An update on local athletes playing in college.
Katie Hooper (Burbank High, 2003) Cal State Northridge softball, senior: After showcasing her skills as an All-CIF Southern Section player with the Bulldogs, Hooper has made the successful transition into the collegiate ranks with the Matadors.
In her first season with Northridge, Hooper has gotten the chance to shine, starting in all 16 of her team's games as a utility player. And she's made the most of that opportunity. Hopper is currently fourth on the team with a .333 average (15 for 45). In addition, she's belted two home runs, driven in 18 runs, scored four runs, has two doubles and has drawn five walks.
Northridge (9-8) defeated Portland State, 5-3, and Rutgers, 7-5, in its 2014 home-opening doubleheader Sunday at Matador Diamond. Against Rutgers, Hooper was two for three with a double, two RBI and a run scored. Against Portland State, she was one for two with a walk and a run scored.
The Matadors return to action Friday as part of the CSUN/UCLA Invitational. CSUN will take on Grand Canyon at noon.
Monique Landini (Bellarmine-Jefferson High, 2013), St. John's softball, senior: Landini, who led the Guards to a CIF Southern Section championship last spring, is carrying that success over into her first season with the Red Storm.
Landini, a CIF Player of the Year in 2013, has gotten the start in all 14 of St. John's games this season as an infielder. Landini has posted a .234 average (11 for 47) and has four doubles, three runs scored and has driven in one run. In the field, she has 14 putouts for a .875 fielding percentage.
In the Red Storm's last game, a 7-0 nonconference loss Sunday against Western Carolina, Landini delivered a fifth-inning double to account for one of just three hits on the day by St. John's (5-9).
The Red Storm returns to action Wednesday with a nonconference game against the Dutch National Team in Clearwater, Fla.
Jasmine Smith (Bellarmine-Jefferson High, 2012), San Jose State women's basketball, senior: Smith has continued to see substantial playing time and has put up solid numbers in her first season with the Spartans.
Smith, a former All-CIF Southern Section standout for the Guards, has seen the floor in all 27 of San Jose State's games, earning starts in seven contests.
She is fourth on the team in scoring average, tallying 10.7 points a contest. In addition, Smith is averaging eight rebounds a game.
In her last game Saturday at Utah State, Smith had a double-double in a 96-67 loss to the Aggies in a Mountain West Conference game. Smith collected a season-high 16 rebounds to go along with 11 points. It was her eighth double-double of the season for San Jose State (10-17, 4-12 in conference).
Emily Tubert (Burroughs High, 2010), Arkansas women's golf, senior: The former Leader Female Athlete of the Year helped lead the Razorbacks to victory in the first tournament of the spring.
Eighth-ranked Arkansas battled tough conditions, but hung on for the win at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic in Rio Mar, Puerto Rico Feb. 18
Strong winds forced higher scores, but Arkansas posted a 283, the second-best round of the day, to finish with 867 and a 14-stroke lead. Sophomores Gabriela Lopez and Regina Plasencia both carded one-over 73s in the final round.
Tubert and teammate Emma Lavy tied for fourth overall, shooting 216s. Tubert posted rounds of 68-73-75 and opened the final round with nine consecutive par holes on the River Course.
"I'm just really proud of this group," Arkansas Coach Shauna Estes-Taylor told the university's website. "I know that I say that a lot, but this is just a really special group of young ladies. We have a great time and they truly work very hard and determined every time they come to the gym and I'm happy that they can reap the benefits of their commitment of winning golf tournaments for the University of Arkansas.
"We train really hard for these moments and winning is hard in golf. To lead wire-to-wire just shows this team has great depth and is determined. I'm excited that we could come to Puerto Rico and start the spring off with a win. It shows we are working in the right direction. It is a long season, but it is good to get a victory to build some confidence as we continue on this journey."
The Razorbacks return to action Friday at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate in Hilton Head Island, S.C.