Director of Athletics Debby De Angelis.
It’s hard to believe there is just a little over a month left in our first season competing as a full member in NCAA Division II, but if it’s anything like the last month, it will be filled with plenty of action and excitement from all of our spring sports. We’re well into all six spring sports seasons and are looking forward to some great events over the next few weeks.
The Pioneer softball team is coming off a great showing in its annual trip to the Mizuno Tournament of Champions hosted by Cal State Stanislaus in Turlock, where they claimed runner up honors in the Silver Bracket. The tournament featured 24 teams – nearly every school in the entire West Region – and 76 games over three days. For the first time, the Pioneers went 4-1 during pool play to reach the Silver Bracket, which guaranteed them a top-eight finish at the event. Following a come-from-behind win over Dixie State and a near-upset of No. 9 Cal State Dominguez Hills, the team finished sixth overall and led all 24 teams in runs and homeruns. Pitcher Talia Ferrari took home All-Tournament Team honors after leading the team in the circle and Head Coach Barbara Pierce surpassed the 100-win plateau for her career, bringing her total to 103 victories in six seasons at the helm.
With 14 games remaining in the regular season, the team has a chance to post its highest win total since Coach Pierce started here in 2004 and its best record in the last 12 years. They need just two more wins to reach 25 – the most under Coach Pierce – and eight wins to match the 2001 squad that won 31 games. The East Bay community will have plenty of chances to check out the Pioneers in action at home over the next month, as they play host to Cal State San Bernardino this weekend and finish out the regular season with Chico State on April 20 and 21.
The baseball team also found success over the weekend, splitting a four-game series with Cal State Monterey Bay to pick up its 10th and 11th wins in Head Coach Bob Ralston’s first season in charge. A.J. Gallardo earned his fourth win of the season in the second game of a Sunday doubleheader sweep in Seaside, while first baseman Andrew Woolfe finished the weekend with six RBI and three runs, including his team-leading fourth homer of the year.
We’re also excited to have 30-year broadcasting veteran Ronnie Wald on board to webcast several Pioneer baseball games live over the final month of the season. Wald has broadcasted every level of collegiate sports, including games for several teams in the CCAA, and at various levels in the professional ranks. He will broadcast five of the final seven home games for the team and fans can tune in by following the links on our website.
The water polo team is just six regular season games away from the 2012 WWPA Tournament in La Jolla and is looking to finish out the season strong. The Pioneers have claimed two KAP7 WWPA Player of the Week awards in the last month and will play host to Cal State San Bernardino on April 13 for Senior Day at Pioneer Pool. Fans will have plenty of chances to check out the Pioneers this month, as all of the team’s final six games will be played in the Bay Area, including four games at The Bronco, hosted by Santa Clara on April 14 and 15.
The Pioneer golf teams have continued to find success following their great showings at the Pioneer Shootout early last month. The women went on to claim two team tournament titles – the first in program history – as well as two individual titles for freshman Linda Brown. Meanwhile, the men finished fourth at the NDNU Invitational and will spend the next two weeks preparing for the CCAA Championships, which will be held in Paso Robles on April 23 and 24.
Last but not least, the Pioneer track teams have been busy running at meets all over California, including the California-Nevada Championships last week in Claremont and the Aggie Open in Davis. The teams are set to compete in two more meets before heading to CCAA Championships in Los Angeles the first week of May.
We also can’t forget to mention our 2012 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony which is set for Saturday, May 5 at the New University Union. The public is invited to help us celebrate the achievements of women's volleyball player Marion Champion, women's basketball and volleyball player Antoinette Goode, football player Don Sawyer, men's tennis player Jeff Southwick, track and field assistant coach Dr. Charles Harmon “Doc” Brown and men's tennis head coach John Nelson. Those interested in attending can find registration information here.
Come join us as we wrap up an exciting spring season and honor some of the greats in Pioneer history over the next month, and as always, go Pioneers!