No. 22 Softball Begins Busy Week Hosting Texas Tech, Monmouth
The Beach will then close the week at the LMU Invitational.
Long Beach, Calif. -
• Softball closes out its home portion of the non-conference slate this week, hosting Texas Tech on Wednesday, March 14th before welcoming Monmouth on the 15th. Both games are scheduled to start at 2 p.m.
• Following the two games at the LBSU Softball Complex, Long Beach State heads up the 405 to play three games over the weekend at Loyola Marymount against Fairfield, Colgate and the host Lions.
• LBSU is having success in all facets of the game, as the Beach ranks in the nation’s top teams in batting average, ERA and fielding percentage on the season.
• Eye-popping offensive numbers mark the first part of the season for Long Beach State. Starting the week the 49ers are hitting .308 as a team, 42nd in the nation, and also rank 72nd in slugging percentage among all teams in Division I.
• The Beach has also done it with defense - no player has more than two errors on the season and Long Beach State ranks 9th in the nation with a .982 fielding percentage.
• Sophomore Cielo Meza has been the anchor for the Long Beach State pitching staff. Throwing a no-hitter against No. 21 Minnesota, last year’s Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year is now 11-2 with a 1.69 ERA, and ranks ninth nationally with 116 strikeouts, best in the Big West.
• Meza struck out 85 batters in 67.2 innings pitched before missing the second half of the 2016 season with injury, and her recovery stretched through the first 30 games of 2017. Once back in action, Meza finished the 2017 with a 1.26 ERA, 20th best in the nation one year ago.
• Nichole Fry had another outstanding week, driving in the game-winner against Boston, as well as going 2-for-2 with three RBI against UCLA. Fry begins the week second in the country in doubles with 10, and fourth in total hits with 39, batting .433 on the season.
• Naomi Hernandez had a hot start to the season, and is still finding success in her first season of collegiate softball. Hernandez is second on the team with a .388 batting average, leads the team with 12 walks, and ranks 37th nationally with 33 hits in 2018.
• Despite bringing in 10 newcomers, the Beach is very experienced entering the 2018 season, featuring 15 upperclassman in a mix of returners, Division I transfers and junior college additions.
• A two-year starter at second base for Ole Miss, Grayce Majam is returning to her native California for her final season of college softball, and has settled in quickly at Long Beach State. Majam has started all 26 games for the Beach and is hitting .338 with three doubles, third-best on the team.
• Long Beach State’s third Division I transfer, Jamie Wren, had the best week of her season in Palm Springs and is now hitting .289, fourth on the team, and has a pair of stolen bases to go along with 10 RBI on the year.
• Jessica Flores continues to play two ways, and is finding success in both. Hitting .288 with three doubles, a team-high four stolen bases and 10 RBI, the senior has also made 10 appearances in the circle, throwing 33.1 innings including a complete game shutout against Santa Clara.
• Along with Meza and Flores, Long Beach State returns one other pitcher in sophomore Devyn Magnett, Magnett has played in important role in the circle so far for the Beach, going 5-4 over 51.0 innings pitched while providing another steady option in the circle.
• Senior LT Torres made a position switch in 2018, moving to third base after starting for three years at second base. The switch hasn’t been an issue however, as Torres is hitting .279 with 8 RBI and just two errors in 26 starts in 2018.
• Senior Julia Lombardi has rejoined the starting lineup for the Beach, hitting .286 with four RBI in 12 starts this season.
• Taylor Rowland tied a pair of school records in the record win against Buffalo, hitting a pair of home runs and finishing with 7 RBI, tying the school record set by Ashlynn Booker in 2014. Rowland, a sophomore transfer from Tennessee is batting .268 and is tied for the team lead with three home runs.
• Junior Tierra Falo had a strong start to the season. Earning All-Tournament Team honors in Puerto Vallerta, Falo has three home runs and is third on the team with 17 RBI.
• Behind the dish, Long Beach State will once again rely on senior Lauren MacLeod, who started 47 of the team’s 52 games one season ago. Freshman Justine Briones has also helped shoulder the load, starting nine games this season while hitting .269.
• A trio of returning players will help Long Beach State capitalize on baserunners, with senior Rachel Loera, sophomore Andrea Guzman and redshirt freshman Taylor Tiger providing additional speed from the bench for the Beach.
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