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Softball advances to College World Series

May 19, 2005

Photo of pitcher Sonja Garnett in actionThe Gator softball team won the NCAA Division II West Softball Regional tournament this past weekend and in doing so advances to the Division II College World Series, which begins today at the Moyer Sports Complex in Salem, Va. The Gators face south region champs Lynn University at 11:30 a.m. PDT in the double elimination tournament. A live Webcast is available at

This is the first time the team has made it to the College World Series. Only the winners of the three other regional tournaments now stand in the Gators’ path to a national championship.

The team, which was seeded fourth in the west region tournament, went 5-1 behind strong pitching from tournament MVP Sonja Garnett, who started all six games.

"It was amazing. It was one of the best feelings," said Garnett, a junior from Chino. "Our team really came together. It was some of the best ball we've played in all of our lives."

Garnett said Monday that her arm was a little sore, but that she will be ready to throw as many innings as necessary in the College World Series.

She also said that facing an unknown opponent isn't going to affect the team's confidence.

"We've never seen them [Lynn University]," she said. "They have no way of intimidating us."

In addition to being named tournament MVP, Garnett was selected California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Most Valuable Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive season. She was also named to the All-CCAA Softball Team -- as were three of her teammates: Mary Cunnie, a junior catcher from Novato; Vanessa Rodrigue, a sophomore second baseman from Tarzana, and Jordanna Freemer, a freshman from Oakley. Freemer was also named CCAA Freshman of the Year.

Nicole Hartfield, a sophomore third baseman from Simi Valley, and Chrissy Hildebrandt, a senior shortstop from Camarillo, were named to the All-CCAA Honorable Mention Team.

For more on Gator softball, see the Athletics Web site. Also see the earlier SF State News story about the team's 2005 season and the story about its successful 2004 season.

-- William Morris
Photo: Michael Foo Photography


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