11:14 AM

Power Play: Softball Experiences Best Season on Record

An impressive 22-game winning streak, 20 pitching shutouts, 58 home runs and scores that often surpass their opponents in the double digits, CSUSM softball wraps up their regular season with a 47-4 record, a program best .922 winning percentage.As CSUSM heads into the A.I.I. Conference Tournament as the No. 1 seed this weekend, the Cougars have their sights set on advancing to the National Championship. Last year, CSUSM placed fourth at Nationals.The Cougars earned their first ever No. 1 national ranking in March and have remained in the top-2 all season. The team has established a strong reputation for CSUSM, and has had several players named NAIA All-Americans in recent seasons.After having just one lead pitcher in 2011, the Cougars have quadrupled their power on the pitching mound this year with junior Cortney Allen #1 (17-4, 1.11 ERA) and freshmen Jourdan Lamoureux #4 (7-0, 1.03 ERA), Kimberle Smith #13 (9-0, 0.75 ERA) and Katie Wilkinson #18 (14-0, 1.25 ERA).Adding to the strong chemistry of the team is newcomer and right-handed pitcher Cortney Allen #1. A transfer from Sacramento City College, Allen earned the prestigious recognition as the state pitcher of the year in 2011. While at CSUSM, she has earned 17 wins, pitched 119 innings and made 76 strikeouts.CSUSM remained undefeated all season on their home turf, winning 21 home games. In April, the Cougars outscored their opponents 51-8.Strength at the plate from powerhouse seniors Alyssa Dronenburg #21 and Theresa Houle #22 helped the Cougars knock out 58 home runs this season, a personal best for both Dronenburg with 18 home runs and Houle with 16.Senior Alicia Ingram #15 is ranked fifth in the NAIA with 40 stolen bases this season. Since debuting at CSUSM in 2009, Ingram has claimed 85 stolen bases -- the highest on school record. As a team, the Cougars have stolen 124 bases this season, and allowed their opponents to sneak by with only 12.First base senior Alyssa Dronenburg #21, who has been batting .500 this season, earned the recognition as CSUSM’s Female Student-Athlete of the Year, Offensive Player of the Year and Softball MVP at the University’s Athletics Awards Banquet on April 19. Dronenburg will be joining CSUSM softball alumna Brenna Sandberg to play for UVV Utrecht, a semi-professional team in Netherlands in June.Freshman catcher Caitlin Monnahan #17 has impressed in her first year at the position and hit .336 during the regular season, including two home runs and eight doubles.Sophomore centerfielder Alex Miller #7, who earned All-American last year as a freshman, impressed again this year, hitting .412 with a team-leading 18 doubles. Miller is currently ranked 15th in the NAIA.Second base freshman Olivia Lucatuorto #16 started every game in 2012 and is one of the top freshman athletes in the country, batting .345 with 17 extra base hits and six home runs.Keep up with the Cougars as they head into the postseason by visiting CSUSM Softball.The Climb to the Top