Jan. 31, 2012
FULLERTON, CA - The Cal State Fullerton softball team was picked to finish third in the race for the 2012 Big West Conference title according to a vote of the league's head coaches released on Tuesday by the conference office.
The Titans received 42 points to finish behind defending champion Pacific and Long Beach State, which received four first-place votes and 59 points apiece to stand tied atop the poll. UC Santa Barbara (37 points) was picked a close fourth followed by Cal State Northridge (34), Cal Poly (26), UC Davis (20), and UC Riverside (12).
Fullerton finished third in the Big West race a season ago with a 12-9 mark in conference play to go along with a 23-24 overall record. The Titans return eight starters and a pair of pitchers while welcoming seven newcomers to the fold for the 2012 season which opens on Feb. 9 at the Texas Classic in Austin, TX.
Leading the way for the returners is senior infielder Nicole Johnson, an all-conference honorable mention selection who hit a team-high .331 to go with five home runs, and 17 RBI a season ago, as well as junior all-conference outfielder Ashley Carter, who hit .312 with a trio of triples, 14 walks, and eight RBI.
In the circle, junior Katey Laban returns after earning all-conference honorable mention honors a season ago, finishing 5-7 overall with a 3.40 ERA and a .270 average against. In conference play, Laban was 5-3 with a 2.66 ERA and a .268 average against in 12 appearances.
Play at the Texas Classic begins on Feb. 9 with the Titans and host Longhorns clashing at 5 p.m. PT in a game televised on the Longhorn Network and runs through the weekend.
Fullerton's round-robin tournament schedule also includes games against Colorado State on Friday (Feb. 10) at 12 p.m. PT and Texas-San Antonio on Saturday (Feb. 11) at 8 a.m. PT. Tournament semifinals begin at 2 p.m. PT on Saturday afternoon with the Consolation and Championship games held on Sunday (Feb. 12) beginning at 7 and 10 a.m. PT, respectively.
2012 BIG WEST CONFERENCE SOFTBALL COACHES POLL
t1. Pacific (4) - 59 points
t1. Long Beach State (4) - 59
3. Cal State Fullerton - 42
4. UC Santa Barbara - 37
5. Cal State Northridge - 34
6. Cal Poly - 26
7. UC Davis - 20
8. UC Riverside - 12