Softball Preview: Softball Ready to Take the Fieldcsudhbulletin December 11, 2019 0 COMMENTS
Pitcher Alyssa Olague, returning for her junior year, had a team-best 3.56 ERA and 91 strikeouts. Photo courtesy of Toro Athletics.
By Jeremy Gonzalez, Sports Editor
After narrowly missing the CCAA postseason last season, the CSUDH Toros softball team is gearing up for the upcoming 2020 season in spring to try and make their first playoff appearance since 2013.
Toros head coach Jim Maier returns for the second season of his second stint with the team. Maier sports a spectacular resume from his first run as coach in 2001-2013.
He led the program to its first-ever playoff win in 2004 and won CCAA Coach of the Year honors in 2005. He’s coached five All-Americans, 22 All-Region players, 62 All-CCAA players, two CCAA Player of the Year honorees, one CCAA Freshman of the Year and one CCAA Newcomer of the Year. He is the winningest coach in the program’s history with a 487-292-2 overall record to give him a .624 winning percentage.
The 2019 season was Maier’s first season back and he immediately led the team to their first winning season since his last season at the helm back in 2013. The team went 27-19 on the year and missed the playoffs by one game.
The Toros will look to build on their rapid success with Maier, but will have to do so without 2019 All-Region players Jazmin Guzman and Damari Simon. Guzman hit .419 and had a .437 on-base percentage, both school records. She was an All-CCAA Second Team member and led the conference in on-base percentage and was second in batting average.
Simon started all 46 games and hit .359 with nine doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 44 runs scored and 38 RBI. She was an All-CCAA First Team selection and was fourth in the conference in home runs (9) and drawn walks (33), fifth in RBI (38) and sixth in runs scored (44). Both she and Guzman were seniors last season.
Standout freshman outfielder Amanda Canizales will also not be returning in 2020. She hit .386 with 12 doubles, 18 runs and 19 RBI while earning All-CCAA Second Team honors in her lone season.
The softball team will first take the field on Jan. 31 in Irvine for the Concordia Kickoff Classic and then travel to Utah for another tournament, the Dixie State Courtyard Classic. The home opener and conference opener for the Toros is Feb. 14 at noon, as they have a date with the UC San Diego Tritons as part of a doubleheader.