#23 San Diego State Softball Preview

San Diego State
Overall Rank: #23
Conference Rank: #1 Mountain West Conference
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Head Coach Kathy Van Wyk begins her 16th season after leading Aztecs to a 34-21 record and fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in the past six years. The Aztecs begin the 2012 season on the road for the fifth consecutive season playing in the ASU Kajikawa Classic on February 9th against Texas Tech. The Aztecs also host three tournaments.
2011: 34-21, 8-5
2011 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Kathy Van Wyk

Field Players:
Sophomore Hayley Miles is pre-season first-team all-conference after being named Freshman of the Year. She batted .344 and stole nine of 13 bases. Named to the pre-season second team were senior Justeen Maeya, sophomore Lorena Klopp and sophomore Katie Mathis (.400). Klopp set four school records with a .633 slugging percentage, 25 extra base hits, 48 RBIs and 15 homers. A first baseman, Maeva led the team with a .348 average last season to go along with seven homers and 39 RBIs en route to being named a second-team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-West Region selection. Maeva's 54 hits tied Miles for the most on the team, and she was second in homers, RBIs, and on-base percentage (.420). Jessica Camello and Jen Wisneski, third and fourth best hitters, graduated and players remaining will have to step up and fill the void if the team is to improve on 2011 season. The Aztecs had a team BA of .284 in 2011 with 42 homers and team ERA of 2.75.

San Diego State senior Bailey Micetich was named the preseason Mountain West Pitcher of the Year by CollegeSportsMadness.com.  In three seasons on The Mesa, Micetich is 41-24 with a 2.06 ERA over 435 innings. She has 413 strikeouts and just 84 walks, while holding the opponents to a .251 batting average. Micetich ranks among the all-time leaders at San Diego State in 13 categories, including top-five marks in strikeouts per seven innings (second, 6.65), strikeout-to-walk ratio (third, 4.92), winning percentage (fifth, .631) and strikeouts (fifth). Other hurlers include Rebecca Arbino, Klopp (1-1) and Kamerin May (3-0).

Who To Watch:
Micetich is hoping to close out her career with another solid season and earn the Aztecs another NCAA berth. She was 20-12 in 2011 with a 1.85 ERA in 174.1 innings pitched.  

Final Projection:
The season will depend on how players improve from a year ago and if Micetich has an excellent season in the circle. The team lacks in pitching depth, however, and one of the other pitchers will need to develop into a solid No. 2 pitcher if the Aztecs are to improve on last year after the No. 2 hurler in 2011, Samanatha Beasley (10-8), graduated.

Projected Postseason: NCAA

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Justeen Maeva, 1B, 199
Hits:  Justeen Maeva, 1B, 54; Hayley Miles, UT, 54
Home Runs:  Lorena Klopp, OF, 15
RBIs:  Lorena Klopp, OF, 48
Runs: Hayley Miles, UT, 33
Stolen Bases: Hayley Miles, UT, 9

Wins: Bailey Micetich, P, 20
Innings Pitched: Bailey Micetich, P, 174.1
Strikeouts: Bailey Micetich, P, 164
Saves:  Kamerin May, P, 1