Softball finishes fifth in Big West conference standings

Archive/HIGHLANDER

The UC Riverside softball team finished the season with a record of 8-13 in Big West conference play and 25-28 overall. The eight conference wins and 25 overall wins set a new UCR softball Division I record. The Highlanders finished fifth in the conference standings, exceeding expectations of a preseason coaches poll that had UCR finishing last in the conference.

Instead, the Highlanders ended up missing the postseason by one spot while faring well against non-conference teams going 17-15. The Highlanders only played against one ranked team this season which was no. 1 UC Berkeley. The Highlanders lost that game 0-10.

Notable moments this season for the Highlanders include the UCR Tournament, where they took home three victories out of four games. UCR also won a three-game series against CSU Fullerton, winning the series 2-1. The series win proved valuable in securing the fifth spot in the conference standings. The Highlanders also swept the CSU Northridge Matadors, which was their only sweep of the season.

Junior outfielder Kayla White was the only Highlander to be named to the All-Big West First
Team. White had four triples for the season, leading the conference with a slugging percent of .551. White also finished third in the conference for RBIs, doubles and stolen bases.

Catcher Alexis Pickett was named to the All-Big West Second Team. Pickett had a 13-game hitting streak stretching from Feb. 24 to March 9, which was the longest such streak on the team this season. The Fairfield, CA native also had a slugging percentage of .399.

Third-basemen Kaylie Atkinson made the Honorable Mention Team in her freshman year, having a .421 slugging percentage and 18 RBIs for the season.

At the conclusion of the season, the athletic department decided not to renew softball head coach Connie Miner’s contract, ending her eight year tenure at UCR. Miner had a conference record of  41-142  and 163-319 overall.

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