Senior classy softballers Nalani St. Germain, Bree Stephan, Emily Gregorio and Dana Garcia deserved post-season play. Photo by John Fajardo.
This is our April showers brings June Flowers edition and we have best of the rest from the 2013 athletic year at Long Beach State. We start with the best team on campus that the NCAA overlooked Forty Niner softball.
Despite the fact that the team virtually rewrote the record books when the folks in the perfumed filled selection room for NCAA softball they lost the Long Beach number. As the Beach SIDs pointed out, “Picked to finish second in the Big West preseason poll, the 49ers did just that with a conference record of 17-7 as Hawai’i won the conference crown in its first year back in the Big West. Despite not receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, the 49ers’ season was a success with school records being set by both the team and its players.
LBSU finished the season with the top batting average in the conference, hitting .288 en route to a 37-20 overall record. That batting average broke the school record mark of .279, set during the 2011 season. The 49ers also smashed previous school records in runs with 266 (old record, 245, 2005) and home runs with 53 (old record 39, 2005), while also breaking the program’s RBI record of 225 (set in 2005) with 237.
Senior second baseman Nalani St. Germain broke the school record for career home runs with 30 (old record 24) and came close to breaking school marks in runs and RBI. She ended her career tied for second in runs with 119 (record is 121) and second in RBI with 114 (record is 115). St. Germain also ended her four-years at LBSU ranked 10th in hits (175), fourth in doubles (32), tied for third in walks (86) and fourth in stolen bases (34).
Freshman Darian Tautalafua broke the single season RBI record with 46 (old record 43, 2000), while leading the team and ranking tied for second in the Big West in home runs with 13. Her 13 homers were one shy of the school record mark of 14 and moved her into a tie for seventh on the career list at LBSU. Tautalafua’s 46 RBI also led the conference this season.
Junior third baseman Hannah De Gaetano (1st, .333) and sophomore Shayna Kimbrough (2ndT, .324) moved atop the career batting average top 10, but can’t claim the school record until after their careers have been completed. The current school record sits at .324.
Kimbrough took home the conference’s top honor for Player of the Year, while Tautalafua took home Freshman Field Player of the year accolades. Both players received first-team All-Big West honors as well, along with junior pitcher Erin Jones-Wesley and junior third baseman Hannah De Gaetano. Junior designated player/catcher Karli Sandoval took home second-team honors, while junior utility player Sarah Carrasco and St. Germain earned honorable mention acclaim.
Jones-Wesley recorded her third 20-win season, leading the pitching crew with a record of 20-8 while tallying victories in the final seven games she pitched. With just one season remaining at LBSU, Jones-Wesley is poised to set several career marks for the 49ers including innings pitched, wins, appearances and strikeouts.
Long Beach State surpassed its 2012 win total (29) with 37 wins this season, which marked the second-most wins in the last five years for Head Coach Kim Sowder. Having just completed her seventh season at the helm of the 49er program, Sowder broke the 200-win plateau (233-152) and is just one victory shy of notching her 100th career Big West win. “We could have rewritten the above but what could you add. The good news is that although some slugging seniors are gone the returning crop is plenty good.
Next up is the not so big news that opponents have really deep pockets, take Notre Dame for instance. In football current and former football coaches cost it at least $3,142,923 for the 2011 football season, and the dismissal of ex-coach Charlie Weis will approach $19 million by the end. ND’s men’s basketball coach Mike Brey collected $1,407,509 and ladies hoop Muffet McGraw earned a total of $1,145,441–with $900,441 in compensation from the school and $245,000 from Play by Play sports. The AD there Jack Swarbrick earned 1,085,260. Oh my.
Names from LBSU include a couple of real student athletes, Senior Colten Echave and redshirt junior Ian Satterfield. Both lads were named to the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Men’s Volleyball All-Academic Team.
Finally in the still competing list is the lone LB trickster who made the NCAA finals, Willie Alexander, who qualified in the long jump and will be competing at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., June 5-8.
Baseball thoughts coming next!—DR. DAN