LA VERNE, Calif. — Jiana Rojo was named Newcomer of the Year, the Leopards' staff earned Coaching Staff of the Year recognition, and four members of the University of La Verne softball team were voted on to the All-SCIAC teams the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference office announced Wednesday.
Rojo, a freshman from Newark, California, made her presence known in the circle during her first season as a Leopard. Rojo ended the regular season ranked first in the SCIAC with an amazing 1.19 ERA in conference games. She ranks second in the SCIAC with an overall 2.14 ERA and fourth in wins with 10. She also tied for fourth in the SCIAC with two saves and struck out 52 batters. Rojo's highlight of the year came at home against Chapman when the freshman threw her first career no-hitter.
Condon earned first team honors for the second year in a row. Condon ranked in the top three on her squad in runs (26), hits (36), and RBI (19). She also added seven doubles, three triples, and a home run. The centerfielder started all 40 games for the Leopards with a .961 fielding percentage.
Ponce is the second member of the best pitching duo in the SCIAC. She ranks third in the conference with 73 strikeouts and fifth with an ERA of 2.51. The senior also racked up nine wins. This is Ponce's second All-SCIAC performances after earning first-team recognition last season.
Navarro led the Leopards as their star power hitter at the plate all season. She tied for first in the SCIAC with 10 home runs. She ranks first on the La Verne squad with a .342 batting average, is tied for first with 26 runs, ranks second with 24 RBI.
Head coach Julie Smith and assistant coaches Yvon Minogue and Henry Moranchel earned SCIAC Coaching Staff of the Year honors, guiding the Leopards to their third-straight conference title. La Verne hit their stride late in the season, finishing with five sweeps in April. Smith and her staff earned coaching staff of the year recognition in 2016.
The Leopards ended the regular season with an overall record of 26-14 and a SCIAC record of 21-7, earning the top-seed and home-field advantage in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament. La Verne opens up tournament play this Friday at 2 p.m. against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
Tournament Schedule (All games at Campus West)
Friday, May 4
Game 1: La Verne v. CMS at 2 p.m.
Game 2: Whittier v. Pomona-Pitzer at 4 p.m.
Saturday, May 5
Game 3: loser game 1 v. loser game 2 - 11 a.m.
Game 4: winner game 1 v. winner game 2 - 1:30 p.m.
Game 5: winner game 3 v. loser game 4 - 4 p.m.
Sunday, May 6
Game 6: Championship Game (winner game 4 v. winner game 5) - 12 p.m.
Game 7: If necessary - 30 minutes following completion of Game 6.