LOS ANGELES -- The 2018 Loyola Marymount softball season gets started this weekend at the Cal State Fullerton Titan Classic. LMU will play five games overall over the three-day stretch. The Lions will first take the field on Friday when they face off against Pittsburgh at 10:30 a.m. and later take on UC Riverside at 3:30 p.m.
LMU plays Utah State on Saturday at 3 p.m. and then has two more games on Sunday, against Pittsburgh once again at 10 a.m. and Cal State Fullerton at 12:30 p.m.
Footage of this weekend's games can be streamed here.
"We have a good mix of upperclassmen and freshmen on our squad and I'm eager to see them compete against outside opponents this weekend," Lions head coach Sami Strinz-Ward said. "I'm proud of how our ladies have been preparing and I feel as though we are ready. The Titan Classic always draws a great level of competition so I'm looking forward to our team being challenged this weekend."
The Lions were slotted in a tie for a second-place finish along with the Pacific Tigers in the WCC Preseason Poll, while LMU seniors Brooke Christensen and Irma Sanchez and junior Hannah Bandimere were named to the 2018 All-WCC Preseason Softball Team.
Christensen was named to the All-WCC First Team following her 2017 season after finishing with a .292 batting average, 28 total hits and a .385 slugging percentage. In the 15-game league slate, she led the team with her .375 batting average, with 12 hits, including two doubles and two home runs. She scored five runs, had three RBIs, and a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage.
Sanchez took home All-WCC Second Team honors last season. She led the team hitting with a percentage of .315 for the year with 46 hits, seven doubles and three home runs. In WCC play, she batted .314 with 16 hits, including two doubles and five RBIs. In the field, she had 58 putouts, four assists and one error.
Bandimere posted a team leading 2.08 ERA in 2017. The pitcher earned a 6-4 record over 15 appearances as a sophomore last season (all starts), which included seven complete games and one combined shutout. She tossed a total of 80.2 innings with 52 strikeouts. Bandimere raked up a season-high eight strikeouts in a complete game against Saint Mary's on Apr. 30.
Following the Titan Classic, the Lions head to the Mary Nutter Invitational in Palm Springs from Feb. 17-19 before returning home to get the season started at Smith Field when they host their double-header home-opener on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 12 and 2:30 p.m. against Hawai'i.
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