Having wrapped up third place in the Big West Conference, the Cal Poly Pomona women's softball team will conclude its regular season with a double-header against U.S. International University at 1 p.m. today at San Diego and expects a playoff berth.
The Broncos, who finished conference play at 24-12 and were four games behind Cal State Fullerton (28-8) and five behind Fresno State (29-7), have a 38-11 overall record and are ranked No. 11 in the NCAA Division I coaches poll.
Pomona is expected to earn a spot in the Division I playoffs that start next week. The Broncos have advanced to the playoffs in the last seven seasons.
They won three of four games last week, including a sweep of San Diego State in a double-header. Pomona has been led by the hitting of all-conference catcher Denise Correa, infielder Shellie McCall and outfielder Nikki Busch.
But the key to the success of the Broncos has been the pitching of senior Lori Thompson and sophomore Nicky Luce. Thompson has not allowed an earned run in 49 innings.
A transfer from San Diego State after her freshman season, Thompson recorded a 3-0 shutout of her former team last week and also blanked Long Beach State, 4-0. She has an 18-7 record and 0.66 earned-run average.
USIU has a 15-34-1 record as a Division I independent. The Gulls are led in hitting by sophomore catcher Shannon Riley, who has a .273 batting average, and their top pitcher is freshman Cindy Oliver, who is 9-16 with a 1.67 ERA.
The Cal Poly Pomona baseball team saw its California Collegiate Athletic Assn. title hopes vanish by dropping two of three games against first-place Cal Poly San Luis Obispo last week.
But the Broncos still have an opportunity to finish second in the conference entering a three-game series against Cal State Los Angeles on Friday at Pomona.
They will play a single game at 3 p.m. Friday and a double-header at Cal State at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Pomona enters the final week of the conference season in third place in the CCAA at 14-13 and 21-28 overall. Cal State L.A. is tied with UC Riverside for fourth at 11-13 and 21-27. San Luis Obispo leads the conference at 19-10 and Cal State Northridge is second at 14-11-1.
The Broncos have been led by the batting of catcher Chris Goldbach, who has a conference-leading .397 average and leads his team with 75 hits, 51 runs batted in and 18 doubles.
The hottest hitters for the Broncos recently have been outfielder Brian Grier and second baseman Dave Hajek. Grier has increased his average to .378 with 30 RBIs, thanks largely to a 14-game hitting streak. Hajek has an 11-game hitting streak and has climbed to .349.
Cal State L.A. has been led by outfielders Frank James and Rex De La Nuez and second baseman Ed Pimental. Among the pitching leaders have been starters Paul Spere, a freshman from Diamond Bar High, and Abdom Pinon and reliever Joe Cypert.
Bishop Amat, Blair and San Marino high schools have the most players selected to compete in the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame All-Star Game on July 21 at Arroyo High School in El Monte.
Each has four players selected to the game, which features many of the top graduated seniors in the San Gabriel Valley.
Bishop Amat, which finished second in the CIF Southern Section Division I last season, placed quarterback Brian Harmon, offensive lineman Ken Canchola, linebacker Wade Kennedy and defensive back Loren Cannon on the East team.
San Marino, which won the CIF Division VII title, landed defensive linemen Jeff Dolan and Mike Arens, linebacker Jerry Dietrick and defensive back Robbie Santos on the West. Blair will be represented on the West by tight end Jeff Parcell, wide receiver Demetrius McWhorter and offensive linemen Marcus Bolton and Roland Hemming.
Muir had three players selected on the West, including all-valley performers Darick Holmes at running back and Mumbie Mushonga at tight end. Arroyo landed three on the West team including all-valley players Chad Plaisted on the defensive line and Danny Ibarra at defensive back and place-kicker.
Standouts on the East include running backs Daryl Green of Nogales and Mike Galindo of Northview, offensive linemen Kenny Hall of Garey and Lou Parra of Los Altos and defensive back Jason Martin of Los Altos.