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Mustang Softball Welcomes UC Davis to Cap Six-Game Home Stand

COMPLETE SERIES PREVIEW (pdf)

SERIES PREVIEW: JENNY CONDON

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The Cal Poly softball program completes a six-game home stand when hosting UC Davis for a three-game April 21-22 set at Bob Janssen Field. The series opens with a 12 noon doubleheader on Saturday, April 21 before closing with a 12 noon single contest the following Sunday. The Mustangs (11-26, 3-6) improved to sixth place in the Big West Conference standings after winning two of three games against Cal State Northridge this past weekend. UC Davis (16-24, 6-3), meanwhile, worked itself in to a three-way knot for second place in the Big West standings with Long Beach State (18-21, 6-3) and UC Santa Barbara (21-25, 6-3) after sweeping last-place UC Riverside (18-23, 1-8). The second game of Saturday's doubleheader against UC Davis will mark Cal Poly's 900th game at the Division I level (1995-present).

HOW TO ENJOY MUSTANG SOFTBALL THIS WEEK:
Dave Grant returns to the headset to provide play-by-play detail for each series matchup against UC Davis HERE. Tweet Grant @DaveCPMustangs with in-game thoughts and questions. Live stats and streaming video from each game versus UC Davis will also be available HERE.

CAL POLY VERSUS UC DAVIS:
A three-game sweep by the Aggies during the 2010 campaign ranks as Cal Poly's only series defeat against UC Davis through seven series meetings. The Mustangs hold a 14-7 all-time advantage against the Aggies and feature a 5-4 edge in games at Bob Janssen Field. 

WESTLUND REMAINS CAL POLY'S CATALYST: Sophomore shortstop Kim Westlund, freshly installed as Cal Poly's leadoff hitter, enters Saturday's doubleheader against UC Davis having hit safely in seven-straight games and remains one of only three Big West players to rank among the top-10 conference performers for batting average (.351), slugging percentage (.468), on-base percentage (.413), hits (39), RBI (21) and total bases (52). Westlund, also first among Mustangs with 10 multi-hit games and four multi-RBI games, has reached base successfully during 32 of 36 contests this season and hit safely 28 times. A consistent threat in the Cal Poly lineup since batting safely during her first 11 collegiate games last season, Westlund has started 81 of a possible 84 contests during her Mustang career.

YATES MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR THE MUSTANGS: After failing to produce a victory during her first six collegiate starts, freshman righthander Jordan Yates (above) has won three times since April 1 and, since the start of Big West play, lowered her ERA more than three points to a season-low 5.85 figure. Making her victories count for the Mustangs, Yates helped provide Cal Poly its first Big West win of 2012 by striking out five Cal State Fullerton batters as part of a 4-1 triumph (April 1). In a 4-3, 10-inning win at Fresno State (April 9), Yates walked just four Bulldogs during a 133-pitch, complete-game effort as Cal Poly snapped a 12-game, 17-season slide at Bulldog Diamond. Yates then returned during a 3-1 victory against Cal State Northridge (April 15) and failed to allow a walk in her seventh complete-game effort of 2012.

GERHART IN THE ZONE: Cal Poly's most productive hitter of late, junior center fielder Whitley Gerhart takes a .417 batting average in nine Big West games into Saturday's doubleheader against UC Davis. Gerhart, without a multi-hit game during her initial 108 appearances as a Mustang, has collected three such outings during Cal Poly's last nine games. Also without a collegiate home run during her opening 102 games, Gerhart has socked three long balls through Cal Poly's previous 15 contests. Defensively, Gerhart is a .984 career fielder.

VOGELSANG ON A TEAR: Sophomore first baseman Madi Vogelsang opened the 2012 campaign without a collegiate hit, but enters Saturday's doubleheader against UC Davis ranked fifth among Big West hitters with eight doubles and eighth with four homers. Vogelsang had produced just two hits (neither for extra bases) during Cal Poly's opening six games this season before belting a pair of homers versus then-No. 22 Nebraska (Feb. 25) to help drive the Mustangs to a 14-7 triumph. She added her third homer of the season during an 8-2 victory against Nevada (March 4) before swatting a fourth in a 3-1 home triumph versus Cal State Northridge (April 15). Vogelsang is also Cal Poly's leader with 12 extra-base hits and ranks second with 45 total bases. After making just three starts at first base as a freshman in 2011, Vogelsang has started all 37 games this season. Her .996 fielding percentage with just one error in 243 chances this season ranks as the second-highest figure among Big West players.

MUSTANGS POWER UP: Junior Whitley Gerhart and sophomores Mariah Cochiolo and Madi Vogelsang collectively entered the 2012 season without a collegiate homer, but the trio has provided 82 percent of Cal Poly's long balls this season. Principally, Vogelsang – who entered the year without a collegiate hit – enjoyed a highlight afternoon when swatting a pair of homers to help Cal Poly down then-No. 22 Nebraska, 14-7 (Feb. 25). Overall, Vogelsang paces Cal Poly and ranks eighth among Big West hitters with four homers this season. Not surprisingly, Cal Poly is 6-3 when homering this season, but just 2-18 when the opponent homers.

FIELDING A TURNAROUND: A year after committing the second most errors (71) among Big West programs and ranking second from bottom in fielding percentage (.953), Cal Poly enters Saturday's doubleheader against UC Davis pacing all conference programs in fielding percentage (.963) and fewest errors committed (39). Leading the way on an individual basis for Cal Poly is sophomore first baseman Madi Vogelsang, whose .996 fielding mark through 243 chances ranks as the second best figure among Big West players.

MUSTANGS FACE NATION'S FINEST IN 2012:
In what has become a hallmark of head coach Jenny Condon's eight-year tenure, Cal Poly has again contested one of the most competitive schedules in Division I softball during the 2012 campaign. In total, 11 of Cal Poly's opening 34 games occurred against programs ranked or receiving votes at some point this season in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll (ranking from date of game).

BIG WEST CONFERENCE RESHUFFLES THE DECK: Hawai'i, currently ranked No. 14 in the March 27 edition of the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll, will join the Big West for the 2012-13 academic term while San Diego State will become a conference member prior to the 2014 season. Reigning Big West champion Pacific, however, will depart the Big West for the West Coast Conference prior to the 2013-14 term.

LOOKING AHEAD (APRIL 23-29): Cal Poly visits Big West leader Pacific (28-14, 7-2) for a three-game April 28-29 series at Bill Simoni Field in Stockton, Calif. Despite trailing in the all-time series against the Tigers, 26-21, the Mustangs have won the previous three series at Pacific dating to the 2006 season. With the Tigers transitioning to the West Coast Conference for the 2013-14 season, the forthcoming series at Pacific will be Cal Poly's last visit as a Big West member.  Prior to hosting the Mustangs, Pacific visits UC Santa Barbara for a three-game April 21-22 set.

ETC.: The 14 runs scored by UCLA during both ends of a March 27 doubleheader matched a year-old program record for total runs conceded by Cal Poly. The 18 hits collected during the second game by UCLA, meanwhile, established a new opponent record … Cal Poly's 20-game road trip to open the season marked the third lengthiest away stretch in program history while a March 23 home opener marked the latest date on the calendar that the Mustangs contested their first game of the year at Bob Janssen Field … Cal Poly's 10-game home stand between March 23-April 1 ranked as the program's lengthiest home stretch in 18 Division I seasons … Cal Poly first and only victory when committing more errors than the opponent, drawing fewer walks, striking out more and trailing after the sixth inning came during a 4-3, 10-inning triumph at Fresno State (April 9) … the 10-inning victory at Fresno State was Cal Poly's lengthiest game since defeating Utah State, 4-3, in 13 innings (March 8, 2009) … the game at Fresno State also marked the first time under eighth-year head coach Jenny Condon that Cal Poly had played a non-conference game once starting its Big West schedule.