SAN DIEGO - The Torero softball team (13-15) will play their final tune-up before West Coast Conference play gets underway on April 8th. On Wednesday, March 29th, the Toreros will host the UC Riverside Highlanders (18-10) in a 2:00 p.m. contest at the USD Softball Complex.
PARKING FEES: Fans planning to attend Wednesday’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: The Toreros head into Wednesday’s game with a 13-15 overall record… Taylor Spence (.429 B.A., 39 hits) continues to lead all WCC players in both departments… Sara Silveyra ranks third in the WCC in batting average (.394)… Olivia Sandusky leads the Toreros with 5 HR and 21 RBI… Kailey Hill has 4 homers and a team-best 8 doubles, and is tied with Sandusky with 21 RBI… Lauren Kane is hitting a solid .308 with 6 doubles, 3 HR and 18 RBI… In the pitching department, Delaney Heller owns a team-best 3.42 ERA… Megan Sabbatini leads the team in innings pitched (70.1) and strikeouts (51)… Lauren Berriatua leads the squad with 5 wins… USD’s .290 team batting average ranks second to BYU (.299) among WCC teams.
RECAPPING LAST WEEK: The Toreros began the week with a 4-3 come-from-behind home victory over DePaul; then went 1-3 at the Gaucho Classic II Tournament… Two of the three losses were close one-run decisions to Seattle (3-2) and UCSB (4-3)… USD did come away with a 7-5 win over Seattle on March 25th… For the five games the Toreros were paced by Shannon McKeon (.500 B.A., 5-for-10, 4 runs), Taylor Spence (.438 B.A., 7-for-16, 7 runs), Sara Silveyra (.385 B.A., 5-for-13, 2 runs, 3 RBI) and Olivia Sandusky (.294 B.A., 5-for-17, 2 HR, 5 RBI)… Pitchers Megan Sabbatini (2.25 ERA, 18.2 innings) and Lauren Berriatua (4.34 ERA, 9.2 innings) each went 1-1 for the week.
SCOUTING UC RIVERSIDE: The Highlanders come to town with an overall record of 18-10… The Highlanders have won 9-of-10 including a pair of one-run victories against Pacific from the WCC… Sophomore INF Hannah Rodriguez is batting .417 with 7 doubles, 11 RBI… She is followed by junior OF Jenna Curtan (.377 B.A., 18 RBI)… Senior INF Haley Harris leads the team with 20 RBI… Sophomore RHP Anessa Cepeda is 6-0 with a 1.54 ERA… Junior RHP Tayler Misfeldt is 7-1 with a 4.23 ERA and team-best 44 strikeouts… Head Coach Nikki Palmer is in her 1st year… UCR is 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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