May 16, 2006
FULLERTON, CA - Cal State Fullerton Head Coach Michelle Gromacki and junior outfielder Ashley Van Boxmeer were honored as Big West Coach of the Year and Co-Player of the Year as the league office announced the 2006 all-conference teams on Tuesday afternoon.
Gromacki, who led the Titans to their eighth Big West title with a 36-22 overall record and a 14-4 mark in league play in 2006, was honored as the conference's top coach for the second time in her career. She was first honored following her 2000 rookie season after helping Cal State Fullerton to a 45-15 overall record and a 19-5 mark in league play for the first of her five Big West crowns.
Van Boxmeer continued a tradition of Titan Players of the Year as she becomes the sixth Fullerton player to earn the honor in the last eight years, joining Stephenie Little in 1999, Kristy Osborne in 2000, and Jenny Topping in 2001-03. The junior outfielder shared the honor with Pacific's Gina Carbonatto and finished the regular season with a .314 average, 13 home runs, and 41 RBI.
Van Boxmeer, who was named to the all-conference honorable mention squad in 2005, ranked among the league's top 10 offensive players in 10 different categories, including leading the league with 45 runs scored and tying for the top spot with her 13 home runs.
Fullerton placed a league-best four players on the All-Big West First Team as Van Boxmeer was joined by senior Marissa Marzan, sophomore Amanda Kamekona, and junior Candice Baker, who became the first Titan since Gina Oaks and Jodie Cox in 2003 to earn a berth on the first team at two different positions (pitcher and utility player).
Marzan, who was named to the All-Big West Second Team as a junior, finished the regular season 12-8 overall with a 1.73 ERA - a total that ranked second in the Big West. Against conference foes, Marzan posted an 8-1 record in the circle with a 1.11 ERA, 39 strikeouts, and a .179 average against.
Kamekona earned her first career All-Big West honor after lead the the Titans with a .338 average despite missing a month due to injury. She ranked ninth in the league with 45 hits and co-led the conference with four triples. Kamekona also smacked eight doubles and four home runs while driving in 25.
Baker was Fullerton's ace in the circle, posting a 21-9 overall mark with a 2.18 ERA and six shutouts. She led the Big West Conference with 249 strikeouts and a .194 average against while also ranking third in innings (202.1), second in wins, and fourth in ERA.
Baker, who was an All-Big West Second Team selection as the utility player in 2005, also played second base and shortstop, hitting .208 with 35 runs scored (fourth in the conference), five home runs, and 16 RBI. She was also hit by a pitch 11 times - a total that ranked third in the league.
Gollhardt hit .314 on the year with nine home runs, 43 RBI, and 32 runs scored while notching a .994 fielding percentage. She co-led the league in RBI while ranking among the top 10 in the league in slugging percentage (.574 - 5th), runs (t7th), hits (53 - t4th), doubles (11 - 6th), triples (3 - t4th), and home runs (t5th).
Vieyra was the league's most oft-hit batter, amassing 18 hit by pitches - one more than her total that led the nation as a freshman in 2005. She hit .244 on the year (.390 against Big West Conference teams) with six home runs and 21 RBI.
Redshirt sophomore Jenna Wheeler earned her second All-Big West Honorable Mention honor after sitting out all of last year due to injury, hitting .321 (.351 against Big West teams) with six home runs and 23 RBI.
Cal State Fullerton opens postseason play this weekend in Fresno, Calif., as the No. 2-seeded Titans face the host and No. 3-seeded Bulldogs at 5 p.m. Regional play continues throughout the weekend.