By Jeremy Gonzalez, Co-Sports Editor
With the cancellation of athletics for spring 2020 due to coronavirus, The Bulletin would like to recognize the top athletes from each sport that was playing in the spring before their respective seasons were canceled.
Golf: Seniors Raynard Belmonte and Todd Henderson
Although golf played in three tournaments in the fall, the majority of the tournaments scheduled were in the spring. Unfortunately, the Toros only played in three of the 10 scheduled tournaments. At the Las Vegas Desert Classic back in February, senior Raynard Belmonte earned CCAA Player of the Week honors as he set a career-best 68 with six birdies including three straight holes. His clutch performance saw him jump from 44th place after two rounds to 16th in the final. This was Belmonte’s first ever CCAA weekly award, and he was just the fourth Toro to earn weekly conference honors since the 2004-05 season.
Senior Todd Henderson matched a career-best 1-under 71 to help the Toros obtain a top-five finish at the Notre Dame de Namur Invitational on March 9. Henderson finished ninth out of 76 golfers at the tournament, nailing two birdies and getting par on 15 holes in what was his best performance of his collegiate career.
Softball: Junior Alyssa Olague and senior Chenoa Au
The Toros softball team opened up the season in non-conference play and went 7-3 through the first 10 games, going 16-8 overall before the season was cut short. The team had reached a Top 25 ranking for the first time since 2013, coming in at No. 23 by the NFCA.
Junior Alyssa Olague was named to the Concordia Kickoff Classic All-Tournament team and she set a career high with 15 strikeouts against Montana State Billings at the Dixie State Courtyard Classic. Olague also took home CCAA Pitcher of the Week honors for her performance against No. 6 UC San Diego, going 1-1 with a save where she pitched the final three innings and only allowed one hit to the Tritons. Overall, Olague had a 9-3 record, tossing six complete games with an ERA of 2.77 through 73.1 innings and 62 strikeouts, sixth best in the conference.
Senior Chenoa Au performed well for the Toros, batting .333 with 25 hits in 23 games. Her best performance came against San Francisco State, going 6-for-9 with seven RBIs, six runs and one stolen base. Three of her six hits went over the fence, with two of those coming in the series opener against the Gators. Au Was named CCAA Player of the Week for the slugfest against San Francisco State.
Baseball: Seniors Angel Estrada and Dylan Steen
The Toros started off slow at the beginning of the season, but picked up the slack once conference play began as the team never lost a series in CCAA play. The team went on a seven-game winning streak for the first time since 2010, including the program’s first ever four-game sweep over crosstown rivals Cal State LA.
Senior infielder Angel Estrada stepped up for the Toros, playing in all 22 games this season and led the team with a .353 batting average and 30 hits, including six doubles and one home run. His lone homer came against rivals Cal State LA, a 3-run jack that proved to be the difference in a 4-1 victory against the Golden Eagles during the Toros’ big win streak.
Senior pitcher Dylan Steen took care of things on the mound for the Toros, improving once conference play began and led the Toros starting pitchers with a 2.23 ERA, fifth among conference pitchers. He struck out 31 batters through 40.1 innings pitched. Steen showed dominance on the mound in his last four starts, combining for 30 innings of work, striking out 23 batters and allowing two earned runs and seven walks.
Track and Field: Maryjane Smith
The Toros track and field team competed in six of the 15 scheduled meets this winter/spring before the season was suspended. The Toros’ best outdoor performance came at the Cal State LA Invitational on Feb. 29.
Senior Maryjane Smith won the 800 to highlight the Toros’ day at the Cal State LA Invitational. She recorded a personal best time of 2:20.22 on the rivals’ home stadium while she also participated in the 4×400 relay team that took third with a time of 4:06.56 at the meet. Smith also ran a seasonal-record time of 26.82 in the 200 at the Mountain T’s Invitational hosted by Northern Arizona on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1.