Long Beach State softball star Naomi Hernandez is on the short list for the Schutt Sports/NFCA Division I National Freshman of the Year award. She is one of 25 players in the running for the National Fastpich Coaches Association honor. Hernandez is hitting .400 with 15 doubles and three home runs for No. 18 LBSU. She’s walked 20 times, and leads the 49ers with a .478 on-base percentage.
Three finalists will be announced on May 23, and the award will be presented live at the Women’s College World Series banquet on May 29.
Junior Joe Fryer won the Big West Men’s Golfer Of the Month award for the second straight month on Thursday. The junior from Bristol, England won the OGIO UCSB Intercollegiate earlier this week, his second individual title this season. Fryer and LBSU are headed for the Big West Championships at the Industry Hills Golf Club. The tournament is three rounds from April 29-May 1st.
Senior Lena Pacholski won her first career Big West Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week award after leading the 49ers to conference wins over CSUN and UC Davis. She had a comeback win against CSUN to clinch the match, and then came back again on Sunday to even the score at 1-1 against UC Davis.
LBSU will close out the regular season on Friday when it hosts Cal State Fullerton at 2 p.m. at Rhodes Tennis Center.
LBSU finished the regular season with a 4-1 loss to No. 1 UCLA (31-3) on Thursday. Kristyna Adamcikova and Hailey Harward were straight set winners for the 49ers in the third flight. Adamcikova’s 15 kills and Harward’s four second-set aces were key in the 21-19, 21-18 victory to give LBSU (23-6) a point.
LBSU travels to Honolulu for the Big West Championships beginning on April 27.
Women’s Water Polo
The 49ers (11-13, 2-3) lost an early lead and fell to UC Irvine 11-8 on Thursday in the regular season finale. Virginia Smith and Alexandra Massier each had a hat trick. LBSU begins the Big West Conference Championship on April 27 in Irvine.
Track & Field
LBSU hosted the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate on Thursday at Jack Rose Track. Elijah McDonald was seventh in the 100 meter hurdles with a time of 13.77 for LBSU. It ties for the fifth-best time in school history.
The 24th Beach Invitational presented by Beynon starts at 8:30 a.m. today and runs through the end of the day Saturday, featuring over 2,300 athletes over the two days.