SAN DIEGO - The Torero softball team (6-8), coming off a 3-1 victory over Detroit Mercy on Wednesday, will close out the week with five games at the Gaucho Classic I in Santa Barbara, California over March 10-12. Up first for the Toreros is George Washington on Friday at 11:30 am.
TOREROS DOWN DETROIT MERCY 3-1: The USD softball team (6-8) dealt visiting Detroit Mercy a 3-1 loss today at the USD Softball Complex. Freshman RHP Delaney Heller went the distance to earn her second straight victory. She scattered 5 hits over 7.0 innings, giving up just one run. Taylor Spence and Kailey Hill each went 2-for-3 at the plate with 1 RBI. The Toreros scored 2 runs in the bottom of the second inning to take an early lead. Madison Casiano reached on an error and would eventually score from third with a stolen base. Frankie Perales added USD’s second run when she came in on an RBI bunt from Taylor Spence. With one out in the top of the third, Detroit Mercy strung together four straight singles off of Heller. Cheyenne Willeford scored the Titans’ lone run of the game. In the bottom of the 4th inning the Toreros added an insurance run. With one out, Shannon McKeon singled to third and was followed by aTaylor Spence single to first base. Kailey Hill then roped a line drive single down the left field line to score McKeon from second base.
A QUICK GLANCE AT TORERO LEADERS: Sophomore Taylor Spence owns a team-best .400 B.A. through the first 14 games of the season… She also tops the team in hits (18), runs (8) and stolen bases (4)… She saw her 10-game hitting streak come to an end against SJSU last Sunday… Sophomore Lauren Kane is right behind her with a solid .372 B.A. (16 hits, 4 doubles, 1 triple, 6 RBI)… A trio of players are tied for the team lead with 8 RBI each – Hannah Gilliland, Sara Silveyra and Kailey Hill... Senior RHP Megan Sabbatini owns 10 starts in 12 appearances and has totaled 39 strikeouts through 47.2 innings of work… She owns a record of 3-6… Freshman RHP Delaney Heller is 2-0 with an impressive 0.56 ERA… In 6 appearances and 25.0 innings of work, she has allowed just 2 earned runs while totaling 10 strikeouts.
A LOOK BACK AT THE SAN DIEGO CLASSIC I: The Toreros came away with a 2-3 record, collecting wins against Detroit Mercy (6-4) and UC Davis (7-6)… Lauren Kane batted .571 for the tournament with 8 hits in 14 trips to the plate… She score twice and added 2 doubles, 1 triple and 3 RBI… Sophomore 2B Frankie Perales batted .385 (5-13), while freshman SS Sara Silveyra batted .333 (5-15) with 3 doubles and a game-winning 3-run triple against UC Davis in the bottom of the 7th inning… Freshman RHP Delaney Heller was superb in her first action of the season… She made five relief appearances and allowed just one run over 18 innings of work (0.39 ERA; #9 in NCAA)… She earned the save against Detroit Mercy and collected her first win against UC Davis (4.0 innings, 0 runs, 4 hits, 4 strikeouts)… Lauren Berriatua got the win on the mound against Detroit Mercy, giving up just one earned run through 3.0 innings and totaling 3 strikeouts.
UPCOMING TORERO SCHEDULE FOR GAUCHO CLASSIC 1: Friday, March 10: (11:00 a.m.) vs. George Washington; (3:30 p.m.) vs. Sacred Heart. Saturday, March 11: (11:00 a.m.) vs. George Washington. Sunday, March 12: (11:00 a.m.) vs. Northern Colorado; (1:30 p.m.) vs. UC Santa Barbara.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS:
George Washington: The Colonials own a record of 6-6 and have won four straight… Senior INF Paige Kovalsky is batting .432 with 11 runs, 5 doubles, 11 RBI… Freshman C/INF Jenna Cone is batting .366 with 10 runs, 5 HR, 18 RBI… Junior RHP Sarah Costlow owns a 2.68 ERA, 4-2 record, 34.0 innings and 19 strikeouts… Head Coach James DeFeo is in his first year… Last season finished 23-29 overall (10-13/6th place in Atlantic-10).
Sacred Heart: The Pioneers are 3-7 and are coming off two losses (8-0, 3-2) at CSUN… Last week Sacred Heart went 0-4 at the ShareSLO Mustang Classic… Senior Kelyn Fillmore is batting .478 with 9 RBI and 3 doubles; senior Victoria D’Addario is batting .321 with 5 RBI and 3 doubles… Senior RHP Jamie Carlson owns a 2.21 ERA with 23 strikeouts over 28.1 innings of work… The Pioneers went 13-34-2 in 2016 and 4-12 in the NEC.
Northern Colorado: The Bears own a record of 5-14 and are coming off an 8-5 loss to Colorado State on Tuesday… The team recently went 1-2 vs. New Mexico over March 4-5… Season leaders include: Senior INF Erica Dick (.333 B.A., 9 runs, 3 HR, 8 RBI), sophomore C/INF Jordyn Wiatrak (.321 B.A., 7 doubles, 4 HR, 12 RBI) and senior pitcher Jayme Reddacliff (4-8 record, 5.12 ERA, 63.1 innings, 33 strikeouts)… Head Coach Shana Easley is in her 5th season… Members of the Big Sky Conference, in 2016 the team finished 9-33 overall and 4-14 in the Big Sky Conference.
UC Santa Barbara: Santa Barbara owns a 9-10 record and just recently went 5-0 at the St. George Red Desert Classic… Four of the five wins were decided by two runs or less… In their most recent win, FR INF Alyssa Dick had the game-winning RBI double in the 8th inning for a 7-6 win over Nebraska-Omaha… Season leaders include junior OF Jessica Johnston - .377 B.A., 6 doubles, 2 HR, 7 RBI; sophomore INF Sierra Altmeyer (.310 B.A., 4 HR, 11 RBI) and RHP Veronika Gulvin, 6-4 record, 3.82 ERA, 51.1 innings, 35 strikeouts.
TORERO SOFTBALL NOTES:
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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