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Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table

Channel League Softball Heading Into Second Half of Season

San Marcos softball head coach Jeff Swann poses with Hailee Rios (left) and Michelle Henderson (right). The Royals play two games against undefeated Buena this week. Click to view larger
San Marcos softball head coach Jeff Swann poses with Hailee Rios (left) and Michelle Henderson (right). The Royals play two games against undefeated Buena this week.

The San Marcos girls softball team earned an emotional 8-4 win over Dos Pueblos last Tuesday and is a solid 5-1 in Channel League play heading into the second half of league matchups. 

Other than a 6-0 loss to undefeated Buena, the Royals have run the table in league competition, outscoring their opponents 34-8 over five games.

"We're winning the games that we think we should and struggling but making it happen in games where we don't play our best," said San Marcos head coach Jeff Swann on Monday at the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon at Harry's Plaza Cafe. "That's really good to see that the girls can persevere in those tough times."

Swann brought Hailee Rios, who was named this week's female Athlete of the Week, and praised her leadership ability. Swann also brought Michelle Henderson, who is starting in left field after never playing softball before high school. 

The Royals get two chances at revenge against Buena this week, at home on Tuesday and away on Friday.

Dos Pueblos

The Chargers were on the losing end against San Marcos, and coach Jon Uyesaka claimed the two teams have a "common enemy" in Buena.

Uyesaka brought athletes Allison Gasper, Cassy Hagel, and Janet Salas. Gasper is a freshman that hit her first home run in a 7-6 loss to Oxnard, which she followed up with a double in her next game. Hagel is the Chargers' catcher who Uyesaka praised for being able to "whip the ball around." Salas is Dos Pueblos' center fielder with a "tremendous arm," and is an important weapon, said Uyesaka 

Dos Pueblos sits at 1-3 in league play and have lost four straight. Its next game comes against Ventura, which they beat 4-1 on April 13.



UCSB won a three-game series at Long Beach State for just the third time in program history this past weekend. After losing the first game 4-1, the Gauchos won the second 5-2 and the rubber match 4-3 in eight innings.

"I'm pretty excited for where our team is," said UCSB head coach ​Brie Galicinao. "We're still in the hunt."

The Gauchos improved to 7-5 in Big West play and 27-21 overall and are two games back of Cal State Fullerton with nine games to go (including a three-game home series against Fullerton to close out the season). First, UCSB travels to Hawaii for a three-game set against the Rainbow Warriors this weekend.



The Warriors sit in a rocky position heading into the final week of the season, with an 11-14 record that has them at seventh in the Golden State Athletic Conference standings. 

Head coach Robert Ruiz stressed the team can participate in postseason play with four home wins over Menlo College in back-to-back doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday. A loss, however, might be crippling to the Warriors' playoff chances.

Ruiz praised the play of pitcher Daniel Butler, whose 28 career wins are tied for most in school history. Butler can break the record with a win this weekend. 

"If he doesn't get it done on Friday, he'll probably try to pitch in relief on Saturday," Ruiz claimed.


Dos Pueblos

After a blistering hot start to the season, the Chargers cooled off a bit, having lost three of their last four Channel League games. After a devastating 1-0 loss in 12 innings at Santa Barbara on Wednesday, the Chargers responded Friday with a 4-2 home victory over the Dons.

Head coach George Hedricks introduced Colter Nisbet, who broke a 23-inning scoreless streak with a home run in the fifth inning of the Chargers win against the Dons.

Hedricks also introduced Wyatt Boyle, who started at first base in Wednesday's loss to Santa Barbara. Hedricks emphasized Boyle's passion and dedication, which he demonstrated by offering to bunt or pinch run despite an injury in order to help his team. Boyle laid down a sacrifice bunt that moved a runner to second and nearly beat out the throw to first. The runner at second scored one batter later.

Dos Pueblos closes out their league season with two games against Buena this week and two against San Marcos next week.


Westmont Men

Riding the momentum of four straight wins, including a 6-3 victory over Division-I UC Riverside, the Warriors took down San Diego Christian and Arizona Christian 5-4 each to win the Golden State Athletic Conference championship for the first time in more than 20 years. 

Coach Mark Basham explained that Westmont fell behind 2-1 in doubles play in each match, but strong singles play was enough to power the Warriors to victory each time. In the final set of the match against Arizona Christian, No. 6 freshman Luke Barnard came back from down one set to win the final two sets 7-5 and 6-2 to secure the victory.

Westmont Women

The Warriors earned the first-round matchup against rival Biola that they had hoped for. But they couldn't make any magic happen, eventually falling 5-2. 

Cade Pierson won 6-1, 6-1 in singles and teamed up with Isabel Lee to win 8-4 in doubles, but no other Warriors found a way to win. 

"If our players can show up to practice with the motivation they did after winning three regular season matches, I'm excited to see what we can do next year with four incoming players," said head coach Ellie Johnson.



The Warriors 4-1 league record allows them to clinch at least a share of the Frontier League title with a win over St. Bonaventure on Tuesday.

Van Latham, speaking on behalf of head coach Charles Bryant, introduced Luke Nahooikaika, who has only been playing tennis for 15 months, but according to Latham, "you'd never know that."

Nahooikaika has been instrumental in Carpinteria's doubles success this season. 

Latham also introduced Myles Morgan, who was holding down No. 2 singles this season before breaking his foot last week. Latham dubbed Morgan Carpinteria's "Evel Knieval." Latham praised Morgan's play and joked that "he's so talented we might play him even with a boot on his foot."



The Warriors are preparing for the upcoming Tri-Valley League championship meet on May 4, after a dual meet versus Malibu on Wednesday.

Latham introduced athletes Alondra Campazano, David Torres, and Daniel Burquez. Campazano is cross country captain and one of few distance runners for the Warriors. 

Latham praised Torres' work ethic, explaining how he helps clean up after meets, even on days when he has work. 

Daniel Burquez stopped playing basketball to focus solely on track and field, and exemplified the motto "hard work pays off." His early season goals of breaking a school record and qualifying for Arcadia have both been fulfilled.

San Marcos

The Royals continued their strong season  with a dominant showing at the County Championships at Carpinteria this past weekend. 

The Royals saw four track and field competitors nominated for Athlete of the Week, including Brian Nnoli, who won the county title in triple jump, surpassing his own personal record that he had set days before. 

Coach Marilyn Hantgin introduced David Dinklage, who broke two minutes in the 800-meter dash.​



The Warriors will compete in the GSAC Championship this weekend at Westmont.

Head coach Russell Smelley explained the fierce rivalries between the Westmont men and Vanguard University, and the Westmont women and Biola University. Each of the past two years the league title has come down to single-digit points between those schools, so Smelley expects a close meet again. 

"It's going to be a battle back and forth all day, I think," said Smelley. 


Santa Barbara

The Dons played six games over a four day span this past weekend, coming away with four wins and a fourth-place finish at the Karch Kiraly Tournament of Champions. 

Santa Barbara can clinch the Channel League title with a win over Dos Pueblos on Tuesday; a loss would result in a share of the league title between the two teams.

Head coach Chad Arneson introduced Ben Roach and Pierce Barnes to the crowd. Roach is an outside hitter that "brings a high level of intensity and maturity" to the Dons. 

Barnes is the Dons' starting libero and Arneson's proclaimed "defensive floor general." He leads the team in digs, and had 49 digs in two days at the Tournament of Champions. 

— Noozhawk sports reporter Christian Eckert can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports and @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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