49ers visit first-place UC Davis in Big West Conference softball action
April 10, 2012
49ERS VISIT FIRST-PLACE UC DAVIS: Long Beach State travels to UC Davis for a crucial Big West Conference three-game series this weekend. The 49ers are in a three-way tie for second place after two weekends of play with a 4-2 record, while UC Davis sits alone in first place with a 5-1 record. If the first two weekends are any indication, the three games between the Aggies and 49ers should be low scoring pitching duels. UCD heads into the series with a 1.20 ERA in six conference games, while LBSU has an ERA of 1.58. Davis pitchers have struck out a league-best 58 hitters in 41 innings, while Long Beach State is second with 37 strikeouts in 40 innings. Offensively, LBSU has the statistical advantage with a .255 batting average in league games, while UCD is hitting just .220. Individually, LBSU will send Taylor Petty (1.25 ERA) and Erin Jones-Wesley (1.98 ERA) into the circle to face Justine Vela (0.52 ERA) and Jessica Thweatt (2.47 ERA). In league games, Vela leads the Big West in ERA, strikeouts (44), wins (4) and opposing batting average (.124).
JONES-WESLEY NAMED BIG WEST CONFERENCE PITCHER OF THE WEEK THREE TIMES THIS SEASON, NINE TIMES DURING CAREER: Sophomore Erin Jones-Wesley has been named the Big West Conference Pitcher of the Week three times this season, running her career total to nine weekly awards. Jones-Wesley claimed back-to-back awards on Feb. 13 and Feb. 20 before winning the award for a third time on March 19. The reigning Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year claimed six weekly honors in 14 weeks last season. She heads into this weekend's series vs. Cal Poly with 12 wins and a 2.48 ERA.
NEAL LEADS LBSU IN HITTING; SIXTH IN BIG WEST: Junior college transfer Cya Neal heads into the UC Davis series with a team-best .359 batting average. The 49er second baseman is 37-for-103 with 13 runs scored. She ranks sixth in the Big West in batting average, while sitting seventh in hits.
Neal started her Long Beach State career with a four-game hitting streak in the Las Vegas Tournament, including a pair of two-hit games in her first two games. Overall she has 10 multi-hit games including a pair of three-hit games against Maine and Nevada.
DE GAETANO AND TUPUA-TAUTALATASI WIN BIG WEST PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARDS: Sophomore Hannah De Gaetano and freshman Leilani Tupua-Tautalatasi have both been named Big West Conference Players of the Week this season.
Tupua-Taulatasi won the award after her first five career games during which she batted .368 with a home run and two RBI, while finishing with a .632 slugging percentage. She went 7-for-19 at the plate with a home run, a triple, and two RBI.
De Gaetano claimed the honor after batting .500 with two home runs and five RBI at the Louisville Slugger Desert Classic in Las Vegas during the season's second weekend. The sophomore had multiple hits in three of LBSU's games in the tournament including three vs. Indiana and two against both Texas Tech and Memphis. She also had a pair of RBI against both Indiana and Ohio State.
49ERS BATTLING INJURY BUG: Long Beach State coach Kim Sowder has had to juggle her lineup for most of the season thanks to a rash of injuries to a number of LBSU starters. Four projected starters among the position players have combined to miss a number of games forcing Sowder to move players to various positions. Senior Alisha Rosen, junior Bree Stephan, and sophomores Karli Sandoval and Sarah Carrasco have all missed games in the first two months of the season. Rosen's injury has forced Sowder to move Hannah De Gaetano from left field to third base. In addition, senior pitcher Taylor Petty saw her first action of the season at UCSB after battling an illness the first two months of the season.