April 19, 2017
SAN DIEGO - The Torero softball team (18-17, 4-2 WCC) returns to the USD Softball Complex this weekend for their final regular-season home stand of the season with a three-game WCC series against Santa Clara. Saturday's doubleheader begins at 12:00 noon, with Sunday's single game slated for 12 noon.
A GLANCE AT TORERO LEADERS: The Toreros enter the week with an overall record of 18-17. The Toreros are currently in second place in the WCC standings with their 4-2 record, trailing BYU (6-0). USD has won back-to-back WCC series against Pacific (2-1) and Saint Mary's College (2-1) to open league play. Sophomore Taylor Spence (.417 B.A., 48 hits) continues to lead all WCC players in both departments. Sara Silveyra ranks ninth in the WCC in batting average (.330). Olivia Sandusky (.292 B.A.) leads the Toreros with 6 HR and 29 RBI. She saw her team-best 14-game hitting streak come to an end in Saturday's 6-4 victory at Saint Mary's. Kailey Hill owns a team-best 9 doubles, and is second behind Sandusky with 25 RBI and 4 HR. Lauren Kane ranks fourth in batting average (.288) and has contributed 7 doubles, 3 HR and 20 RBI. Taylor Spence leads the team with 15 multi-hit games, and Olivia Sandusky leads with 7 multi- RBI games. In the pitching department, Delaney Heller owns a team-best 3.89 ERA. Megan Sabbatini leads the team in innings pitched (105.1), strikeouts (81), wins (8) and complete games (6). USD's .286 overall team batting average ranks second in the WCC behind BYU (.306).
FIVE SENIORS PLAYING FINAL HOME GAMES: Sunday's contest will be Senior Day for five Toreros playing their final regular-season home game -- Lauren Berriatua, Kelly Cobb, Lauren King, Megan Sabbatini and Olivia Sandusky. There will be a pre-game tribute beginning at approximately 11:40 am. Berriatua is a two-year performer from Belmont, California. This season the RHP pitcher currently owns a team-high 26 appearances and is 6-4 on the season. Last season she pitched a no-hitter against Saint Peter's in USD's 11-0 win (5 innings). Kelly Cobb is a three-year performer from Riverside, California. After sitting out the 2016 campaign, she returned this season to appear in 16 games in a reserve role at catcher. Cobb has been selected to the WCC Commissioner's Honor Roll twice. Lauren King is a three-year performer from nearby Vista, California. This season she has appeared in 18 games with 6 starts. Playing third base she owns a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage (21 chances). Last year she was the recipient of the team's Torero Award. Megan Sabbatini is a four-year pitcher from Hollister, California. Named the 2016 Team MVP and a First Team All-WCC honoree, last season she appeared on the mound 44 times (2nd all-time in USD records) with 30 starts, pitching 181.1 innings and totaling 171 strikeouts. This season she leads the team in wins (8), complete games (6), innings pitched (105.1) and strikeouts (81). Sabbatini's 283 career strikeouts ranks 5th all-time. She was tabbed the WCC Pitcher of the Week on April 10th. Olivia Sandusky is a four-year performer from Huntington Beach, California. The senior outfielder currently ranks in USD's top-10 in seven offensive categories -- batting average (.328, 10th), runs (102, t-8th), hits (177, 6th), doubles (29, 7th), home runs (15, 5th), RBI (100, t-5th) and total bases (257, 6th). Last season she was named USD's Offensive Player of the Year and a 2nd Team All-WCC honoree. She is a two-time WCC All-Academic selection and a two-time San Diego Hall of Champions Star of the Month.
WCC STANDINGS (thru April 18): BYU (6-0 WCC, 31-10), San Diego (4-2, 18-17), Santa Clara (3-3, 11-27), Saint Mary's (2-4, 15-23), Loyola Marymount (2-4, 16-26) and Pacific (1-5, 18-24).
WCC 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 San Diego (17), Saint Mary's (14), Pacific (10) and Santa Clara (5).
RECAPPING LAST WEEK: The Toreros earned their second straight WCC series win by defeating Saint Mary's College in two-of-three games in Moraga last weekend. In Friday's 4-0 victory, Megan Sabbatini tossed her 6th complete game as she scattered 4 hits and struck out six. Olivia Sandusky powered the offense with a 3-run homer. In Saturday's first game, SMC came away with a 3-0 win as they scored all three runs in the third inning. The Toreros put a runner on third in both the second and third innings, but failed to bring them in. Megan Sabbatini (8-9) took the loss for the Toreros, giving up three runs in 2.2 innings. Lauren Berriatua pitched the final 3.1 innings, allowing just two hits and no runs. In Saturday's 6-4 victory, the Toreros exploded for six runs in the top of the third. Lauren Kane got the scoring going with a bases loaded walk. Kailey Hill and Madison Casiano followed with back-to-back RBI singles to tie the game. Saint Mary's starter Katie Moss then had another bases loaded walk, which caused her to get pulled for Katlyn Whitt. The Toreros would score two more in the inning; one on a Sarah Stone RBI fielder's choice and another on a Lauren Berriatua RBI sacrifice fly, putting USD up 6-3. Berriatua pitched 5.1 innings in relief of starter and gave up just one unearned run on her way to her sixth win of the year. Sabbatini finished the game, picking up a one-out save via a strikeout.
SCOUTING THE SANTA CLARA BRONCOS: The SCU Broncos come to town with a 3-3 WCC record and 11-29 overall mark. On Tuesday evening they dropped a tough 6-5 decision at Stanford... Last weekend they went 1-2 against LMU in league play, dropping a 1-0 decision in game one; winning 1-0 in game two; losing 7-0 in the finale. Junior OF Ellie Fisher leads the offense with her .348 batting average. Senior INF Geenamarie Bonilla is second with her .333 B.A. mark, and leads the team with 12 doubles and 20 RBI. Junior RHP Micaela Vierra owns a team-best 3.76 ERA and is 5-10 on the season. Head Coach Lisa Mize is in her 8th season.
LOOKING AHEAD: The Toreros play a key 3-game WCC series at BYU (Provo, Utah) on April 28 (5:00 p.m. PT) and April 29 (11:00 a.m. & 1:00 p.m. PT).
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 letter winners 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 2017 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.
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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