Author: Tim O’Donnell
Tiger Golf teams underway at SCIAC Championships
Both Occidental golf teams were in action at SCIAC Championships at Oak Valley Golf Club at the time of publication. Through two of the event’s three rounds, the men’s side sat in sixth place ahead of both Whittier and Pomona-Pitzer at 66-over par and 60 strokes back of leader Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (CMS). Individually, Colton Bares (first-year) led the way for the Tigers, occupying a share of 22nd place with a cumulative 13-over 157 through two rounds. Fellow newcomer James Wronoski and Jeremy Klein (sophomore) both recorded a 14-over 158 to remain just one stroke back of the Tiger ace. Sophomores Andrew Garrison, Kevin Liu and Weekly staff member Ryan Whalen rounded out the black and orange’s scoring by posting scores of 26-over 170, 31-over 175 and 40-over 184, respectively. On the women’s side, Occidental owned the fourth-place spot at 107-over par and was 33 strokes back of leader and tournament host Redlands. In her swan song quest for her second SCIAC title, Katie Park (senior) sat in fourth place individually — just three strokes back of first — after posting a 15-over 159. Behind Park, Kristin Oberiano (sophomore) tallied a 26-over 170, while Alexis Holmes (senior) notched a 35-over 179 and Kara Alam (first-year) tacked on a 38-over 182. Sophomores Hana Mizuno and Ella Inman registered a 46-over 190 and a 48-over 192, respectively.
Softball (6-34 overall, 3-25 SCIAC)
The Occidental women’s softball team finished up its season with a 1-3 weekend. The Tigers split a doubleheader against Pomona-Pitzer Friday, winning Game 1 by a score of 4-2 and falling 7-4 in Game 2. First-year starting pitcher Emily Pham picked up her first collegiate victory in the opener. The squad then honored its five graduating seniors — Jerika Barron, Amber Garland, Meghan Luera, Elissa Minamishin and Jackie Shimamoto — against CMS, but dropped the two games 17-2 and 14-2, respectively. The Tigers finished in the bottom two of the SCIAC standings for the eighth consecutive year on league record.
Women’s Water Polo (8-19 overall, 6-5 SCIAC)
The Occidental women’s water polo team went 2-1 in the SCIAC Championship Tournament over the weekend en route to a fifth-place league finish. The Tigers dropped their opening game against tournament host Whittier by a score of 13-9, but recovered to win both of their consolation match-ups. The squad beat Chapman in a tight 8-7 contest behind center Morgan McClafferty’s (senior) game-winner with one minute left on the clock. In the consolation championship, the sixth-seeded Tigers upset fourth-place Cal Lutheran, 13-9. Seniors Lindsay Albino and Katya Soot each scored three goals in their final collegiate contest.
Football set to host 25th-annual Vance Mueller Golf Tournament
The Occidental Football team will host the 25th-annual Vance Mueller Golf Tournament on June 13 at the Scholl Canyon Golf and Tennis Club in Glendale. The tournament will serve as a fundraising event for the program, with all proceeds going toward the gridiron. It also provides a chance for Occidental alumni to return to their old stomping grounds. The event’s namesake, Vance Mueller ‘86, played football at Occidental under former head coach Dale Widolff. After graduation, the 6-foot, 211-pound tailback was selected in the fourth round as the 103rd overall pick by the Los Angeles Raiders in the 1986 NFL Draft. Mueller played professionally from the 1986 to 1991 seasons, all with the Raiders. During his NFL career, he compiled 921 total yards and scored five touchdowns. His son, Shay Mueller (sophomore), decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and is now currently a starting defensive back for the Tigers and competes in the 100- and 200-meter sprints for the track team. Registration for the tournament begins at 12 p.m. the day of the event, and tee time is scheduled for an hour later. The tournament will follow the shot-gun start and scramble format. Following play on the course, the team will host a banquet, prize drawing and auction.
It was a bittersweet weekend for the Occidental softball program, as the Tigers bid farewell to their graduating class. But despite a tough season, the squad has reason for optimism, due in large part to jack-of-all-trades Ali Goldberg (sophomore). Goldberg has served as the team’s ace in the circle over the last two seasons, leading Occidental in innings pitched (87.2), ERA (6.07) and strikeouts (41) on the 2014 campaign. She also played significant innings in the outfield for the black and orange during games in which she was not pitching. Offensively, Goldberg has remained a constant fixture in the leadoff spot, where she takes on the role of a speedy, left-handed slap hitter. She finished the season second on the team in batting average at .307 behind All-SCIAC selection Jackie Shimamoto and got on base at a .378 clip. She also added five RBI, four stolen bases and a team-high 19 runs. The 5-foot-6-inch Los Altos, California native was an All-State selection and El Camino League MVP at Los Altos High School and started immediately at Occidental as a first-year en route to a .385 batting average. Now, with five seniors departing and only one rising senior in catcher Kristine Kocjan in the fold, the Tigers will look for the veteran Goldberg to step into a leadership role next season. She will remain the anchor of the pitching staff and look to take over where Shimamoto left off at the helm of the black and orange’s batting order.
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