SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Five Sacramento State softball players were named to the all-Pacific Coast Softball Conference team, headlined by senior Lindy Winkler receiving conference player of the year honors, it was announced by the league today. Among the five selected, three were named to the first team, the most first team accolades for the Hornets since the 1995 season.
Joining Winkler on the first team were senior pitcher Nikki Cinque and freshman catcher Jamie Schloredt. Sophomore outfielder Hilary Johnson was named second team all-PCSC for the second year in a row, and freshman pitcher Cassie Cervantes joined Johnson on the second team. The three first team selections for the Hornets tied for most in the conference with Portland State.
Sacramento State just completed a season in which the team posted a 35-20 overall record and a 14-6 mark in the PCSC. The Hornets, who recorded the most wins since the 1995 season, were narrowly edged by Portland State (15-5) for the conference championship and an automatic berth into the NCAA Regionals. In fact, Sacramento State swept Portland State in a four-game series on May 6-7, but the Vikings won three makeup games last week to overtake the Hornets for the league title.
Winkler, who became the Hornets’ first conference player of the year since the program joined the Div. I ranks in 1990, cemented herself as one of the best players in school history during a season in which the center fielder set six school records. The San Andreas, Calif., native established Sacramento State Div. I season records in batting average (.434), longest hitting streak (18 games), runs (47), hits (76), doubles (17) and stolen bases (11). Her batting average was 40 points better than any other player in the PCSC and ranked as the 13th-best mark in the nation. She also led or was tied for the conference lead in runs, hits, doubles, triples (5) and stolen bases.
She hit safely in 47 of 55 games this season and batted .462 against conference opposition with a .527 on-base percentage. Winkler, who was the only Hornet to start all 55 games this season, did not commit an error all year and had just five miscues during her entire career. A career .358 hitter and a four-time all-conference selection, Winkler started all but two games during her four-year tenure with the Hornets, and owns school records in career batting average, hits (262), runs (140), stolen bases (32), game started (222), triples (17) and at-bats (732).
Cinque earned first team honors after performing impressively on both the mound and in the batters box. The Sacramento native, who transferred from Sacramento City College prior to last season, finished 2006 with a 15-10 record and a 1.70 ERA while also batting .321 with eight home runs, 31 RBIs and a .582 slugging percentage. Cinque led the Hornets’ pitching staff in wins, ERA, starts (26), complete games (23) and innings (177.1) while her eight home runs tied the Sacramento State Div. I single-season record. She hit two walkoff home runs (against Syracuse and Loyola Marymount) and finished second on the team in both RBIs and slugging percentage.
Schloredt becomes the first Sacramento State freshman to receive first team all-conference honors since Winkler in 2003. The Woodland, Calif., native started all but two games, including 45 starts at catcher and eight as the team’s designated player. Schloredt batted .333 with 11 doubles, six home runs, 42 RBIs, 28 walks, a .456 on-base percentage and a .535 slugging percentage. Her number of walks and RBIs established a Hornet Div. I single-season record in both categories despite being just a freshman. She hit safely in 32 games and became the just the fourth Sacramento State freshman in the last 10 years to hit better than .300.
Johnson, a native of Seaside, Calif., earned second team all-PCSC honors for the second year in a row after ranking second on the Hornets in batting average (.353), runs (33), hits (49) and stolen bases (10). She started 46 games in left field and batted a team-best .480 with runners in scoring position and .465 with runners on base. Johnson, who raised her batting average to .413 against conference competition, could have been named first team all-conference had she not missed nine games because of injury. Johnson hit .647 (11-for-17) during her final six games of the season and now has a career batting average of .328, the second-highest mark in Sacramento State Div. I history (trailing only Winkler).
Cervantes was named second team all-conference after completing one of the most impressive campaigns in Sacramento State history. The Red Bluff, Calif., native finished the season with a 14-4 record, a 1.82 ERA and 221 strikeouts in 115.2 innings. Her average of 13.4 strikeouts per seven innings was the third-best mark in the nation, and she was the only freshman ranking among the nation’s top 10 in that category. Cervantes won her last nine decisions of the season and set the school record with three no-hitters. She limited the opposition to a .091 batting average this year and allowed just six extra base hits all season (each were doubles). The right-hander recorded nine shutouts and posted double figures in strikeouts on 12 occasions, including a school-record 19 against Syracuse.
All five players were instrumental in Sacramento State finishing 15 games above .500 and setting nine team records and 10 individual records. The Hornets closed the season on an eight-game winning streak, including winning each of their last nine conference games.