March 25, 2009
Complete Release in PDF Format
LONG BEACH - The Long Beach State softball team kicks off its Big West Conference slate this weekend as it welcomes UC Davis to the 49er Softball Complex for a three-game series. The two teams will open with a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday before closing out the action with a single game on Sunday (1 p.m.).
Long Beach State leads in its all-time series with UC Davis by a 12-3 count. The 49ers swept the Aggies last season, winning 1-0, 8-3 and 4-0 at LaRue Field in Davis. The Beach owns a 4-2 home record against UCD.
SCOUTING THE AGGIES
UC Davis dropped to 15-14 on the season after being swept in a doubleheader at Fresno State on Tuesday evening. The Aggies, who were picked to finish sixth in the Big West, have been paced by Belinda Paine's team-high 27 hits and .318 batting average. Kelly Harman and Rachel Miller have provided the power for UCD, combining for six of its 12 home runs on the year, while Miller also leads the squad with 12 RBI.
On the defensive end, Jessica Hancock has been the Aggies' ace, posting a 10-7 record and a 0.99 ERA. Hancock has compiled 121 strikeouts in 106.1 innings pitched. Alex Holmes, meanwhile, has also been solid in the circle with a 1.09 ERA and 61 strikeouts.
FOR BIG WEST OPENERS
Long Beach State is 13-7 in Big West Conference opening games and is 34-14 in series openers. Last year, the 49ers swept UC Davis on the road to kick off league play. The Beach is 14-4 all-time when opening BWC action in Long Beach.
HOME RUN DERBY
After going deep four times last weekend, the 2009 Long Beach State squad tied the third-highest single-season home run mark at 20. With 21 regular season games remaining, the 49ers have already surpassed the home run total from each of the last three years. The school record currently stands at 39, which was established in 2005.
GRIFFIN GOES DEEP
Senior Jennifer Griffin has powered the 49er offense with a team-best eight home runs and 27 RBI. The Whittier, Calif., native has gone deep in three of the 49ers' last four contests, including twice in the three-game series at defending national champion and sixth-ranked Arizona State. Griffin is also tops on the squad in slugging percentage (.667), on base percentage (.466), runs scored (26) and walks (23), while she is tied for second with a .333 batting average. Griffin's eight home runs currently ties her for fifth on the 49er single-season charts.
LINKE TAKES THE LEAD
Senior Danielle Linke (Whittier, Calif.) has taken over the leadoff spot in the lineup and has not disappointed as she is tops on the squad with a .337 batting average, 35 hits and eight doubles. She is also the 49ers' second-leading home run hitter with five on the season. Last weekend, Linke hit for a team-best .500 clip in the series at No. 6 Arizona State. On the season, she has posted 10 multiple-hit games with a perfect 4-for-4 performance against Liberty (Feb. 7).
Long Beach State continues Big West action next weekend as Cal State Northridge pays a visit to the 49er Softball Complex. LBSU and CSUN will play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 4, beginning at 1 p.m., and will conclude the series with a single game on Sunday, April 5 (1 p.m.).