a 3-7 record and will be looking to snap a 4-game skid... In their most recent outing they dropped a 5-4 decision in 8 innings to Eastern Michigan... Senior utility Grace Schmeiser leads the team in batting at .409 (9-22)... Junior 3B Savvy Ferstle owns 2 HR and 7 RBI to go with her .303 B.A. ... Freshman RHP Liz Murphy is 3-3 (1.98 ERA) in 42.1 innings of work... Head Coach John Conway -- 3rd season... Titans are a member of the Horizon League.
Scouting Boston University: The Terries come to town with a 5-4 record and will be looking to add on to their 3-game winning streak . . . In their most recent outing they won a close game against Southern Illinois 5-4 in the Madeira Beach Tournament. . . Senior Catcher Gabi Martinez leads the team in batting at .400 (10-25). . . Martinez also leads the team in HR's with 3 and is tied for the most RBI with 8. . . Junior Infielder Jilee Schanda owns 2 HR's and 8 RBI to go with her .259 B.A. (7-27). . . Freshman RHP Kali Magane is 3-2 (2.21 ERA) in 25.1 innings pitched. . . Head Coach Ashley Waters -- 2nd Season . . . The Terries are a member of the Patriot League.
Scouting UC Davis: The Mustangs come to town with a 5-8 record and will try to snap their five game losing skid. . . In their most recent outing, they dropped a 7-3 game to Fresno State in the Bulldog Classic. . . Senior Outfielder Brianna Warner leads the team in batting at .372 (16-43). . . Senior Infielder Alexis Carney owns 1 HR and 4 RBI to go with her .216 B.A. (8-37) . . . RHP Katie Kibby is 4-2 (2.31 ERA) in 42.1 innings of work. . . Head Coach Erin Thorpe -- 2nd Season. . . The Mustangs are members of the Big West Conference.
Scouting Oregon State: The Beavers come into town with an 8-5 record and will be looking to get back on track after losing their last two games. . . In their most recent outing they lost a close one to Saint John's (NY), 8-6 in the Mary Nutter Classic, which was played in Palm Springs, CA. . . . Sophomore Shelby Weeks leads the team in batting at .513 (20-39). . . Junior infielder Alysha Everett owns 4 HR's and 11 RBI to go with her .256 B.A. (10-39). . . The Beavers have five players with multiple HR's and four players with at least 10 RBI. . . Freshman RHP Nerrissa Eason is 5-4 (4.47 ERA) over 47.0 innings pitched. . . Head Coach Laura Berg -- 5th season. . . The Beavers are a member of the Pac-12 Conference.
Scouting San Jose State: The Spartans come to town with an 8-7 record and have won three of their last four games. . . In their most recent outing they dropped a 3-2 game against Grand Canyon University. . . Senior Outfielder Casey Watt leads the team in batting with 10 hits and is batting .313 (10-32). . . Sophomore Infielder Madison Aurin owns 1 HR and 5 RBI's to go with her .282 B.A. . . . Senior RHP Katelyn Linford is 4-1 (3.82 ERA) in 33.0 Innings pitched. . . Head Coach Peter Turner -- 10th season. . . Coach Turner was also named 2013 WAC coach of the Year. . . The Mustangs are a member of the Mountain West Conference.
A QUICK GLANCE AT TORERO LEADERS: Taylor Spence owns a team-best .423 B.A. through the first eight games of the season... Her 7 runs and 11 hits are also tops on the team, and she enters this week riding a 6-game hitting streak... She also owns three multi-hit games, including a 3-for-4 performance with 3 runs against Cal Poly... Hannah Gilliland ranks second in batting average at .375 (9-for-24)... She has scored 4 runs and collected 2 doubles, 1 HR and 7 RBI... Olivia Sandusky and Kailey Hill each own 6 RBI, just one back of team leader Gilliland... Megan Sabbatini is 3-4 on the year with a 5.64 ERA... Through 36.0 innings of work she has tallied 28 strikeouts.
A LOOK BACK AT THE MARY NUTTER COLLEGIATE CLASSIC: The Toreros came away with a 1-2 mark in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic (Feb. 17-19)... The event was shortened due to unplayable field conditions following inclement weather through the weekend... Following a 6-2 loss to Kent State, the Toreros rallied with a 10-9 extra inning victory over Utah Valley on Feb. 17th... Olivia Sandusky finished the game 2-for-5 with a 2-run double and 2-run single...Her single down the right field line scored Taylor Spence and Lauren Berriatua for the game winning runs... USD closed out tourney play with a tough 13-1 loss to a red-hot Arkansas team that improved to 7-0 on the young season... Over the three games, USD was paced by Taylor Spence (.364 B.A. , 4-11 at the plate)... She was followed by Hannah Gilliland (3-for-9, 2 runs, 1 RBI) and Olivia Sandusky (3-for-10, 1 run, 1 double, 5 RBI)... Megan Sabbatini was 1-1 and totaled 15 strikeouts in 11.2 innings of work.
CASIANO NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Freshman catcher Madison Casiano (Mira Mesa HS) was named the WCC Player of the Week (Feb. 13). Casiano began her collegiate career by hitting a team-best .545 over five games she played in this past weekend at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona. Casiano collected six hits in 11 official at-bats. She tallied one double, one triple and scored three runs. Against No. 24 Fresno State on Saturday she was a perfect 3-for-3 with one run, one double and one RBI. In Sunday's 2-0 win over Stanford she was 2-for-3 at the plate. In addition to her offensive stats, she caught every game, threw out two of four base runners, caught a pop-up and turned a double play. She finished with 19 putouts, 3 assists and just 1 error.
TOREROS FINISH STRONG AT KAJIKAWA CLASSIC: The Toreros closed out play at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Arizona with back-to-back wins on Sunday (Feb. 12) over Stanford (2-0) and Seattle (8-1). Pitcher Megan Sabbatini started all five games and picked up both victories. She threw a complete-game 4-hitter against the Stanford Cardinal. USD opened the season with close losses to Cal Poly (8-6), Arizona State (6-3) and #24 Fresno State (12-6). Besides Casiano, the Toreros received solid offensive performances from Taylor Spence (.467 B.A., 5 runs, 7 hits, 2 doubles, 3 RBI), Lauren Berriatua (.417 B.A., 5 hits, 2 doubles, 3 RBI) and Hannah Gilliland (.400 B.A., 6 hits, 2 doubles, 1 homerun, 6 RBI).
SCHEDULING UP: For the second straight season, the Toreros will face at least six opponents who are ranked or receiving votes in the preseason polls. Arizona State, Fresno State, Oregon State, Cal, Cal State Fullerton, and BYU are all receiving votes in either the USA Today/NFCA or ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason polls.
BATTER UP: The Toreros had a team batting average of .300 last season, the highest of any team during the McElvain era. They also set a school record with 75 doubles, with five Toreros hitting at least ten doubles. The Toreros return six starting position players for 2017.
ACE IN THE HOLE: Megan Sabbatini took the reins as the Toreros' ace last season. She finished with 171 strikeouts in 181.1 innings and held WCC opponents to a league-best .231 average on her way to earning All-WCC First Team honors.
O YEAH!: CF Olivia Sandusky has steadily improved each season throughout her Torero career. Last season she hit .373 and finished top ten all-time in runs (7th; 38), total bases (8th; 88) and doubles (T-8th; 12) and was named to the All-WCC second team.
SUPER SOPHOMORES: Last season freshmen Lauren Kane and Taylor Spence burst on the scene and made an immediate impact for the Toreros. Kane, who will be switching from 3B to 1B this season, led the team in home runs (9) and RBI (40) and was named the WCC Freshman of the Year. Spence hit a team-high .391 and became the first Torero freshman to earn NFCA All-Region honors.
MAC ATTACK: Head Coach Melissa McEvlain (16th season), the 2016 WCC Co-Coach of the Year, enters the season with 314 career wins, the most in program history. In 2016, the Toreros hit .300 for the first time in her tenure and had two players named to the NFCA All-Region team (Mary Grabowski and Taylor Spence), a program first.
BACK FOR MORE: The Toreros return 14 letterwinners from last year's team, including All-WCC honorees Megan Sabbatini (1st Team), Lauren Kane (2nd Team & WCC Freshman of the Year), Olivia Sandusky (2nd Team) and Taylor Spence (2nd Team). Sandusky, Spence, and Sabbatini were named to the preseason All-WCC team.
FRESH FACES: USD has six freshmen joining the team this season. Coach McElvain expects 3B Lindsay Clare, SS Sara Silveyra and C Madison Casiano to make an immediate impact for the Toreros. Clare (Saugus, Calif.) was a three-time All-league selection and was named Foothill League Player of the Year last season. Silveyra (Camarillo, Calif.), a four-time All-League pick, hit over .400 all four seasons. Casiano (San Diego, Calif.) won back-to-back MVP awards at Mira Mesa HS after hitting above .450 in consecutive seasons. She was also an All-League selection all four years.
PRESEASON POLL: The USD softball team was picked to finish third in the WCC preseason Coaches poll. Last year's WCC champion, BYU (25 points), was chosen to finish first. LMU (21) was picked second, followed by USD (17) and Saint Mary's (14). Pacific (10) and Santa Clara (five) rounded out the poll.
FEEL THE BYRNE: Sarah Byrne (pronounced Burn) joins Coach McElvain's staff for the 2017 season. Byrne comes to USD after spending the past four years as the Head Coach of Dominican University of California.
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