facebook twitter Blog Newsletter YouTube Audio Game Tracker Mobile Tickets Toolbar
  Kim Sowder
Kim  Sowder

Head Coach


Sowder, Kimbrough Garner Top Honors As Big West All-Conference Teams Announced

Beach head coach Kim Sowder named Big West Coach of the year for the second time.


LBSU Nabs Championship In Epic Final Big West Game

Amanda Hansen allowed three runs over a career-long 8.2 innings pitched.


Softball Splits on Day Two of Easton Desert Classic

The 49ers defeated Nevada 8-1, but fell to Oregon State 17-3 on Saturday as Head Coach Kim Sowder notched win No. 200.


Softball Falls to #7 Oregon; Defeats Seattle in Las Vegas

LBSU improved to 3-2 on the season after a split decision at the Easton Desert Classic.


Softball Heads to Vegas for Easton Desert Classic

The 49ers will play five games over the weekend in the second tournament of the season.

In her eight seasons at the helm of the Long Beach State softball program, three-time Big West Coach of the Year Kim Sowder has continued a Beach tradition of winning and advancing to the NCAA Tournament. The 1998 inductee into the Long Beach State Athletics Hall of Fame has won over 60 percent of her games as the 49ers' head coach while leading LBSU to five NCAA Regional appearances.

Sowder has compiled a 272-171 (.613) record, including a 116-54 (.682) record in Big West Conference games. In addition to five trips to the NCAA Tournament, she has led the 49ers to a trio of Big West Conference championships in 2008 and 2012 as well as last season in 2014. Sowder has never finished a season with a losing record.

For the third time in the last four years, Sowder's club won more than 35 games, posting a 39-19 overall record, winning the Big West and advancing to NCAA Regionals for the 22nd time in program history.

The 49ers continued a run of offensive dominance, breaking a number of hitting records in 2014. The team became the first to finish a season batting over .300 at .306, and also set new records in scoring (318 runs), RBI (237) and doubles (74) while finishing just behind 2013's record home run mark of 53.

Sowder earned Big West Coach of the Year honors as Long Beach State outlasted UC Santa Barbara in a thrilling extra-inning victory to clinch a third Big West championship under Sowder's watch. Shortstop Shayna Kimbrough was named the conference's defensive player of the year, and three players, Cya Neal, Ashlynn Booker, and Erin Jones-Wesley were named All-Region.

Long Beach State's depth was truly shown in the conference honors, however, as all nine starters and both starting pitchers received some form of conference honors, with Booker, Neal, Jones-Wesley, Kimbrough, and Amanda Hansen ending up on the First-Team All-Big West team. Under Sowder's watch, the 49ers have now had 63 players receive all-conference honors during her seven seasons as head coach.

Behind Sowder's leadership in 2012, the 49ers rallied from a slow start to win the Big West Conference title and an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. LBSU won 20 of its final 26 regular-season games, including a 16-5 Big West Conference record, to clinch the program's 21st NCAA Tournament berth.

In 2011, Sowder blended a core group of returning players with a talented group of freshmen into a Big West Conference title contender. The 49ers finished the season with a 38-18 record, including a 15-6 conference mark that allowed the 49ers to finish in second place, one game behind conference champion Pacific. The 49ers' season, which included wins over four nationally-ranked teams, (No. 6 Oklahoma, No. 21 Baylor, No. 23 Fresno State, and No. 23 Houston) ended with the school's 20th trip to the NCAA Tournament. The 49ers opened the tournament with a win over San Diego State in the first round before dropping a pair of games, one to eventual national-champion Arizona State.

Sowder saw her squad make its second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2009. Long Beach State finished the season with a 35-21 record, marking its eighth consecutive winning season. Eight players were named to the all-conference team, while Jennifer Griffin was tabbed the Big West Field Player of the Year and Petty earned co-Freshman Pitcher of the Year honors.

In 2008, Sowder led LBSU to its sixth Big West Conference title and a NCAA Regional appearance. The 49ers reached the 40-win mark for just the eighth time in school history, finishing with a 40-17 record. LBSU was ranked 22nd and 23rd in the final USA Softball and NFCA polls, respectively. Sowder, who was tabbed the co-Big West Coach of the Year, also saw eight of her players earn all-conference recognition. In addition, freshman Brooke Turner, picked up All-America and All-West Region honors after being named the BWC Pitcher of the Year.

Along with on-field accomplishments, the 49ers have also earned a number of accolades off the field. In 2007, Sowder's first as head coach, Long Beach State had a record number of student-athletes honored academically, as six players were named NFCA Scholar All-Americans by the national coaching organization.

In Sowder's 11 years as an assistant and associate head coach at Long Beach State, the program recorded a .637 overall winning percentage, won five conference championships, and made nine NCAA appearances.

As the former Kim Kostyk, Sowder was a speedy, slick-fielding shortstop in her four years (1989-92) at LBSU. A 1991 third-team All-American, she helped the 49ers to three (1990-92) of their five trips to the NCAA Women's College World Series. She also earned second-team All-Big West honors as a junior in 1991 and was a Big West honorable-mention pick in 1992.

The school's all-time stolen base leader (50), Sowder's 19 thefts in 1991 still ranks as the 49ers' single-season high. She also ranks in the top 10 in career at-bats (860), runs (96), hits (204) and sacrifices (52). Defensively, she holds three of the top four 49er single-season assist marks with 243 in 1992, 233 in 1990, and 214 in 1991.

Sowder earned her undergraduate degree in marketing in 1993. She then went into the coaching ranks, serving two years as an assistant coach at Pacific.

A product of Wilson High School in Hacienda Heights, she resides with her husband, Shawn, and their two children, Zachary and Jacob, in Yorba Linda.

Shop for 49ers Gear

at the Long Beach
State Online Store