Pixel Tracker

Tuesday, January 22 , 2019, 1:15 am | Fair 49º

Sports: A Noozhawk Partnership with Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table, The Lab, and American Riviera Bank
Santa Barbara Athletic Round TableThe LabAmerican Riviera Bank

Depth Will Be Key for SBCC Softball

Heralded recruits expand options all around for Vaqueros.

Paula Congleton wasn’t going to let history repeat itself after going through most of the 2007 season with just 12 players. SBCC‘s 10th-year softball coach hit the recruiting trail in earnest and brought in a whopping 18 freshmen.

"Our strength comes from the depth of this year’s team," said Congleton, who guided her 2006 squad to the Southern Cal Regionals. "We have two or three players per position. We have three very talented pitchers.

"We’re working hard and are excited about the potential to achieve great things. Peter Aguilar, our strength and conditioning coach, has been working the players out, emphasizing speed, power and agility."

Center fielder Michelle Diaz and shortstop Vanessa Crook are the lone returners for the Vaqueros, who went 15-27 overall last year and took fourth in the WSC North with a 10-15 record. Diaz was a first-team All-WSC selection while Crook was honorable mention.

Topping the list of newcomers is Sonja Crawford, a first-team All-Channel League catcher from San Marcos High who’s moving to third base. Kasie Muro, a four-time all-league player in high school, will handle the catching duties. Brianne Bagwell, Jennifer Fontan, Vanessa Gutierrez and Sierra Van Olphen are talented freshmen who all played on the California Mirage 18-Under travel ball team.

Four hurlers will spend time in the circle: Barbie Clemons, Gabby Garza, Cierra Lard and Kristina Sewell (Nipomo High). Garza will also play right field while Clemons is a true utility player, who’s expected to play first base and catcher.

The outfield will be patroled by Erin Breck (Thousand Oaks High), Alaura Contreras, Sara Gurchinoff (Lompoc High), Jessie Mahn (Thousand Oaks High), Jennifer Mosier (Royal High in Simi Valley) and Mitchelle Tabone (Oak Park High). Breck batted over .400 in her high school career.

Breck and Gurchinoff will see most of their action at second base. Bianca Alvarez (Oxnard High) is a solid threat on offense and defense.

"We need to stay healthy, train hard and stay focused," Congleton said. "It is a long season which requires a steady but diligent effort each day in the classroom and on the field."

SBCC is off to a strong start with a 6-2 record.

"I think we can challenge for the WSC title and get back to the playoffs," Congleton concluded. "Each player recognizes the potential we have, challenging other players as well as themselves to maintain their sound fundamentals and continue their development as students of the game."

Dave Loveton is Santa Barbara City College‘s sports information specialist.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.