In one of its peak periods of the season, the Cal Poly Pomona women’s softball team will be playing three double-headers in a row.
The Broncos, ranked No. 7 in the NCAA Division I with a 19-10-1 record, will meet two outstanding non-conference opponents in double-headers against UCLA at 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Fresno State at 1:30 Sunday.
But the most important of the double-headers will be at 1 p.m. today when the Broncos play host to Pacific Coast Athletic Assn. rival Cal State Long Beach.
That is because Cal State Long Beach (23-11) is 8-5 in conference play and battling with Pomona (7-4-1) for second place in the PCAA behind Cal State Fullerton.
If the last double-header between the teams April 3 in Long Beach is any indication, it figures to be a close match-up. Pomona won the first game 1-0 in nine innings, and Cal State Long Beach took the second game 2-1 in 10 innings.
Pomona, which has been slumping on offense, will rely on the pitching of junior Rhonda Wheatley. The former Workman High School star has a 14-8-1 record with an 0.45 earned-run average and 143 strikeouts in 171 innings pitched.
Wheatley had the decision in all four of her team’s games against Hawaii last week, winning three of four. She pitched two one-hitters last week, one of which was a perfect game until Hawaii’s Michelle Inouye singled on a 3-2 count with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Pomona, which has a .199 team batting average, has been led in hitting by sophomore second baseman Alison Stowell (.299) and sophomore right fielder Betsy Burr (.241).
Bronco Coach Carol Spanks, who has an impressive career coaching mark of 315-122-1, will be honored in a ceremony before Saturday’s UCLA game for reaching the 300-win plateau. Spanks recorded her 300th victory in Pomona’s 3-0 win over UCLA on Feb. 22.
After guiding her team to its second straight NCAA Division II women’s basketball championship in March, Cal Poly Pomona Coach Darlene May is in the midst of a good recruiting year.
May has signed three players to national letters of intent for next season, including Compton High standout Niki Bracken.
The 6-2 Bracken, a center who has outstanding leaping ability, averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds as a senior and made 56% of her field-goal attempts.
As a junior she played on a Compton team that went undefeated and won the CIF 4-A Division title. Two other members of that team, Cathy Gooden and Yolanda Rothschild, are playing for Pomona.
May also landed two college transfers in 6-0 junior forward Monica McDowell, who played at Riverside City College last year, and 5-9 sophomore forward Lyn Sherow, who played at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Sherow, who has not played in two seasons, was an All-CIF player for Morningside High in Inglewood in 1983.
Cal Poly Pomona men’s basketball Coach George Fisher, who directed the Broncos to their fifth-best record ever last year, has signed four players to national letters of intent.
Topping the list are all-state community college players Bill Dobbs of Cypress College and Terry Stevens of Merced College. Dobbs, a 6-2 guard, averaged 18 points and 6 assists last season and was named the most valuable player of the South Coast Conference, and Stevens, a 6-4 forward, averaged 20.5 points and 8.6 rebounds and was voted the Central Valley Conference’s top player.
Pomona, which finished with a 15-13 record last year, also landed 6-7, 210-pound forward Zenon M from Mt. San Antonio College and 6-6 forward Matt Simmons from Sweetwater High in San Diego.
A former All-San Gabriel Valley selection from Pomona High, M averaged 18 points and 9 rebounds at Mt. San Antonio last year. Simmons, an All-CIF San Diego Section choice, averaged 17 points and 9 rebounds as a high school senior.
Four of the top heptathlon performers in the nation will lead a strong field at the Lady Bronco Track Classic on Friday and Saturday at Cal Poly Pomona’s Kellogg Field.
The two-day heptathlon, which starts at 11 a.m. Friday and noon Saturday, includes former UCLA star Jackie Joyner, a silver medalist in the event at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
Other participants in the event include Cindy Greiner, No. 1 in the U.S. this year, and Cal Poly Pomona’s Janet Nicolls and Debra Larsen. Nicolls won the NCAA Division II heptathlon in 1984 and Larsen finished fourth in Division II in 1985.
The rest of the events in the track meet will be held Saturday starting at 1:30 p.m. Among the colleges competing are Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, USC, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, San Diego State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Brigham Young and Cal State Northridge.
Arcadia High School, which won the prestigious El Segundo Baseball Tournament last week for the third time in five years, has climbed from seventh to fifth in this week’s CIF Southern Section 4-A Division Baseball Sportswriters’ Poll.
The Apaches, 14-3 overall and 7-0 in the Pacific League, have been led by the pitching of 6-4 senior Tim Lindsey. The highly regarded right hander, who has signed a letter of intent to attend UCLA next season, has a 5-0 record and an 0.80 earned-run average.
Arcadia, which scored a 5-3 win over Edison in the El Segundo tournament final, also has been led by the pitching of 6-5 senior Mark Juhas, who has a 5-1 record, and 6-6 senior Steve McGovern, who is 4-0.
Nogales, ranked No. 10 in the 4-A Division with a 12-4-1 record, is the only other San Gabriel Valley team listed in the 4-A poll.