January 22, 2007
Sacramento State Bulletin

Spring Sports Preview

Photo: Sacramento State’s softball team looks to post its fourth straight season with at least 30 wins.
Sacramento State’s softball team looks to post its fourth straight season with at least 30 wins.

The weather is still brisk but spring is already in the air at Sacramento State as Hornet athletes gear up for competitions on the track, field and water.

One season removed from a 35-20 overall record and a 14-6 mark in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference, Sacramento State will look to post its fourth straight season with at least 30 wins. The Hornets, who finished just one game out of first place and narrowly missed a selection to the NCAA Regionals, return 13 players from last year’s team which posted its most victories since the 1995 season.

Among those returners are three all-conference selections – junior outfielder Hilary Johnson (.353 batting average, 33 runs, 10 stolen bases), sophomore pitcher Cassie Cervantes (14-4, 1.82 ERA, 221 strikeouts in 115.2 innings) and sophomore catcher Jamie Schloredt (.333 batting average, six home runs, 42 RBIs).

Sacramento State enters its second year as an affiliate member of the Western Athletic Conference with an elevated pitching staff, a talented incoming class of freshmen and junior college players, and a solid group of returning position players.

All-conference third baseman David Flores returns to the team for his junior year after having a breakout season a year ago, batting .331 with 28 RBIs, 16 doubles and 29 runs. The pitching staff returns senior left-hander Mick Joyce, who finished last year with a 5-1 record, three complete games and a staff-best 3.09 ERA. Junior right-hander Mitch Lively will be one of the team’s top relievers after making a team-leading 22 appearances in 2006. The Hornets start 2007 on Friday, Feb. 2, at Loyola Marymount and will open WAC play in a quest for a conference championship on March 2 at Louisiana Tech.

Track and Field
Senior David Nichols will look to become a three-time All-American this spring. The shot putter has earned All-America honors each of the last two seasons, including a sixth-place showing last spring at the national championships. This June, Sacramento State will serve as host for the NCAA Div. 1 Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the third straight year.

The Hornet women will also continue their quest for a Big Sky Conference title. Senior Roshena Duree will lead the way after being named the conference’s Field Athlete of the Year last season.

Women's Tennis
Despite a roster that featured six freshmen last season, the Sacramento State women’s tennis team was able to win its fifth-consecutive Big Sky Conference title. With five players returning to the fold in 2007, the Hornets look primed to win another league title. Sacramento State, which welcomes back all-conference performers Cecilia Helland, Luba Schifris and Joyce Martinez Gutierrez, enters the season having won 34 consecutive matches against Big Sky competition, a streak which dates back to 2002.

Men's Tennis
After being crowned the Big Sky Conference’s co-regular season champions last season, the Sacramento State men’s tennis team will return four players in 2007. That includes first team all-Big Sky selection Gabriel Loredo. In addition, the team welcomes a recruiting class that was ranked the 18th-best in the nation among Div. I teams by the Tennis Recruiting Network. The men’s tennis team has accounted for six conference championships in the last nine years.

After winning last year’s Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) championship for the first time since 2001, the Sacramento State women’s rowing team will look to repeat as conference champions in 2007. The Hornets welcome back 26 student-athletes this year to a program that has won four conference championships since the rowing team gained intercollegiate status in 1995.

The Hornet women will be one of the favorites to win the Big Sky Conference championship. Last season, Sacramento State placed third but the team returns the core of its lineup and has also added Boise State transfer Erica Haney to the mix. Senior Margaux Sheehan has been the top golfer on the team the last two years.

Head coach Adam Pohll continued his rebuilding of the men’s golf program. A talented group of young players will guide the team during the spring. That group includes freshman Grant Norton and Robert Budenbender, who prepped locally at Sheldon HS and Casa Roble HS, respectively.



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