Division II Elite Eight back in Springfield, Mass.

If the men’s basketball team from either Cal Poly Pomona or Cal State San Bernardino wants to claim a national basketball championship in 2010, they’ll have to do it in the northeast.

The NCAA, Division II Men’s Basketball Committee has announced that Springfield, Mass. will host the 2010 and 2011 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Elite Eight.

The event will be held at the MassMutual Center, with American International College and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame serving as the hosts. The dates of the competition will be March 24, 25 and 27 in 2010 and March 23, 24 and 26 in 2011.

Springfield has hosted the event 20 times previously, including the last four years. With the addition of the next two years, Springfield will have hosted the event on 22 occasions; one more than the 21 times Evansville, Ind. has served as hosts.

The Broncos competed at that very venue just over a month ago, losing the national championship game to Findlay (Ohio) in overtime.

The site is not foreign to the Coyotes either. They advanced to the national semifinal in 2007, losing to eventual champion Barton (NC).

Redlands ready for SCIAC tournament

Last year the University of Redlands softball team was fortunate. The Bulldogs finished first in the SCIAC during the regular season, only to lose the tournament final and the automatic playoff bid to University of La Verne.

But the Bulldogs made it into the Division III West Region tournament with an at-large bid.

They are hoping it doesn’t come down to that this season.

The Bulldogs host the four-team double-elimination event today and Saturday. No. 2 La Verne (27-13, 16-8) will face No. 3 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (26-12, 15-9) at 9 a.m. with No. 1 Redlands (27-10, 20-4) following against No. 4 Whittier (24-16, 11-13).

The loser’s bracket game is slated for 2 p.m. with the winners following at 4:30 p.m. Action gets underway at 10 a.m. on Saturday with a loser’s bracket game.

The Bulldogs, ranked No. 25 by the National Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association, went 4-0 against the Poets this season with two games ending early on the mercy rule.

Redlands leads the conference in hitting and fielding and ranks second to CMS in pitching.
Junior outfieler Kayla Peterson (.434) leads the team in hitting with sophomore first baseman Lizett Casillas (.419) and junior catcher Nicky Neumann (.383) among the other valuable offensive weapons. The Bulldogs have also gotten a boost from freshman Lindsay Henry (.393), named the SCIAC Rookie of the Year.

Junior Olivia Ellis (20-5, 1.70) and Amanda Doeppel (7-3, 1.93) have handled the bulk of the pitching.

The Leopards split both doubleheaders they played against the Athenas this season. Coach Julie Smith thinks her team is peaking at the right time.

It is led by senior outfielder Melissa Carlson (.462) who led the conference in hitting, runs scored and stolen bases. She earned SCIAC Player of the Year honors even though her team finished second.

Among the other La Verne standouts are freshman outfielder Diandra Burns (.443) and sophomore shortstop Ashley Paul (.384), also a starter on the basketball team.

“We’re loose. We’re confident. We’re ready to go,” she said. “I think we’re in a good place right now.”

Smith said the turning point for her team likely came halfway through the season when junior Sabrina Garcia (7-2, 2.68) joined the team. Sophomore Delaney Baylor (15-7, 2.36) had shouldered much of the load in the pitching circle but the team didn’t have a consistent No. 2.
Garcia was at the school, having transferred from NAIA Hope International. She planned on playing next year but Smith enlisted her help midseason.

“It’s in how you present it,” she said. “I just told them she is giving up more than she’s taking because she is giving up a year of eligibility to help us now.”

Redlands won three of four games against La Verne and split four games against CMS.

CMS is led by junior pitcher Julia Cruz (13-5, 1.18) and senior pitcher Erika Weingart (10-6, 2.80) and sophomore outfielder Gizelle Pera (.379).

Coyote golf team preps for regional

The Cal State San Bernardino men’s golf team, ranked No. 2 in the West Region and No. 8 in the nation, will make its 13th appearance in the NCAA tournament when play begins Monday in the 2009 West/Northwest Super Regional outside Lincoln, Neb.

 

The Coyotes, winners of four 54-hole tournaments in 2008-09 and coming off a disappointing fourth place finish at the California Collegiate Athletic Association conference championship, are hoping the return of their No. 2 player will give the five-member team a big lift.

Ten West Region teams and 10 Northwest Region teams along with four individuals from non-qualifying teams in each region  will tee it up for three 18-hole rounds over three days at the Wilderness Ridge Golf Club. University of Nebraska-Kearney is hosting the NCAA Division II event.

Back in the fold for CSUSB is sophomore Kenny Pigman, who was the medalist  at the Grand Canyon University-Thunderbird Invitational in March with a 54-hole total of 205, 11 under par.  Pigman missed the final two tournaments of the regular season due to an academic issue that has now been resolved in his favor.

The lanky Norco resident ranks No. 5 in the West Region in stroke average at 73.04, just behind teammate Gene Webster Jr., of San Bernardino, fourth at 72.38. CSUSB senior Micah Burke of Los Angeles ranks No. 7 at 73.24 and junior Joe Alldis of Riverside is 10th at 74.21.

Sonoma State, the back-to-back CCAA champion and ranked No. 1 in the West Region, is the team to beat in the West Regional. The winners of each regional plus the next four lowest scoring teams from either regional will advance to the national championship tournament in Blaine, Wash., on May 19-22 at Loomis Trail Golf Club.

The Coyotes have competed in 12 NCAA national championship tournaments, seven in Division II and five in Division III (1987-91) and have finished third three times (1997, 1998, 1988) and fourth twice (1987, 1990). This regional marks the fourth straight NCAA appearance by the Coyotes since Tom Mainez Jr. took over as head coach in early 2006.

The Coyotes won the West Regional in 2007 with a 54-hole score of 841 as then-freshman Webster took medalist honors with a score of 202 on rounds of 69, 66 and 67.

CSUSB has enjoyed its most successful regular season in the history of the program with four wins in 54-hole tournaments. The team finished in the top five in nine of its 10 tournaments in 2008-09.

Wilderness Ridge favors the long hitters, measuring 7,016 yards from the black tees and playing to a par-71. The longest par-5 is 576 yards. The shortest par-3 is 164 yards. Only three of the par-4s measure less than 400 yards.

Joining CSUSB and Sonoma State in the West Regional battle will be fellow CCAA members Chico State, Cal State Monterey Bay and Cal State Stanislaus along with Western Washington, Grand Canyon, Hawaii-Hilo, Dixie State and Saint Martin‘s University.

UC San Diego, a non-qualifier in the team event, placed three individuals into the tournament based on stroke average and strength of schedule.

CSUSB golfers at a glance:

Gene Webster Jr., junior, San Bernardino – Webster has been a key player for the Coyotes for three seasons. He leads the team in stroke average (72.3) with five top-five finishes in tournaments this year. He twice shot 207 for 54-holes, nine-under-par and both times finished second. He was the 2007 NCAA West Regional medalist and a third-team all-American as a freshman and was CSUSB’s co-Male Athlete of the Year that year. He was selected to the all-CCAA first team.

Micah Burke, senior, Los Angeles – Burke is finishing his four-year CSUSB career on a high note. He has a stroke average of 73.2 with five top10 finishes this season, including a second place finish at the CCAA conference championship with a 54-hole total of 209 on rounds of 71-70-68. He was the medalist at the 2008 Southern California Intercollegiate tournament. He was selected to the all-CCAA first team.

Kenny Pigman, sophomore, Norco - Pigman has been an impact player for the Coyotes in his first season at CSUSB. He is averaging 73 shots per round with five top-10 finishes including a tournament victory at the Grand Canyon Thunderbird where he shot 205 – 65, 70, 70. He transferred in from Riverside Community College.

            Joe Alldis, junior, Riverside – Alldis has improved his stroke average to 74.2 this season with two top-five finishes. His best effort was a 208 at the Grand Canyon Invitational last fall on rounds of 68, 69, 71 to finish third and help the Coyotes win the team title.

            Thomas Chu, junior, San Diego – Like Pigman, he is in his first year of play with CSUSB and is averaging 76.7 strokes a round. He has three top-20 finishes with a 12th place at the InterWest Classic in Chico his best effort. He has shot 223 for 54 holes twice this season. He is a transfer from Palomar College.

            NCAA TOURNAMENT NOTES: The Coyotes golf team of 1991 played in the NCAA Div. III national championship at a different course in Lincoln, Neb., finishing in fifth place. The keynote speaker at the pre-tournament banquet was none other than Dave Stockton of Redlands, the captain of the 1991 Ryder Cup team. Charles DeLorey finished seventh among individuals and earned all-America honors……CSUSB has competed in six NCAA Division II regionals as a team and finished in the top five all six times….Scott Householder of CSUSB won medalist honors at the 1997 NCAA Div. II national championship in Scottsdale, Ariz., shooting a 72-hole total of 273, 15-under-par, a record that still stands today……Lee Kinney of CSUSB was the runnerup at the 1998 NCAA Div. II tournament……The Coyotes have seven top-10 finishes in the NCAA championship tournament in their 12 appearances…..CSUSB’s Eric Lippert was the D-2 West Region medalist in 1998 with a 209 for 54 holes on rounds of 73-70-66….when Gene Webster won medalist honors at the 2007 West Regional, he fired rounds of 69-66-67 for 202…..even when their team didn’t qualify, five former CSUSB players earned individual berths in the NCAA regionals in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 – J.R. Reyes (twice), David Backus, Ryan Plummer, Robert Mink and Bryan Newman. Mink had the highest finish of any – 16th in 2005.

 

All-CCAA softball team named

The Humboldt State softball team was rewarded for
capturing the regular-season title by placing a conference-high five players on the California Collegiate Athletic Association’s (CCAA) first team, including the league’s Most Valuable Player and Coach of  the Year.

Humboldt State senior first baseman Natalie Galletly was named the CCAA’s Most Valuable Player while Frank Cheek was chosen Coach of the Year. Sonoma State senior Lindsay Emmel was named Pitcher of the Year, Emiley McEwen of Cal State Dominguez Hills was tabbed Freshman of the Year and UC San Diego sophomore Kristyn Lesovsky was voted
Newcomer of the Year.

Galletly topped the CCAA in batting (.471), hits (48) and on-base percentage (.557), and was third in the conference in runs scored (25) and fourth in RBI (25), while leading the Lumberjacks to the top seed in this week’s conference tournament. For the season, the Lumberjacks’ senior is batting a team-best .420 with nine home runs and 43 RBI.

Emmel has enjoyed a solid season in the circle for Sonoma State, posting a 16-9 record, 1.70 ERA and 15 complete games, including an 8-6 mark and 2.16 ERA in CCAA play. While helping the Seawolves to their first-ever CCAA Tournament appearance, Emmel has logged 156 2/3
innings, struck out 165, walked just 51 and limited opposing batters to a .176 average. Her 88 strikeouts and .173 opponents’ batting average in CCAA play topped the conference.

McEwen enjoyed a solid rookie season, posting a team-best .381 overall average with seven home runs and 35 RBI. She recorded a .337 average with three home runs and 19 RBI in 32 conference games. Lesovsky, a transfer from Florida Tech, made an impressive first impression in 2009, batting .384 with 11 doubles, six home runs and a .677 slugging percentage in CCAA play. Her .467 overall average and .568 on-base percentage is tops among all CCAA players, while her .730 slugging percentage ranks second.

In his 21st season, Cheek guided Humboldt State to its third straight CCAA regular-season title after the Lumberjacks posted a 37-16 overall record, including a 23-9 mark in conference play. This season marks the 12th time he has been named conference coach of the year (including Pacific West and Great Northwest Conference). In 2008,  Cheek led Humboldt State to its second national championship.

First Team
Marissa Slattery (HSU, C, Sr., Walnut, Calif.)
Natalie Galletly (HSU, 1B, Sr., San Ramon, Calif.)
Liz Vazquez (CSUDH, 2B, Sr., Carson, Calif.)
Ashlee Trotter (CSUMB, 3B, Sr., Salinas, Calif.)
Meghan Franksen (CSUS, SS, Sr., Ceres, Calif.)
Felicia Viveiros (HSU, DP, Fr., Castro Valley, Calif.)
Debbie Shisler (CSUSB, UT, Sr., Phoenix, Ariz.)
Nikki Ketteringham (HSU, OF, So., San Diego, Calif.)
Kristyn Lesovsky (UCSD, OF, So., Simi Valley, Calif.)
Lucia Rodriguez (CSUMB, OF, Jr., Rialto, Calif.)
Lindsay Emmel (SSU, P, Sr., Atascadero, Calif.)
Regina Farfan (CSUDH, P, Sr., Chino, Calif.)
Caitlin Klug (HSU, AL, Sr., Livermore, Calif.)
Kendra Wood (SFSU, AL, So., San Jose, Calif.)

Second Team
Shea Olds (CSUMB, C, So., Long Beach, Calif.)
Ashley Collinwood (CSUSB, 1B, Jr., Riverside, Calif.)
Kayla Ledford (SSU, 2B, So. Marysville, Calif.)
Erica McIntyre (CSUS, 3B, Jr., Fairfield, Calif.)
Emiley McEwen (CSUDH, SS, Fr., Anaheim, Calif.)
Nicole Cordova (SSU, DP, Sr., El Cerrito, Calif.)
Jennifer Arnold (CSUS, UT, Jr., Ceres, Calif.)
Gwen Cox (CSUC, OF, Sr., Loomis, Calif.)
Katie Garcia (CSUDH, OF, Jr., Riverside, Calif.)
Katie Jordan (CSUDH, OF, Jr., Huntington Beach, Calif.)
Jessica Gaumnitz (CSUS, P, Sr., Chowchilla, Calif.)
Ashley Jackson (SFSU, P, So., Vallejo, Calif.)
Jessica Boyle (CSUMB, AL, Sr., Salinas, Calif.)
Nichole Parada (HSU, AL, Fr., South Pasadena, Calif.)
Nicole Saari (UCSD, AL, Jr., Roseville, Calif.)

Most Valuable Player
Natalie Galletly, HSU

Pitcher of the Year
Lindsay Emmel, SSU

Freshman of the Year
Emiley McEwen, CSUDH

Newcomer of the Year
Kristyn Lesovsky, UCSD

Coach of the Year
Frank Cheek, HSU

Victor Valley’s Gordon headed to UCR

UC Riverside Men’s Basketball Coach Jim Wooldridge announced today that two student-athletes have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Highlanders next season: Dwight Gordon, a 6-2 guard from Victory Valley Junior College (Victorville, CA) and Jessee Hazely, a 6-7 forward/center from Santa Margarita High School.
 
“We’re excited about adding Dwight and Jessee to our program,” said Wooldridge. “We wanted to add a scoring perimeter player to next year’s team, and Dwight is considered one of the better scoring guards in the state of California.

“We also set our sights on bringing in a young big man. Jessee has proven himself to be one of the more talented and versatile bigs in the high school ranks in the state, and comes out of a very successful program. We think both of these players have bright futures ahead of them at UC Riverside.”

Gordon is a two-time All-Conference honoree who averaged 21.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists as a sophomore at Victor Valley. He also connected on 57 percent of his field goal attempts, 36 percent of his three-pointers and 72 percent from the free throw line in earning First-Team All-State honors
 
In the final game of the 2008-09 season, he poured in 41 points on 14 of 18 shooting including 5 of 6 from three point range. The former Los Osos HS standout also led the Foothills Conference in scoring (21.1), rebounding (8.5), made free throws (187) and free throw attempts (261).
 
Hazely was a First-Team All-CIF Division III-AA performer as a senior at Santa Margarita High School after averaging a 13-point, 12-rebound double-double and leading the Eagles to the CIF-SS Division III-AA championship game.
 
The McDonalds All-America nominee averaged 15 points and 10 rebounds as a sophomore at Irvine Northwood High School before transferring to Santa Margarita where he helped the Eagles to a state title his junior year.

Chaffey’s Williams headed to Columbus State

Chaffey College basketball standout Lamar Williams (Fontana HS) is headed to Division II Columbus State University in Georgia.

The 6-foot-2 sophomore guard averaged 12.2 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.6 assists in helping the Panthers to a 27-7 record and berth in the Southern California Regional final.

His season high of 30 points came in as nonconference game against Santa Ana. His season high 13 rebounds came against Cypress, also in nonconference play.
Williams was the Panthers team captain and an All-Foothill Conference selection.

The Cougars went 8-19 in the rugged Peach Belt Conference last season so Williams will be able to step right in and contribute right away.

Coyotes notch four wins at Ojai

Cal State San Bernardino women’s tennis players won four matches at the 109th Ojai Tennis Invitational this past weekend, competing in the Independent College singles and doubles divisions.
            However, none of the Coyotes players made it past the Round of 32.

            In singles, CSUSB won all three of its matches in the Round of 64. Senior Leslie Horn defeated Kyla Rowe of UC Santa Cruz, 6-3, 7-6 while freshman Janay Palicte downed Mean Dean of Occidental, 6-1, 6-0. Senior Dottie Elwell got past Nicole Harden of LaVerne, 6-1, 3-6, 10-5 (tiebreaker).

            In doubles, Elwell and Horn defeated the Occidental duo of Dean and Samantha Melero, 6-3, 6-0, to advance.

            In the round of 32 singles, Horn lost to the top player in the California Collegiate Athletic Association, Verena Priekscha of Cal State Stanislaus, 6-0, 6-0. Maria Klokotzky of Fresno Pacific downed Elwell, 6-0, 6-0. Bettina Radke of Hope International beat Palicte 6-1, 6-0.

            The doubles team of Elwell-Horn lost in the Round of 32 to Rachel Owens and Kristin Strimple of Point Loma Nazarene, 6-3, 6-0. The Owens-Strimple combo advanced to the championship match before losing.

            CSUSB’s freshman doubles team of Palicte and Allison Brooks didn’t make it out of the Round of 64, losing to the Chapman University team of Manon Pochet and Cassady Sirois, 6-3, 6-1.

            Palicte and Brooks finished the season with a 7-6 record in doubles while Palicte posted a 7-11 record in singles. Elwell finished the season with a 6-11 record in singles while Horn was 2-14 in singles.

            The Ojai pairing of Horn and Elwell in doubles was the first time they had played together all season.

Redlands tennis player earns weekly honor

Senior tennis standout Tori Damiani (Sacramento, CA) was named the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Female Athlete of the Week for her solid performance during the 2009 SCIAC Championship Tournament.

Damiani went undefeated during the two-day event, competing at No. 3 singles and No. 3 doubles.  She played a pivotal role in the Bulldogs’ share of the conference championship and upset of No. 7 Pomona-Pitzer Colleges in the tournament final.

Damiani joined forces with teammate junior Rachael Miller and posted doubles wins over Whittier (8-1), Cal Lutheran (8-2), and Pomona-Pitzer (8-5).

In singles, Damiani captured a 6-1, 6-3 victory over her opponent from Cal Lutheran during the semifinal round and then clinched the match win, conference championship, and NCAA automatic bid for the Bulldogs with her come-from-behind 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 showing against the Sagehens.

For her contributions during the season, Damiani earned First Team All-Conference honors.

The male athlete of the week was Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges’ tennis player Larry Wang.

Redlands to hhost SCIAC softball tourney

By capturing the 2009 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Championship with sweeps over Whittier College and Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, the University of Redlands softball team looks forward to hosting the second annual SCIAC Postseason Softball Tournament on Friday, May 1, and Saturday, May 2, at the “Field of Dreams”.

The double-elimination tournament begins at 9 a.m. on Friday with the second-seeded University of La Verne Leopards taking on the No. 3 Athenas of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges.

As the No. 1 seed, the Bulldogs face off against the No. 4 Poets of Whittier College at 11:30 a.m.

The losers compete again at 2 p.m., followed by a winners’ duel at 4:30 p.m.

Play continues on Saturday with games at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., and then at 3 p.m. if necessary.

Admission is free. Fans are reminded that pets are not permitted at the “Field of Dreams”, per University of Redlands policy.

For additional information, please log onto http://www.goredlands.com/sports/sball/2008-09/SCIAC_Postseason.

UCR Pitcher named Big West best of the week

The Big West  announced today that UC Riverside starter Paul Bargas is the Conference Pitcher of the Week for games played from April 20-26. The 6-1 junior pitched a complete-game, seven-hitter at Cal State Northridge Friday evening in a 9-0 win over the Matadors.

With the win, Bargas’s record improved to 5-3 on the year with a 4.01 ERA. The Riverside native has allowed just five walks in 60.2 innings this season, and none over his last three starts.

The Highlanders, owners of a four-game winning streak, travel to San Diego on Tuesday, April 28 for a 3 pm meeting with the Toreros.