The 49ers defeated Nevada 8-1, but fell to Oregon State 17-3 on Saturday as Head Coach Kim Sowder notched win No. 200.
LBSU improved to 3-2 on the season after a split decision at the Easton Desert Classic.
The 49ers will play five games over the weekend in the second tournament of the season.
The 49ers defeat Wright State 7-4, but fall to No. 17 Texas A&M 8-0.
The 49ers open the season at the Stacy Winsberg Memorial Tournament
In her six seasons at the helm of the Long Beach State softball program, Kim Sowder has continued a 49er tradition of winning and advancing to the NCAA Tournament. The 1998 inductee into the Long Beach State Athletics Hall of Fame has won nearly 60 percent of her games as the 49ers' head coach while leading LBSU to four NCAA Regional appearances.
Sowder has compiled a 196-132 (59.8 winning percentage) record, including an 82-41 (66.7 winning percentage) record in Big West Conference games. In addition to the four trips to the NCAA Tournament, she has led the 49ers to a pair of Big West Conference championships in 2008 and 2012 and a runner-up finish in 2011.
Last season may have been the most rewarding in Sowder's tenure at the helm of the program. 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. A rash of injuries forced four projected starters and one starting pitcher to miss a bulk of the non-conference season, but the team rallied behind Sowder's leadership.
After starting the season with an 8-17 record, Long Beach State beat No. 24 North Carolina starting a run that saw the 49ers put together winning streaks of three, five and seven games, while never losing two in a row during the remainder of the season. The 49ers finished the season hitting .277, the second best batting average in school history, and finished with a team earned run average of 2.44, the fourth time in six seasons under Sowder that the team has finished with an ERA under 3.00.
In all, a school-record tying eight 49ers were named All-Big West bringing the total to 45 all-conference players that Sowder has coached while at the helm of the program. Sophomore Erin Jones-Wesley and senior Taylor Petty both earned first-team honors as pitchers, while junior Cya Neal claimed first-team recognition at second base. Sophomores Hannah De Gaetano (third base) and Karli Sandoval (designated player and utility) both were named second-team All-Big West, as was true freshman Leilani Tupua-Tautalatasi (outfield). True freshman Shayna Kimbrough (shortstop) and senior Megan Denio (outfield) claimed honorable mention honors.
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 also set a school record with a .279 team batting average.
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 coached her team within one game of a Big West Conference title despite starting four freshmen and three sophomores for most of the season. One of the freshmen, Jones-Wesley, earned second-team All-West Region honors as well as Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year and Big West Conference Freshman of the Year recognition. Freshman De Gaetano also earned first-team All-Big West accolades, while freshman Sarah Carrasco and sophomore Nalani St. Germain claimed second-team honors.
Four years ago, Sowder saw her squad make its second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. 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.
In 2010, Sowder's team finished in a tie for fourth in the Big West with five players earning all-conference recognition. In Sowder's first year in charge of the program, Long Beach State finished third in the Big West.
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.
Working with hitting and defense, Sowder has had a tremendous impact on the 49ers. In the 1990s, LBSU posted some of the highest batting averages in the history of the program. In 2005, LBSU hit for a then school-record .273 average, eclipsing the previous high of .263 set in 1996.
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.