March 18, 2014
ON DECK: The Toreros (14-11) will host the Dartmouth Big Green (6-8) on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. at the USD Softball Complex. This will be their final tune-up before they welcome in UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State, and San Jose State for the second USD Tournament of the year, which starts Saturday.
SCOUTING THE BIG GREEN: Dartmouth comes to USD with a 6-8 record on the year... They are in the midst of a lengthy road trip through California; this past weekend they went 4-1 at the Gaucho Classic II at UC Santa Barbara and they will participate in the LMU Invitational this coming weekend... The Big Green have not played a home game yet this season... Offensively they are led by Kelsey Miller (.449, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 5 SB) and Karen Chaw (.333, 3 HR, 12 RBI)... Kristen Rumley has appeared in nine games (five starts) and has a 4-4 record with a 2.51 ERA... Dartmouth is coached by Rachel Hanson, who is in her fourth year with the program. Last year she helped the Big Green win a program record 15 Ivy League games while setting multiple offensive school records... The Toreros are 1-0 all-time against Dartmouth.
TOREROS SWEEP WEEKLY WCC AWARDS: USD swept the WCC Weekly Awards with Tatum Schultz being named Player of the Week and Cassidy Coleman being named Pitcher of the Week. Schultz led the team with a .474 average and had five runs and three RBI. Coleman went 3-1 with a 1.27 ERA and picked up her first save of the season. It was the first time Schultz has won a Player of the Week award and third time for Coleman, who was also named USD Student-Athlete of the Week and College Sports Madness' WCC Player of the Week.
WE'RE GOING STREAKING: After starting out the season 4-10, the Toreros have won 10 of their last 11 games. In that span, they have outscored opponents 50-20, while hitting .299. Their pitching staff has been the key to their recent success; in that stretch, USD pitchers have posted a 1.57 ERA and held opposing batters to a 1.74 average.
PITCHING AND DEFENSE:
The Toreros enter the week leading the WCC in fielding percentage (.966) and ERA (2.81). The Toreros have three starters, Dana Prelsnik
, Charly Swanberg
, and Caitlin Rooney
, who have not committed an error all season. The pitching staff is being anchored by their two senior aces: Cassidy Coleman
and Jenny Lahitte
. Over the past 11 games, Coleman in 5-1 with an ERA of 1.14 and Lahitte is 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA.
TOUGH OUT: Third baseman Chloe Kaneko, who leads the team with a .571 slugging percentage, has only struck out once in 57 at-bats. That rate makes her the toughest to strikeout in the WCC and puts her at 19th in the nation.
FAB FROSH: Freshman Olivia Sandusky has made immediate contributions for Coach McElvain. She enters the week leading the team in batting average (.346), stolen bases (five), tied for the team-lead in on-base percentage (.397), and second on the team in RBI (12).
RIVALRY GAME: The Toreros have added one game to their 2014 schedule, an April 29th home game against cross-town rival San Diego State. Both teams lost multiple games due to heavy rainfall during the San Diego Classic. The game will take place before the final WCC series of the year (at Santa Clara, May 10-11)
HOME SWEET HOME: The Toreros are in the midst of a stretch off 22 straight home games. The Toreros are 6-1 so far, but will face some tough competition this weekend when they host UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State, and San Jose State this weekend for the second USD Tournament.
PAIR OF ACES: The USD pitching staff, anchored by the formidable one-two punch of Cassidy Coleman and Jenny Lahitte, finished the 2013 campaign ranked 13th in the nation in team ERA (1.83). That also set a new USD record for single season team ERA. Coleman became the USD all-time career strikeout leader after recording 211 K's in 2013, good for second-most in school history. Lahitte, who had the best ERA in the PCSC last season (1.65), enters the season third in career strikeouts, third in career ERA (1.91), and tied for fourth in career shutouts (8).
KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE BALL: Caitlin Rooney proved to be a tough out during the 2013 season. Rooney finished the year ranked third in the NCAA in Toughest to Strikeout, averaging just one strikeout per 48.7 at-bats. Overall, Rooney (.281, 9 2B, 3B, 12 RBI) fanned just three times in 146 at-bats on the year.
WELCOME TO THE WCC: 2014 marks the inaugural season of softball in the WCC. With the addition of Pacific to the conference, the WCC was able to officially add softball as the conference's 14th sport. The conference champion will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
PRESEASON POLL: The Toreros were picked to finish fourth in the preseason WCC Coaches Poll. BYU was picked to finish first after earning all possible 25 points, followed by Pacific (19), LMU (16), San Diego (14), Saint Mary's 11, and Santa Clara (5). The Toreros had P Cassidy Coleman and 1B Caitlin Rooney selected to the All-WCC Preseason Team.
BACK FOR MORE: The Toreros return 16 letterwinners from 2013 including eight starting position players and both of their starting pitchers. Amongst the returners are five players who earned All-PCSC honors last year (Coleman, Rooney, Grabowski, Swanberg, and Kaneko).
MADNESS!: In addition to having two players selected to the preseason All-WCC team, the Toreros had five players chosen by College Sports Madness as preseason all-conference picks. Senior pitchers Cassidy Coleman and Jenny Lahitte were two of three pitchers selected to the first team. 1B Caitlin Rooney was also selected to the first team, while 3B Chloe Kaneko and OF Dana Prelsnik were chosen to the second team.