SOFTBALL HAS SEVEN ALL-CONFERENCE SELECTIONS, STRAHAN AND SCHLOREDT RECEIVE TOP BILLING
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento State softball program received seven all-Pacific Coast Softball Conference selections, including four first teamers. In addition, head coach Kathy Strahan was named the PCSC Coach of the Year, and junior catcher Jamie Schloredt was a unanimous choice as the league’s Player of the Year.
Joining Schloredt on the first team for the Hornets were left fielder Izmena Cabrera, shortstop Amy Tompkins, and pitcher Kayla Meeks. Center fielder Hilary Johnson, pitcher Brittani Clifford and second baseman Whitney Loomis were each named to the second team. Meeks accounted for two all-conference selections as she earned the rare distinction of earning first team honors as a designated player, and second team honors as a pitcher after putting together an impressive season on both the mound and at the plate.
In her 16th season with the Hornets, Strahan received PCSC Coach of the Year honors after overseeing a team that finished the regular season with a 32-19 overall record and a league championship after the team finished 14-6 in the PCSC. The Hornets won each of their last eight conference games of the season to leapfrog from fourth place in the conference standings with two weeks remaining, to an improbable first-place finish. Sacramento State, which set 12 team records this season, will make its third trip to the NCAA Tournament (1993, 1995, 2008) since joining the Div. I ranks in 1990. The team will play at the Fresno Regional this week (May 16-18), and will begin play at No. 16 seed Fresno State on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Strahan earned her 700th career win during the final week of the regular season, and is now the owner of a 703-659-3 record in 25 years as a head coach. In 16 years at Sacramento State, she is 456-414-2. In addition, Strahan has led the team to 30-win seasons five times in the last six years, and the Hornets have finished no lower than second place in the conference standings each of the last four years.
Schloredt becomes the second Hornet to earn PCSC Player of the Year honors (Lindy Winkler in 2006) after putting together a monster season which includes a conference-leading .412 batting average, a .750 slugging percentage, a .514 on-base percentage and 12 home runs. The Woodland, Calif., native has started all 51 games this season (45 at catcher), and now ranks 20th in the nation in on-base percentage, 25th in slugging percentage and 30th in batting average. Against conference competition, she hit .509 and will carry a 10-game hitting streak into the NCAA Tournament. She is now the school’s all-time career leader in home runs (25), RBIs (112), batting average (.369) and walks (75). A three-time PCSC Player of the Week selection this year, Schloredt has now been named first team all-conference every season during her three-year tenure with the Hornets.
Cabrera, who transferred to the Hornets prior to the season from the College of Charleston, has started all 51 games in left field. The Vacaville, Calif., native is hitting .374, and leading the team in hits (61), doubles (13), RBIs (52), average with runners in scoring position (.439), average with runners on base (.402) and multiple-RBI games (13). Her 52 RBIs shattered the previous program single-season record of 42, and her average of 1.02 RBIs per game are currently the 16th best mark in the nation. Cabrera ranks among the top five players in the PCSC in batting average, doubles, total bases (100), slugging percentage (.613), hits, on-base percentage (.433), RBIs and home runs (8).
Tompkins, who is one of three fourth-year seniors on the Hornets and this year’s team captain, was named to the first team for the second year in a row. The Salinas, Calif., native started all 51 games at shortstop and now has a run of 110 consecutive starts at the position dating back to 2006. Tompkins has batted leadoff in every game, and is hitting a career-high .332 with a conference-best 41 runs scored. She is also the team leader in at-bats (187) and hits (62), and is the 17th toughest player in the nation to strike out (once every 20.8 at-bats). Tompkins has committed only seven errors in 229 total chances at shortstop (.969 fielding percentage), including just two errors in her last 27 games. She has two hitting streaks of at least eight games long, and 17 multiple-hit games.
In her second season with the Hornets, Meeks put together a season which included prowess both on the pitchers mound and at the plate. She becomes the first Sacramento State player in program history to earn all-conference honors at two different positions, earning first team honors as a designated player, and second team honors as a pitcher. The Hanford, Calif. native leads the Hornets’ pitching staff in victories (14), starts (26), complete games (13), shutouts (3), innings (141.2) and strikeouts (89). She is 14-8 with a 3.21 ERA, and has limited the opposition to a .268 batting average. Offensively, she is batting .314 (37-for-118) with seven doubles, one triple, 24 RBIs and a .366 on-base percentage. Meeks had a career-high and team season-high 11-game hitting streak from April 6-27, and has hit safely in 14 of her last 16 games heading into the NCAA Tournament.
Along with Meeks, Clifford is one of three pitchers selected to the second team, and is 12-6 with a team-leading 2.47 ERA, 33 appearances, six saves and a .208 opponents batting average. Twenty-six of her 33 appearances came in relief, and her six saves are a program single-season record, and are tied for the fourth best mark in the nation. Her relief appearances ranged anywhere from 1.0 to 6.2 innings long, and she struck out at least one batter in all but four of her outings. After beginning the year with a 3-4 record, the Missoula, Mont., native has won nine of her last 11 decisions. Against PCSC competition, she was 6-2 with a 2.07 ERA, including a .199 opponents batting average.
In her fourth season with the Hornets, Johnson becomes just the third Sacramento State during the school’s Div. I era to become a four-time all-conference selection - joining Lindy Winkler (2003-06) and Jenny Schultz (1993-96). Johnson has been named to the second team three times (2005-06, 2008) and the first team once (2007). The Seaside, Calif., native has started all 51 games in center field and is batting .340 with 37 runs scored, 16 RBIs and team-best eight stolen bases. She now has a career batting average of .324, and has never hit lower than .298 any season during her four-year career. Owner of the Sacramento State program record with 40 career stolen bases, Johnson is batting .398 with runners on base and .389 with runners in scoring position. She will enter the NCAA Tournament with a seven-game hitting streak.
A local product, Loomis has started all 51 games at second base, and is batting .308 with 39 runs, 10 doubles, seven home runs, 37 RBIs, a .519 slugging percentage and a .366 on-base percentage. Her 39 runs are the second-best mark on the team and tied for third best in the conference. In addition, the Sacramento, Calif., native is hitting .375 with runners in scoring position, and has 14 two-out RBIs Also among conference leaders, Loomis ranks fifth in RBIs, sixth in home runs, and ninth in totals bases (81) and slugging percentage (.519). She has hit safely in 36 of 51 games, and 18 of her 48 hits have gone for extra bases.