Awards Abound For Dirtbags & 49er Softball • Long Beach Post

Sometimes it seems like it’s just not fair for the rest of the Big West Conference.  

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During the past few weeks, CSULB has swept conference awards in several different sports.  From Brent Gray and Chris Richardson in track & field to Paul Lotman and Mike Klipsch in men’s volleyball, the 49ers have accumulated some major hardware.  Well, there was no reason to think that the success wouldn’t translate to the diamond.

Dirtbag ace Andrew Liebel was named conference Pitcher of the Week on the same day that star shortstop Danny Espinosa smashed a grand-slam in the first inning to lead a 10-0 rout of San Diego State, comepleting the 49ers’ season sweep of the Aztecs.  The win gave the Dirtbags wtheir 12th win in the last 17 games after a mid-season slump that nearly left the team for dead.  Heading into a key series with conference-leading Fullerton, the Dirtbags are rolling and ready to fulfill the potential they have teased us with all season.  

With Liebel smoking and Espinosa slugging, stay tuned for the final season stretch.  They’ll travel to Cal Poly SLO this weekend before returning to Blair Field for a match against Oregon State, followed by the season-ending Fulleton series.

To everyone’s surprise, the 49er softball team has taken the season by storm on their way to a strong 39-15 record.  To no one’s surprise, they garnered nine conference awards for their performances.

Freshman pitcher Brooke Turner added to her already chock-full trophy case with her recent Big West Pitcher of the Year and Freshman Pitcher of the Year awards.  Tuner posted a ridiculous 26-4 record this season and is sure to set her sights on Creighton’s hitters this weekend when the team travels to Iowa for the NCAA Regional Championships.

Head coach Kim Sowder is always one to deflect attention from herself to her squad, but the Big West paid no mind and awarded her with the Conference Co-Coach of the Year award.  Senior catcher Brooke LeSage was named the conference’s first-team catcher in her impressive farewell season, and a slew of other 49ers also took home trophies.  Click here for the full list.

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