SAN DIEGO - The Torero softball team (11-12), coming off two-of-three wins over Cal State Bakersfield, return to the USD Sports Complex on Tuesday, March 21st, with an 11:30 a.m. contest against DePaul University (13-11). USD will close out the week with four games in the Gaucho Classic II Tournament in Santa Barbara, California. The Toreros will face Seattle University and UC Santa Barbara on March 24th and 25th. Friday’s games will be at 10:00 a.m. (Seattle U.) and 3:00 p.m. (UCSB). On Saturday the game times will be 9:00 a.m. (Seattle U.) and 11:15 a.m. (UCSB).
PARKING FEES: Fans planning to attend Tuesday’s game at the USD Softball Complex, please be advised that there is 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.
A GLANCE AT TORERO LEADERS: After four games this past week, the Toreros have improved their team batting average to an even .300 (185-617)… Sophomore Taylor Spence continues to lead the Toreros in batting average (.427) to go with team-highs of 18 runs, 32 hits and 10 multi-hit games. Freshman Sara Silveyra ranks second with her .397 B.A., and both players are currently riding 10-game hitting streaks. Junior Kailey Hill, following her 4-for-4 game with 1 HR and 5 RBI against CSUB on Sunday, leads the team with 4 HR’s, 7 doubles and 18 RBI. Sophomore Lauren Kane is up to a .338 B.A. and ranks third in RBI (15) and is tied for second in doubles (6). Senior OF Olivia Sandusky is second in both RBI (16) and home runs (3). Freshman Delaney Heller leads the pitching group in wins (4), saves (2), ERA (2.92) and innings pitched (52.2). With their 4-hit games on Sunday, both Hill and Kane tied the single game record for hits. Kane’s 2 HR’s also tied a Torero mark, while her 6 RBI were just one off the all-time record.
WCC UPDATE: The Toreros currently trail BYU (18-7) in the West Coast Conference standings, but are ahead of Pacific (12-16), Saint Mary’s (10-15), LMU (10-16) and Santa Clara (7-17). USD’s .300 B.A. is second only to BYU’s .312 mark. Taylor Spence leads all WCC players in hits (32) and batting average (.427)… Silveyra’s .397 batting average ranks third.
TOREROS TAKE 2 OF 3 FROM CSU-BAKERSFIELD: The Toreros won the first and third games of the three-game series this past weekend against the visiting CSU-Bakersfield Road Runners. USD earned a split in Saturday's doubleheader, winning game one (6-5) before dropping the nightcap 8-0.
In game one Lindsay Clare's RBI single in the bottom of the 7th broke a 5-5 tie to give the Toreros their 10th win of the season. Clare went 2-for-4 at the plate and was joined by three teammates with two hits each - Taylor Spence, Sara Silveyra and Frankie Perales. Olivia Sandusky was 1-for-3 with 2 runs and 2 RBI. Delaney Heller improved to 4-1 as she pitched the final 6.2 innings, scattering 2 hits and giving up just one unearned run. In Saturday’s second game, CSUB's Summer Evans scattered 7 hits over 7.0 innings as the Road Runners blanked the Toreros 8-0. Leadoff hitter Taylor Spence was the lone Toreros to get 2 hits.
On Sunday the Toreros dealt the Road Runners a 16-8 defeat. Sophomore Lauren Kane and junior Kailey Hill combined to go 8-for-8 at the plate with 3 HR and 11 RBI. Kane, hitting in the 6th spot, was a perfect for 4-for-4 with 2 home runs, 1 double, 3 runs scored and 6 RBI. Hill was just as good from the 2nd spot in the line-up, going 4-for-4 with 2 runs and 5 RBI. It was Hill’s RBI single in the bottom of the 5th that was the game-winner as USD walked off with the 8-run mercy rule victory.
The Toreros jumped out to a 7-0 lead after two innings with 2 runs in the first and 5 more in the second. Hill keyed the second inning with a 2-run blast over the left field fence. The Road Runners would get untracked in the third with 2 runs and follow up with 5 more runs in the top of the 4th to knot the score at 7-all. San Diego answered with 5 runs in the bottom of the 4th to take back control. In the inning Kane had an RBI double and Hill singled to right that knocked in both Taylor Spence and Shannon McKeon. In the 4-run 5th, Kane added her second homer of the game, this time a 2-run shot that also scored Madison Casiano. Lauren Berriatua, who came on in relief of Delaney Heller, picked up the win on the mound for the Toreros. For the game the Toreros banged out 18 hits.
SCOUTING DEPAUL: The Blue Demons come to town with a record of 13-11… This past weekend they went 2-3 in the LMU Tournament coming away with wins over Dartmouth (6-2) and LMU (12-7)… Junior SS Haydn Christensen (Chula Vista, CA) leads the team in batting (.299)… Junior Megan Leyva (San Diego, CA) owns 5 RBI & 14 RBI while senior Nicole Pihl also owns 5 RBI and a team-high 16 RBI… Freshman RHP Missy Zoch (6-4, 3.28 ERA) and junior RHP Kennedy Garcia (6-4, 3.70 ERA) lead the pitching staff… Head Coach Eugene Lenti is in his 36th year… DePaul is a member of the Big East Conference.
SCOUTING SEATTLE UNIVERSITY: The Toreros faced Seattle back on Feb. 12th in Tempe, Arizona and came away with an 8-1 victory at the Kajikawa Classic … USD broke open a 3-1 game with 4 doubles and 4 runs in the bottom of the 4th inning to pull away… Seattle owns an 8-19 record and this past weekend went 2-3 at the Grizz Classic in Missoula, Montana… Seattle earned 6-5 and 10-1 wins over Maine, and dropped three to Montana, including two games by just one run… Freshman OF Cherise Silvan leads the team in hitting (.417) and is followed by junior OF Nicole Bolasky (.415)… Freshman 1B Madison Cathcart owns 19 RBI and 5 doubles… Sophomore pitcher Andie Larkins is the workhorse on the mound (4-12 record, 4.32 ERA, 47 K’s)… Head Coach Geoff Hirai is in his 2nd year… Seattle is a member of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC).
SCOUTING UC SANTA BARBARA: The UCSB Gauchos own an overall record of 12-14… They are currently riding a 4-game skid that follows an 8-game winning streak… Earlier this month they defeated San Diego 7-4 on March 12th in the Gaucho Classic I… Junior OF Jessica Johnston leads with her .373 B.A. and 10 doubles… Sophomore INF Sierra Almeyer (San Diego, Calif.) is batting .342 with 14 RBI and 5 HR… Sophomore RHP Veronika Gulvin owns an 8-6 record with a 3.68 ERA in 80.0 innings of work… Head Coach Brie Galicinao is in her 10th year… The Gauchos are a member of the Big West Conference.
TORERO SOFTBALL NOTES:
MAC ATTACK: Head Coach Melissa McElvain (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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