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  Kim Sowder
Kim Sowder

Head Coach

8th Year


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 seven 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 over 60 percent of her games as the 49ers' head coach while leading LBSU to four NCAA Regional appearances.

Sowder has compiled a 233-152 (60.5 percent) record, including a 101-48 (67.8 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 finishes in 2011 as well as last season, 2013.

After leading the program to 37 wins in 2013, Sowder has been involved in another impressive run of success for the Long Beach State program, as the 49ers have won at least 30 games in nine of the last 12 seasons, all of which have been with Sowder on the staff.

Long Beach State had a record-breaking offensive output last season in 2013, as Long Beach State came up just short of its 22nd NCAA Regional appearance. The 49ers hit a record .288 as a team, and also set offensive records in runs scored (266), RBI (237), and home runs (53).

The 49ers came up just behind Hawai'i in the Big West standings and were shut out of an at-large bid, but were still recognized for their giant offensive season. Sophomore Shayna Kimbrough was named the 2013 Big West Player of the Year, while Darian Tautalafua was named the Big West Freshman Player of the Year, marking the third time that an LBSU player has won the top field player award in the conference, and the second time under the guidance of Sowder.

Both Kimbrough and Tautalafua were First-Team All-Big West honorees, and the pair were joined by pitcher Erin Jones-Wesley and infielder Hannah De Gaetano on the first team. Catcher Karli Sandoval made the second team, and Nalani St. Germain and Sarah Carrasco each received honorable mention as seven 49ers were picked for the All-Big West squad. Under Sowder's watch, the 49ers have now had 52 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.

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.

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.

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