Sara Holdridge hit .750 and drove in eight runs to earn conference player of the week honors. (Photo: John Hefti)
Cal State East Bay softball player Sara Holdridge has been named Player of the Week by the California Collegiate Athletic Association after helping the Pioneers open the conference season with a series victory over San Francisco State. Holdridge held down the sixth spot in the order as the designated player, guiding East Bay to a pair of eight-run rule victories and a 7-3 overall record following the 3-1 weekend.
The Murrieta native finished the weekend batting .750 (6-for-8), driving in eight runs and scoring five thanks to three homeruns. Holdridge started every game, reaching base in 76.9 percent of her at-bats and slugging at a 1.875 clip. The junior drove in at least one run in three of the four games while posting a minimum of two RBI in each of the final three games of the series.
Holdridge started off the weekend with a 3-for-3 performance at the plate, scoring a pair of runs to help the Pioneers open the CCAA campaign with a 9-1 eight-run rule victory in five innings. With a single in both the fourth and fifth innings, Holdridge helped East Bay score eight runs in the final two frames to pick up the win.
In the second game of the Friday doubleheader, Holdridge showed off her strength, parking a pair over the fence to go 2-for-3 with four RBI and two runs. Her two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning helped the Pioneers break open the game, plating the eventual winning run, and take a 5-1 lead. Holdridge went yard again in the bottom of the fourth, hitting her second two-run shot of the game and helping East Bay post four runs in the inning to set up the 13-2 eight-run rule win.
Saturday was no different for Holdridge, who went 1-for-2 in a 6-3 game one victory, posting her third homer of the weekend, driving in a pair and scoring one run. Though the Pioneers fell in game two, Holdridge continued to find ways to get on base and drive in runs, drawing three walks and plating a run on a sacrifice fly. With the daylight fading in the bottom of the seventh inning and East Bay trailing 4-3, Holdridge worked a walk after a seven-pitch battle, loading the bases with two outs before the Gators ended the rally to salvage a win in the series.
Following the impressive weekend, Holdridge is leading Pioneer starters with a .481 batting average and 12 RBI and is second with an .889 slugging percentage and three homers. Holdridge’s totals also tie her for third in the conference in RBI and slugging percentage.
Holdridge is the Pioneers’ first softball player of the week this season and the second East Bay player to win player of the week honors during the 2011-12 academic year, joining men’s basketball player Roshun Wynne, who was honored on Dec. 5, 2011. The award marks the third for the softball team since Cal State East Bay began competing in the CCAA during the 2009-10 campaign.
Cal State East Bay is now tied for second in the CCAA and is set to make its first conference road trip of the 2012 campaign this weekend when it takes on first-place Cal State Dominguez Hills. The Toros and Pioneers will open a four-game series with a doubleheader on Friday at 11 a.m. in Carson.