Long Beach State softball begins its 25th NCAA Tournament appearance today at the UCLA Regional. The Beach will open up against the No. 2 Bruins at 7:30 p.m. tonight. LBSU lost two games against UCLA on May 5.
The Beach has also been racking up the awards after taking the Big West Conference title off Cal State Fullerton last weekend. Coach Kim Sowder was named Big West Coach of the Year for the fourth time in her career, Kellie White was named the Big West Pitcher of the Year and fellow pitcher Shannon Haddad became the fifth player in school history to be named the Big West Freshman Pitcher of the Year.
LBSU also had four players named to the NFCA All-West Region, the most ever in a single season for the Beach.
Alyssa Gonzalez was named to the second team as a first baseman after an outstanding season. Ranked in the Top 50 in batting average all season, Gonzalez led the Big West in hitting while starting every game for Long Beach State, hitting seven home runs and five doubles. The junior had a 17-game hitting streak during the season, one off the Long Beach State school record and did not strike out during the 24 games of conference play. Gonzalez earned the honor for the second consecutive season awarded, as she was named to the third team in 2019.
White earned third-team honors. White finished the regular season with a 1.94 ERA and a 16-6 record with 116 strikeouts, leading the Beach in all three categories as well as innings pitched on the year. Additionally, head-to-head with Cal State Fullerton in the final series of the season, White went 3-0 throwing every pitch to help the Beach punch their ticket to the NCAA Regionals.
Junior Naomi Hernandez is another second-time honoree for the Beach. A second-team selection in 2018, Hernandez was second in the Big West in both walks and on-base percentage on the season, batting .400 and reaching base at a 50% rate on the season while batting leadoff for the Beach. Hernandez was selected as an outfielder.
Impact transfer Suzy Brookshire was the final honoree for the Beach this season. Brookshire started every game for Long Beach State at third base, where she earned the accolade. Batting .417 on the year, Brookshire led Long Beach State with 10 home runs and 49 RBI, and ranked in the Top 10 nationally in RBI per game.
S4E76 – Sweeps, ‘ships And Postseason! Kellie White And Alyssa Gonzalez From The Big West Champs by lbsuathletics
We’re talking championships again! Both golf programs are in the postseason, track and field had plenty of great performances, and exciting weekends were not to be missed on the diamond for the Dirtbags and the softball team who brought home the Big West title!
The Dirtbags are playing their best baseball of the year. LBSU took three of four games off Cal State Bakersfield in Big West Conference action last weekend at Bohl Diamond at Blair Field. The Dirtbags are traveling to take on rival Cal State Fullerton this weekend as the regular season winds down.
Track & Field
The LBSU men’s team finished in third at the Big West Championships while the women’s team finished fifth. on the women’s side, Crystal Washington won the triple jump title and Hannah Katches won the javelin title. On the men’s side, Jason Smith won both the high jump and long jump. Alec Jones also won two titles, taking men’s discus and hammer throw. The men’s relay team picked up the final title of the weekend, claiming the top spot in the 4x100m relay.
Smith has also been named the Big West Conference Men’s Field Athlete of the Year. This marks the sixth consecutive year the Men’s Field Athlete of the Year award has gone to a Long Beach State student-athlete. Smith is now the fourth two-time winner from the Beach, winning the award in 2018 as well.
A three-event qualifier for NCAA West Regionals, Smith ranks ninth in the region in High Jump, fifteenth in Long Jump, and 43rd in Triple Jump.
The season came to an end on the final day of the NCAA Cle Elum Regional where the Beach placed 12th with a 30-over par showing. LBSU was led by senior Hunter Epson who finished in the top 10 with a 2-under par.
Epson, a Long Beach native and the Big West Golfer of the Year, shot a 67 for 4-under par in the final round as he birdied seven holes. With his strong showing in the final round, Epson finished in a tie for ninth place with a 2-under par performance.
Holland Shourds competed at the NCAA Regionals last week, and her best round was a 1-under par 70 in the second round. She finished in a tie for 73rd overall.