May 16, 2012
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Long Beach State placed eight players on the Big West All-Conference Team, including three first-team members.
Pitchers Taylor Petty and Erin Jones-Wesley and second baseman Cya Neal earned first-team honors, while third baseman Hannah De Gaetano, centerfielder Leilani Tupua-Tautalatasi, and utility/designated player Karli Sandoval were named second-team all-conference. Shortstop Shayna Kimbrough and outfielder Megan Denio claimed honorable mention All-Big West accolades.
The Big West Conference champion 49ers were shut out of the six major awards, just the third time in the history of the league, and the first in 16 years, that the conference champion hasn't earned one of the awards which are voted on by the league's coaches. Long Beach State was shut out of the awards after winning the league title in 1995, while Fresno State didn't win any postseason awards after claiming the championship in 1992.
Jones-Wesley (Alta Loma, Calif. / Los Osos HS) and Petty (San Pedro, Calif. / San Pedro HS) are the first pitchers on the same team to earn first-team All-Big West honors in the same season since 2006 and only the ninth pair since 1985. The duo combined to pitch every inning in Big West Conference play and tallied a combined 1.14 ERA, while leading the 49ers to a 16-5 record. They struck out 128 hitters in 140.2 innings and allowed the other Big West teams to hit just .183.
Jones-Wesley, a sophomore, earned first-team honors for the second consecutive season. She finished the regular season with a 20-12 record and three saves while compiling a 1.97 ERA with 163 strikeouts in 212.2 innings pitched. In league games she was even more dominant finishing 8-3 with a 1.15 ERA and three saves. She struck out 60 hitters in 79.1 innings pitched and allowed opponents to hit just .187. In her last eight appearances she had a 6-0 record with a save and a 0.80 ERA while helping LBSU win the league title. Her 37 appearances on the season ranks in a tie for the sixth most in school history and her 20 wins are the 10th most. Jones-Wesley also ranks among the all-time leaders in single-season strike outs (eighth) and saves (third). Jones-Wesley finished second in the Big West in ERA, wins, saves and starts, while ranking third in opposing batting average and strikeouts, and fourth in appearances. In league games she was first in saves, second in opposing batting average, third in ERA and wins, fourth in strikeouts, fifth in appearances and seventh in starts.
Petty, a senior, earned all-league honors for the fourth consecutive season and was a first-team pick for the second time. After missing the first two months of the season with pneumonia and a resulting rib injury, she returned at the beginning of Big West play and was dominant from the outset. Petty finished with an 8-2 record and a 1.14 ERA. She struck out 68 batters in just 61.1 innings pitched, while walking just 19. Petty held her opponents to a .176 batting average, the lowest in the Big West Conference. She also ranked first in ERA and 10th in strikeouts. In league games she led the conference in opposing batting average, while ranking second in ERA, third in wins and strikeouts, fifth in starts, sixth in appearances and eighth in innings pitched.
Neal (Whittier, Calif. / Mt. SAC) earned first-team honors at second base in her first season at Long Beach State. She hit .327 with eight RBI and three stolen base. The junior finished the regular season seventh in the Big West Conference in hitting and eighth in hits (51). She also played nearly flawless defense committing just five errors on the season.
De Gaetano (San Pedro, Calif. / San Pedro HS) earned second-team honors a year after being named first-team All-Big West as an outfielder. The sophomore led LBSU in hitting with a .337 average with a .497 slugging percentage. She had five home runs and 11 doubles and drove in a team-high 29 runs. She finished the regular season third in the Big West in hitting and doubles, fourth in hits, fifth in total bases, seventh in home runs and RBI, and eighth in slugging percentage. In Big West games, she increased her batting average to .356, while hitting two home runs and six doubles. She struck out just two times in 73 at bats. De Gaetano finished the league season second in total bases, third in hits, fourth in doubles, eighth in RBI, and ninth in hitting and slugging percentage.
Sandoval (Riverside, Calif. / Poly HS) earned second-team honors as both the designated player and the utility player after splitting time between catcher, designated player and third base during the season. She finished the season hitting .333, second on the team, while finishing with a team-best .506 slugging percentage and 10 doubles. After missing much of the non-conference season with symptoms from concussions, the sophomore flourished during league play. She batted .408 with 10 RBI, and seven doubles. Sandoval had a .592 slugging percentage and a .508 on-base percentage. She finished league games ranked second in doubles and triples, third in hitting, fourth in on-base percentage, and sixth in slugging percentage.
Tupua-Tautalatasi (Oxnard, Calif. / Oxnard HS) claimed second-team all-league honors as a true freshman after starting 48 of LBSU's 51 games in centerfield. She hit .283 with 17 RBI and a team-best seven steals. In league games, Tupua-Tautalatasi upped her batting average to .298 with eight runs scored. She led the Big West Conference in sacrifice flies (4) and finished fifth in triples (2). In league games she led the conference with four sacrifice flies and finished seventh in stolen bases with three.
Denio (Tustin, Calif. / Beckman HS) claimed her first career all-league honors after hitting a career-best .299 with 13 RBI. She ranked ninth in the conference with a .409 on-base percentage. Kimbrough (Oxnard, Calif. / Frontier HS
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