Softball Coach Taylor catches 100th victory

Andrea Malloyd

San Diego City College softball Head Coach LeeAnn Taylor achieved her 100th career win when the Knights shut out L.A. Pierce College 15-0 in a road victory on Feb. 19.

“It was amazing! I didn’t feel like we played well and I was very frustrated with the team. I forgot it was even going to be my 100th win,” Taylor said. “All I cared about was getting my team on track and they did that and we wound up blowing the team out.”

All bets were off when the Knights sparred against LAPC. The team started aggressively and never missed a beat, posting six runs to the scoreboard during the first inning, three in the second and another six in the third to take the lead.

Starting pitcher Hannah Shafer left the game after one inning but relief pitcher Courtney Gahan assured the win by allowing no hits, striking out five of 14 batters.

“I felt really confident, especially following after Hannah. I just felt like I had a lot of support from my teammates,” Gahan said. “Coach Taylor is like a second mom to me so bringing this (win) to her was like a personal accomplishment.”

Four other stars shone brightly during the game; shortstop Jaclyn Hamme, center Brooke Gustely, 3rd basemen Kristina Wetsel and out-fielder Shaakirah Ransom. Hamme stole the show with two doubles, two RBIs, three runs and a stolen base.

Gustely followed with two RBIs. Wetsel had four RBIs with a stolen base and Ransom scored three times during the game.

After starting the 2010 season 2-4, the Knights have managed to win five of their last six games, improving to 7-5. Traveling has not been a factor for these road warriors while defeating all of their opponents as the visiting team.

“I think these five wins have given us the confidence and it will help us show conference what we’re bringing to the table,” Hamme said. “We definitely have a lot to offer.”

Hamme has proven herself as a star athlete receiving the honor of Pacific Coast Conference Women’s Athlete of the Week.

The Knights first loss was at home to Santiago Canyon College 4-12. After falling to SCC, the Knights were defeated by Antelope Valley (6-1), East Los Angeles (6-2) and Ventura (13-5) at the Glendale Tournament in late January. Since then, the Knights have been defeated by only Citrus College (3-1).

Taylor is in her sixth season coaching at SDCC. She started her career in 2005 and won the title of PCC Coach of the Year in 2006. The Knights were not considered playoff material in the pre-Taylor years.

In 2007 Taylor turned the Knights into playoff contenders with a season record of 32-12-1. That year the team also claimed a share of the PCC Championship title with an 11-4 conference record. Under Taylor’s wing the Knights made it to another postseason in 2008 with a record of 27-18-2.