Craft gets fulltime status, moves to head coach
SAN MARCOS (5-12-10) -- The Palomar College Governing Board made it official on Tuesday evening, approving the hiring of Lacey Craft as the new head softball coach and elevating her to full-time faculty status.
Craft, a former Palomar and San Diego State player, has been the Comets' associate head coach under her old Comet coach, Mark Eldridge, who steps down after compiling a 31-year record of 1,083-303-6 with three state championships, 28 conference titles, 30 community college All-Americans and 153 four-year college scholarships (103 to NCAA Division I).
She has been an adjunct (part-time) faculty member in Health and Physical Education in addition to their coaching duties. Her fulltime hire as an Assistant Professor puts in a tenure-track instructional / coaching position.
Craft received her B.S. degree in Kinesiology (Fitness, Nutrition and Health) from San Diego State University and her M.S. degree in Physical Education from Azusa Pacific University.
Valley Center High graduate Craft has life-long North County ties.
Craft, daughter of long-time Palomar head football coach and former San Diego State head coach Tom Craft and sister of ex-UCLA starting quarterback Kevin Craft, told the North County Times newspaper she will stress the same things her former coach and mentor Eldridge has, hard work, recruiting hard, winning and placing players in four-year college programs.
"Part of the Palomar tradition is transferring out," Craft said. "Winning is a by-product of working hard. Four-year coaches want players from winning programs," she said.
Eldridge will remain on the Palomar faculty and in the softball program as an assistant coach, with an emphasis on placing players and helping Craft recruit. He remains as head women's golf coach, where his teams have made two consecutive state Final Four appearances.
FAST FACTS: Palomar Director of Athletics Scott Cathcart's statement regarding Lacey Craft's hiring: "In a wide-open search, Lacey Craft emerged as the outstanding candidate, both from the perspectives of physical educator and head softball coach. Her enthusiasm, character and infectious personality can only be an enhancement for a program that has consistently produced excellence. As far as I'm concerned, she is the perfect fit to be viewed as the new face of Palomar College Softball."
Mark Eldridge's comment to the North County Times re: Craft's hiring: "She has taken on more responsibility each year. There is no one better for this job. It will be a seamless transition.
Craft to take over at Palomar -- (North County Times)
PICTURED: Lacey Craft (Photo by Hugh Cox); Buck Taylor (Photo by Hugh Gerhardt)
Comets' LeBeau is NSCA All-American selection
STARKVILLE, Mississippi (5-4-10) -- Palomar's Danielle LeBeau has been selected to the Louisville Slugger / National Softball Coaches Association All-American first team
LeBeau, a freshman pitcher / infielder from Poway High School, was selected as a player.
LeBeau previously was named to the All-Pacific Coast Athletic Conference first-team, was Voted conference Player of the Year honors and was a first-team all-state selection.
Palomar's Theresa Houle follows through on home run vs. Saddleback in Southern California Regionals -- then is mobbed by her teammates. -- Photos by Deb Hellman. BELOW: Katrina Cutshaw, who had an RBI single and a key tag at the plate on a throw from right fielder Bonnie Brazee in Sunday's first game.
Houle, Comets force 3rd game but fall 8-5
MISSION VIEJO (5-2-10) -- Theresa Houle slugged her second home run of the game in the fifth on Sunday and the Comets went on to beat Saddleback 4-3 in Game 2 of the teams' Southern California first-round softball playoff series.
But the Gauchos came back to win the deciding third game 8-5, eliminating the Comets from the playoffs and ending their season with a 21-13 record. Palomar did not go quietly, rallying for three runs in the top of the seventh. For the game, Houle went 3-for-4 with a double. Dawson also was 3-for-4.
In Sunday's first game, Houle closed a Saddleback lead to 3-2 when she homered to lead off the sixth. The Comets then took the lead on Danielle LeBeau's single, a hit batter and RBI singles by Marissa Valdez and Katrina Cutshaw.
Right fielder Bonnie Brazee gunned down the tying run at the plate in the sixth inning on a throw to Cutshaw, the Comets' catcher, as Saddleback tried to score from second on a two-out single.
LeBeau then retired the Gauchos in order in the seventh to end the game. She pitched three innings of shutout relief ball to record the victory in relief of starter Kristen Tenwolde.
Houle slugged a bases-empty home run in the top of the first to put Palomar (21-12) on top 1-0 early, but Saddleback (32-10) came back to take a 3-1 lead.
LeBeau went 3-for-4 with a double to pace a 10-hit attack for the Comets. Houle was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Dawson went 2-for-4. Kelli Starr, Valdez and Cutshaw had Palomar's other hits.
Dawson homers but Comets drop 1st game 3-2
MISSION VIEJO (5-1-10) -- Ashley Dawson's (right) solo home run over the left field fence in the sixth inning went for naught as visiting Palomar dropped a tough 3-2 decision to Saddleback to open the Southern California Regional softball playoffs on Saturday evening.
Palomar had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Maribel Casillas (above left) singled through the left side, Kelli Starr beat out a single to third with one out, Regina Norris was safe on an error to loade the bases and Theresa Houle drove in Casillas by singling through the right side.
Saddleback rallied for two unearned runs in the fifth to take a 3-1 lead and set up Dawson's homer which left the Comets one run short.
Danielle LeBeau pitched a four-hitter for the Comets in defeat, striking out nine over six innings and walking two. LeBeau allowed only one earned run.
Palomar out-hit Saddleback 7-4. Norris, LeBeau and Marissa Valdez also hit safely.
Danielle LeBeau (above) is the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Year and a first-team all-state selection as a freshman. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. Theresa Houle (below left) was among players joining her on the all-conference first team. Pitcher / outfielder Kelli Starr (below right) has been named All-Southern California first team, all-state second team and also is a first-team All-PCAC selection.
LeBeau is Player of the Year and all-state
SAN DIEGO (4-22-10) -- Palomar's Danielle LeBeau, a freshman from Poway High School, was selected Player of the Year in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference in softball on Thursday.
LeBeau also was selected to the all-state first team. Kelli Starr was a first-team All-Southern California and second-team All-PCAC pick.
LeBeau hit .600 in PCAC games with nine doubles, a triple, 15 RBIs and an .875 slugging percentage. She hit .506 on the season and also had a 6-3 pitching record and an ERA of 2.48 in conference, with a 2.73 ERA overall.
Comet teammates joining LeBeau on the first team are first baseman Theresa Houle, infielders Ashley Dawson and Starr, utility player Jen Mathis and pitcher / wild card selection Kristen Tenwolde. Catcher Bonnie Brazee, infielder Marissa Valdez and outfielder Regina Norris made second team. Katrina Cutshaw received honorable mention.
Comets will open post-season at Saddleback
SAN MARCOS (4-24-10) -- Palomar (20-11, 20-8 vs. California opponents) has been seeded 11th in the Southern California Community College Softball Regionals and will visit sixth seed Saddleback in the first game on Saturday, May 1, at 7 p.m. to open a best-of-three first-round series.
The second game will be played on Sunday at 2 p.m. with a third game, if necessary to follow.
Palomar routs IVC and awaits playoff seed
IMPERIAL(4-20-10) -- Palomar awaits an automatic Southern California playoff berth after closing out its softball regular season with a 14-0 victory at Imperial Valley on Tuesday.
The Comets (20-11, 20-8 vs. California teams, 12-3 in the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference) got a 4-for-4 performance with four runs scored and a double from Regina Norris (above left)) in the five-inning, run-rule game.
Also contributing multiple-hit games for the Comets: Marissa Valdez (above right) (3-for-4, 3 RBIs), Theresa Houle (2-for-3, double, two RBIs), Bonnie Brazee (2-for-3, 3 RBIs), Danielle LeBeau (2-for-3, 3 RBIs). Ashley Dawson had a triple.
Kristen Tenwolde and Kelli Starr combined to throw a two-hitter. Tenwolde allowed one hit over four innings.
Grossmont clinched the conference championship with an 8-0 win back-to-back victories over Southwestern 10-2 on Monday and San Diego City College 8-0 on Tuesday. The Comets finish alone in second place.
Comets beat Long Beach, fall to Cypress
CYPRESS (4-18-10) -- Palomar split a pair of non-conference games against two premier teams at Cypress College on Sunday, defeating Long Beach City College 4-2 and dropping a 6-2 decision to Cypress.
Bonnie Brazee (left) and Regina Norris (right) each went 2-for-4 and Kristen Tenwolde and Danielle LeBeau combined to pitch a four-hitter as the Comets (19-11, 19-8 vs. California teams) beat LBCC.
Tenbwolde threw the first six innings to advance to 8-1, while LeBeau notched her first save. LeBeau (double), Jen Mathis and Kelli Starr also hit safely.
Theresa Houle had an RBI triple, LeBeau contributed an RBI single and Starr doubled vs. Cypress.
Palomar makes it 7 wins in last 8 games
CHULA VISTA (4-16-10) -- Palomar made it seven wins in its last eight games on Friday, beating Southwestern 13-2 in a PCAC road game as Kristen Tenwolde (left) ran her pitching record to 7-1, Danielle LeBeau went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Theresa Houle (right) slugged her 12th home run.
The Comets (18-10, 11-3) also got multiple hits from Kristina Cutshaw (2-for-4, two doubles, one RBI), Marissa Valdez (2-for-4, four runs scored, two RBIs) and Bonnie Brazee (2-for-4, double, RBI). Regina Norris and Jen Mathis also doubled for Palomar.
ABOVE: Winning pitcher Danielle LeBeau, who helped her own cause by going 3-for-4 with two RBIs, rounds the bag at first and heads for second base on a third-inning double. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Bonnie Brazee, who hit her first home run of the year in the second inning. BELOW RIGHT: Theresa Houle, who slugged her 11th homer in the sixth.
Comets send a message, run-rule G-House
SAN MARCOS (4-14-10) -- It is all but a given that Grossmont College will hang on to win the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference softball championship, but the team with all the momentum as post-season playoffs near is not the G-House.
The team with all the momentum is Palomar.
Bonnie Brazee's first home run and Theresa Houle's 11th homer set the tone on Wednesday as the second-place Comets run-ruled the visiting, first-place Griffins 11-3.
While the Comets have won 10 of their last 12 games, Grossmont has cooled off. The Griffins, who started the season 22-1, have dropped three of their last four contests.
Grossmont came into the game with a 23-3 record and a two-game lead in the conference race over Palomar in the loss column. But the Griffins, who have four PCAC games left, all against second-division teams in the mismatched conference, saw their lead over the Comets, who have two conference games remaining, also vs. second-division teams, shrink to one game..
Palomar pounded out 18 hits in support of pitcher Danielle LeBeau, this week's PCAC Athlete of the Week who threw a three-hitter, striking out seven and walking one to record her eighth win.
Seven Comets had multiple-hit performances as they chased Grossmont pitcher and University of Arkansas transfer Melanie Goff, who entered the game with a 19-3 record and a 1.08 earned run average, in the sixth.
That was when Houle led off the inning by lining home run No. 11 over the left field fence and, six hits and five runs later, Kelli Starr ended the game with an RBI single.
Brazee's two-run homer, also over the leftfield fence, tied the game in the bottom of the second after Grossmont had jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Palomar took a lead it never relinquished by scoring four runs in the bottom of the fourth.
LeBeau helped herself out at the plate by going 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Jen Mathis went 3-for-4 with a double, and Starr was 3-for-5 with an RBI. The other multiple-hit Comets were Houle (2-for-4, home run, double, two RBIs), Brazee (2-for-3, home run, two RBIs), Regina Norris (2-for-4, triple) and Bella Casillas (2-for-4, RBI). Marissa Valdez also hit safely.
The Comets advanced to 17-10, 10-3 in conference.
FAST FACT: Associate head coach Lacey Craft coached the team in the absence of Mark Eldridge, who missed the game because it conflicted with his duties on a hiring committee.
PCAC picks LeBeau as Athlete of the Week
SAN DIEGO (4-12-10) -- Palomar sophomore player Danielle LeBeau has been honored as Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Women's Athlete of the Week.
LeBeau, a freshman right-handed pitcher from Poway High School, shut out San Diego City College 11-0 and San Diego Mesa 8-0 in a pair of PCAC games. Against the Olympians, she threw a one-hitter and struck out eight in a game that was called after 4 1/2 innings due to the state's mercy rule.
LeBeau, who recorded her eighth victory of the season, struck out the side to finish off Mesa in the fifth. The win clinched no worse than the conference's second playoff seed for the Comets.
PHOTO: Danielle LeBeau records one of her three fifth-inning strikeout in 8-0 win over San Diego Mesa. -- Photo by Hugh Cox
Kelli Starr drives the ball
for a single in the second inning on Friday, driving in
Bonnie Brazee and Bella Casillas and giving Palomar a 4-0
lead over San
LeBeau's 1-hitter, Houle's 10th HR win it
SAN MARCOS (4-9-10) -- Danielle LeBeau recorded her eighth win of the season, pitching a one-hitter and striking out eight, as Palomar run-ruled visiting San Diego Mesa 8-0 on Friday. The win guarantees the Comets (16-9, 9-3) at least the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference's No. 2 playoff seed.
Theresa Houle slugged her 10th home run for the Comets, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs. LeBeau was 2-for-3 with a triple and double and scored two runs. Jen Mathis went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Kelli Starr singled, stole a base and drove in two runs. Regina Norris, Bonnie Brazee and Bella Casillas all singled.
Mesa would have to win its conference finale vs. San Diego City College, and Palomar would have to lose to Grossmont, Southwestern and Imperial Valley for the Olympians (14-14, 8-6) to tie the Comets for second place. But since Palomar won the season series from Mesa by winning Friday, the Comets will be at least the PCAC's second playoff seed in any case.
Grossmont, which was upset by Mesa in extra innings on Wednesday and whom the Comets host on Wednesday at 3 p.m., is in first place.
Comets come back to tie game but fall by 4-2
MISSION VIEJO (4-10-10) -- Palomar rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game in the top of the sixth on Saturday, but Saddleback came back to score two runs in the bottom of the inning to beat the Comets 4-2 in a non-conference game.
Regina Norris led off the top half of the sixth with a bunt single. Theresa Houle single, and she advanced to second and Norris scored on an error on the play.With two out, Ashley Dawson (left) singled to center field, driving in Houle.
The Gauchos won it in the bottom of the inning. on back-to-back home runs by Stephanie Chotkevys and Kelly Rosshart.
Saddleback advanced to 28-7. Palomar fell to 16-10. The Comets saw their win streak snapped at five games. Palomar had won nine of its last 10 entering the game.
Comets win 11-0, close in as G-House falls
SAN DIEGO (4-7-10) -- Danielle LeBeau (left) picked up the pitching win by combining with Kristen Tenwolde to throw a one-hitter Saturday as visiting Palomar blanked San Diego City College 11-0. The Comets (15-9, 8-3) moved to within 1 1/2 games of first-place Grossmont, which lost to San Diego Mesa in eight innings.
LeBeau went 2-for-4 at the plate with two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Kelli Starr (3-4, one steal, one run), Ashley Dawson (2-for-3, one RBI, one run) and Melissa Valdez (right) (2-for-3, one RBI, one run) also had multiple hits. Reginai Norris, Jen Mathis and Bonnie Brazee added singles.
ABOVE: Marissa Valdez (13), who had just tripled in three runs, scores on Katrina Cutshaw's sacrifice fly. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Kelli Starr, whose lead-off triple helped ignite an eight-run outburst by the Comets in the inning.
Houle slugs ninth HR as Comets roll IVC
SAN MARCOS (3-30-10) -- Theresa Houle slugged her ninth home run of the season, Kelli Starr went 2-for-4 with a triple and a stolen base and Palomar run-ruled Imperial Valley 9-1 on Tuesday in a PCAC softball game.
Regina Norris went 2-for-3 with an RBI, Jen Mathis was 2-for-2 with an RBI and Bonnie Brazee went 2-for-3 as the Comets moved to 14-9 on the season, 7-3 in the PCAC. Marissa Valdez contributed a triple and three RBIs.
Palomar took an 8-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
Starr led off the inning with her triple and Norris singled to drive her in. Houle followed with a two-run home run to make it 3-0. After an error on a hard-hit grounder by Danielle LeBeau to the IVC shortstop, Mathis singled, Ashley Dawson walked, Bonnie Brazee singled to lead the bases, Valdez followed with a bases-loaded triple and Katrina Cutshaw hit a sacrifice fly to right.
LeBeau, Kristen Tenwolde and Starr each pitched two innings for the Comets.
LeBeau fans 13; Comets win in 8th inning
SAN DIEGO (3-24-10) -- Kelli Starr (left) went 3-for-4 with an RBI. a sacrifice bunt and a steal on Thursday as Palomar avenged an earlier loss to beating San Diego Mesa 4-2 in eight innings in a PCAC game on the road.
Starr drove in the winning run with a single, and the Comets (13-9, 6-3) added another run on an error as they gave Danielle LeBeau (right), who threw a complete-game two-hitter and struck out 13, the pitching win. LeBeau also went 3-for-4 and had a double.
Ashley Dawson hit a solo home run to give Palomar a 1-0 lead in the fourth innig. The Comets made it 209 in the top of the sixth. LeBeau led off with a double, Dawson moved her up on a ground out and Marissa Valdez drove LeBeau in with a bunt single.
Mesa tied the game on a pinch-hit two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to send the game to extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, Dawson singled, Valdez moved her up with a sacrifice bunt. Bonnie Brazee drew awalk, and Starr singled up the middle to score Dawson. Wtih runners on first and third, Starr stole second and the catcher overthrew the shortstop covering second, and Brazee scored an insurance run.
LeBeau then held the Olympians in the bottom of the seventh.
Dawson homers in Comets' run-rule win
SAN MARCOS (3-19-10) -- Palomar made short work of visiting Southwestern in a Pacific Coast Athletic Conference softball game on Friday. The Comets run-ruled the Jaguars 9-1 as Ashley Dawson, last week's PCAC Women's Athlete of the Week, was 2-for-3 with a solo home run.
Kelli Starr (2-for-4, triple, two RBIs) and Danielle LeBeau (2-for-3, double) also had multiple hits for the Comets (12-9, 5-3 in conference). Theresa Houle was 1-for-2 with three RBIs. Marissa Valdez also hit safely.
The Jaguars' only run was unearned off inning pitcher Kristen Tenwolde (5-1)..
LeBeau comes up big but PC falls 1-0
EL CAJON (3-17-10) -- After sweeping a double-header at defending state champion Mt. SAC on Saturday, the Comets went back on the road and dropped a PCAC heartbreaker to the first-place Griffins.
Danielle LeBeau pitched a no-hitter until the bottom of the sixth for the Comets. She finished with a two-hitter.
The Griffins scored the game's only run in the sixth on a double down the third- base line that was ruled fair, a passed ball, and a two-strike, squeeze-bunt RBI single.
Kelli Starr and LeBeau singled for the Comets' only hit.
Palomar is 11-9, 4-3 in conference.
Dawson selected as PCAC Athlete of Week
Dawson, the Comets' freshman second baseman from Oceanside High School, helped the Comets go 4-0 for the week -- beating Imperial Valley 20-2 and San Diego City College 15-1, then sweeping a doubleheader from defending state champion 4-3 and 10-9 on Saturday on the road.
Dawson went 3-for-4, scored three runs, slugged a home run, doubled twice and drove in three runs vs. Imperial Valley. She went 2-for-3 and scored two runs against City College, She was 2-for-5 and scored a run in the second game vs. Mt. SAC.
Comets go on road, sweep state champs
WALNUT (3-13-10) -- Palomar completed a 4-0 week in softball on Saturday by sweeping 2009 CCCAA state champion Mt. SAC 8-7 and 10-9 on the road. The second game went eight innings.
Kelli Starr went 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Comets in the first game. Theresa Houle had a double and and two RBIs. Danielle LeBeau pitched a complete-game win.
In the second game, Donna Blackwood was 2-for-5 and drove in four runs. Jen Mathis went 2-for-4 with a double, three runs scored and an RBI. LeBeau, Regna Norris, Ashley Dawson and Marissa Valdez contributed two hits each. Maribel Casillas doubled and drove in three runs. Houle and LeBeau each contributed a double. LeBeau picked up the pitching win in relief.
The Mounties came in with a 14-3 record. The Comets, coming off wins over Imperial Valley (20-2 in Wednesday) and San Diego City College (15-1 on Friday) advanced to 11-8 on the season.
Houle slaps 7th HR, is 4-4 in 15-1 rout
SAN MARCOS (3-12-10) -- Theresa Houle smacked her seventh home run, a long shot in the bottom of the first inning, and wound up going 4-for-4 as Palomar run-ruled visiting San Diego City College 15-1 on Friday.
Houle (left) also doubled twice and stole a base in the PCAC game. Danielle LeBeau also was 2-for-4 for the Comets (9-8, 4-2) with two doubles and four RBIs. Ashley Dawson went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Bonnie Brazee doubled, and Jen Mathis and Marissa Valdez singled.
LeBeau was the winning pitcher with relief help from Kelli Starr and Kristen Tenwolde.
Five players homer as Comets roll 20-2
IMPERIAL (3-10-10) -- Palomar traveled to the desert on Wednesday and slugged five home runs in support of pitcher Kristen Tenwolde in a 20-2, mercy-rule victory over Imperial Valley.
Kelli Starr triggered the onslaught with her community college home run, a two-run shot in the top of the first inning. She finished 2-for-3 with the two RBIs.
Ashley Dawson went 3-for-4 for Palomar (8-8, 3-2) with a home run, two doubles and three RBIs. Bonnie Brazee went 3-for-4 2ith a double, two steals and three runs scored. Regina Norris was 3-for-4 with a walk, three runs scored and two stolen bases.
Other multiple-hit Comets were Theresa Houle (above right) (3-for-4 with her sixth home run, a walk and four RBIs; Marissa Valez (2-for-4 with an HR and five RBIs); Jen Mathis (2-for-5 with her second HR and an RBI) and Bonnie Brazee (3-for-4, double, two steals, three runs scored).
Palomar will host San Diego City College of Friday at 3 p.m.
ABOVE: Left fielder Regina Norris makes running catch in the fourth inning vs. San Diego Mesa on Friday. Norris threw the ball to first for a double play. No. 7 is Kelli Starr. No. 12 is Ashley Dawson -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW LEFT: Donna Blackwood, who went 3-for-4 against the Olympians
Foe overcomes 6 hits by Mathis, Blackwood
SAN MARCOS (3-5-10) -- Palomar got a combined six hits from Jen Mathis and Donna Blackwood on Friday but dropped a 7-4 PCAC decision to visiting San Diego Mesa.
Mathis went 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs. Blackwood (above right) was 3-for-4 with an RBI and a steal.
Palomar was, coming off a 12-0 rout overt San Diego City College on Wednesday in San Diego.
The Comets scored two runs in the first inning on a walk to Starr, Mathis' RBI double and Blackwood's run-scoring single.
In the third, Palomar added two more runs. Norris led off by reaching base on an error. Starr singled and Mathis followed with a double that scored both of them.
The Comets are 7-8 on the season, 2-2 in conference.
Comets rebound as Starr no-hits Jags
CHULA VISTA (3-3-10) -- Palomar s women's softball team rebounded from last Friday's loss to Grossmont in a big way on Friday, bombarding host Southwestern 12-0 in a mercy-rule game as freshman pitcher Kelli Starr threw a no-hitter.
Ashley Dawson went 2-for-3 for the Comets (7-7, 2-1 PCAC) with a triple, a double, two runs scored and four RBIs. Donna Blackwood was 2-for-3 with two doubles and two runs scored. Regina Norris was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Bonnie Brazee had a double.
Danielle LeBeau delivers a pitch for the Comets against Grossmont on Friday. The Comets and Griffins were in a close game when LeBeau was hit by a batted ball in the top of the third, hadto leave the game, and Palomar couldn't recover.
LeBeau injury unravels Comets vs. Griffs
SAN MARCOS (2-26-10) -- Palomar lost more than pitcher Danielle LeBeau when she was hit by a batted ball and had to leave the game in the top of the third inning against visiting Grossmont on Friday.
As the floodgates opened after the injury, the Comets also lost their focus and the game 10-1.
The Comets' run came in the bottom of the second inning when Maribel Casillas was safe on a fielder's choice, Ashley Dawson was hit by a pitch, the pitcher threw away Marissa Valdez' sacrifice bunt for an error and Casillas scored.
That tied the score 1-1, but Grossmont went on to tally nine runs in the top of the fatal third.
Kelli Starr went 2-for-2, walked and stole a base but the Comets lost to the Griffins at home.
Theresa Houle also hit safely for Palomar (6-7, 1-1 in conference).
Comets cool off City in rout to open PCAC
SAN DIEGO (2-24-10) -- Palomar, which has owned the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference with 24 championships since the PCAC's inception as the Pacific Coast Conference in 1983.
And the Comets made a huge statement to open the 2010 conference season on Wednesday.
Coach Mark Eldridge's visiting Comets scored nine runs in the top of the fifth inning to break a 1-1 tie and cool off what had been a hot San Diego City College team 10-1 in a mercy-rule game.
The Knights had won five of their previous six games and seven of their previous nine.
Theresa Houle (above left) again led the way for Palomar (6-6 overall) by going 2-for-3 with two runs scored, an RBI and a stolen base. Ashley Dawson tripled for Palomar. Kelli Starr, Regina Norris, Donna Blackwood (above right), Marissa Valdez, Jennifer Mathis and Danielle LeBeau also hit safely.
Kristen Tenwolde (4-1) pitched the first for innings, striking out three, to pick up the victory. LeBeau came on to pitch a hitless, scoreless bottom of the fifth to finish off the Knights (7-6 overall).
Comets scare NJCAA champs, beat Rams
CATHEDRAL CITY (2-19/20-2010 -- Palomar's softball squad went 1-4 in the Cathedral City Kickoff Tournament over the weekend. The Comets are 5-6 for the season.
On Saturday, the Comets defeated Victor Valley 3-1. Kristen Tenwolde pitched a three-hitter, surrendering an unearned run. Regina Norris went 2-for-3.
Defending NJCAA (non-California and Pacific Northwest colleges) D-I national champion and No. 1-ranked Yavapai (AZ) downed Palomar 5-1. Norris went 2-for-3 and Ashley Dawson doubled for the Comets. Defensive breakdowns cost the Comets a chance at an upset. Four of the Roughriders' runs were unearned.
The Comets lost a slugfest to Saddleback 10-8. For Palomar, Norris went 2-for-5 with an RBI. Donna Blackwood and Danielle LeBeau each was 2-for-4.
On Friday, the Comets dropped their tournament opener to Mesa (Arizona). Jennifer Mathis was 2-for-4 for Palomar, while Norris doubled.
Palomar dropped its final game of the tournament to Fullerton 9-5 on Sunday.
Houle, Norris, LeBeau combined 10-10 in win
SAN MARCOS (2-17-10) -- The Palomar softball team got another big game from Theresa Houle (3-for-3, her fourth and fifth home runs and five RBIs) as they banged out 16 hits and throttled visiting Mt. San Jacinto 13-2 in a non-conference game on Wednesday.
Regina Norris was 4-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. Danielle LeBeau was 3-for-3 with a home run, double and three RBIs. Kelli Star went 2-for-4 with a triple, two RBIs and three runs scored.
Kristen Teawolde recorded the pitching win for the Comets (4-2).
Mathis, LeBeau each go 3-4 in road loss
NORWALK (2-10-10) -- Palomar Jen Mathis and Danielle LeBeau pounded out six hits between them on Wednesday, but Palomar dropped a non-conference decision to Cerritos on the road. The Comets fell to 3-2 on the season.
Mathis went 3-for-4 with her first home run of the season. LeBeau was also 3-for-4 and drove in two runs. Marissa Valez went 1-for-2 with a walk and also reached base as a hit batter.
On Feb., 3, Palomar lost 5-0 at Santa Ana.
Theresa Houle breaks a 5-5 tie with a home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to win Palomar's 8-5 second-game victory over Pasadena on Saturday.-- Photo by Hugh Cox
Houle is conference Athlete of the Week
SAN DIEGO (2-2-10) -- Palomar softball player Theresa Houle, a sophomore first baseman from Ramona High School, has been selected as Pacific Coast Athlete Conference Women's Athlete of the Week.
Howell slugged three home runs and drove in eight runs last week as the Comets opened the season with a 7-5 victory over Santiago Canyon and a double-header sweep of Pasadena City College 8-2 and 8-5.
BELOW: Theresa Houle stretches to receive a throw at first base. LOWER LEFT: Danielle LeBeau delivers a pitch in the seventh inning of the Comets' 8-2 first-game win. -- Photos by Hugh Cox
Houle's 3 home runs give Palomar a sweep
SAN MARCOS (1-30-10) -- First baseman Theresa Houle slammed three home runs on Saturday, including game-winners in both contest, as she led Palomar to an 8-2, 8-5 sweep of visiting Pasadena City College in a non-conference softball doubleheader.
Houle, a sophomore from Ramona High School, finished the afternoon 4-for-7 with five runs batted in. Her game-winning HRs came a three-run shot in the opener and a solo round-tripper in the nightcap.
In the Comets' first three games, she's gone 5-for-12 with three homers, a double, a walk and eight RBIs.
Palomar , which beat Santiago Canyon 7-5 on the road on Friday, is off to a 3-0 start.
Regina Norris went 2-for-4, stole two bases and scored two runs in the opener. Kelli Starr was 1-for-2 with a double, two walks and l three runs scored. Danielle LeBeau was 1-for-1, walked three times and stole a run. Katrina Cutshaw, Marissa Valdez and Jennifer Mathis also hit safely.
Kristen Tenwolde picked up the pitching win with relief help from LeBeau.
Houle went 2-for-3 in the second game with two homers and a walk. Ashley Dawson was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Bonnie Brazee was 1-for-2 with an RBI, a walk and a run scored.
LeBeau notched the pitching win in relief of Tenwolde.
Comets open with road victory over Hawks
ORANGE (1-29-10) -- Coach Mark Eldridge's Palomar softball team opened its softball season with a 7-5 non-conference victory over Santiago Canyon on Friday on the Hawks' field. Theresa Houle (left) paced the victory for the Comets by going 2-for-5 with a double, three RBIs and a steal.
Kelli Starr (2-for-4, walk) and Regina Norris (2-for4-4, RBI) also had multiple hits for Palomar, which will host Pasadena City College in a non-conference double-header on Saturday at noon.
Donna Blackwood (above right) doubled and stole a base. Jen Mathis singled, walked twice and drove in a run.
Kristen Tenwolde was the winning pitcher.
Santiago Canyon fell to 1-1. The Hawks had opened the season on Wednesday by routing San Diego City College 12-4.
Palomar will open 2010 season on Friday
SAN MARCOS (1-27-10) -- With its originally-scheduled season-opening double-header at Victor Valley College postponed because of wet weather on Wednesday, coach Mark Eldridge's Palomar softball squad now will open its 2010 campaign with a non-conference game against Santiago Canyon on Friday at 2 p.m. in Orange.
The Comets will make their home debut against Pasadena City College on Saturday at home. The non-conference double-header will start at noon.
Hall of Fame Coach Eldridge is in his second season back heading the Comets' program after temporarily stepping down for two seasons after winning 1,040 games, 21 consecutive Pacific Coast Athletic Conference championships and three state titles from 1978 through 2006.
The Comets got right back into championship form in Eldridge's first season back at the helm last spring, going 22-19 overall and 13-2 in the conference to capture their 22nd conference title in 23 years.
Eldridge is assisted by associate head coach Lacey Craft, pitching coach Melissa Lerno and volunteer coaches Don Johnson and Carl Grubb.
Craft and Lerno are both former Comet players under Eldridge. Craft went on to star for San Diego State, Lerno for Cal State San Marcos. Johnson is a former pro baseball player following an outstanding career at Palomar. Grubb was an assistant coach last season at the University of Georgia, which placed third in the College World Series at Oklahoma City.
PALOMAR COLLEGE SOFTBALL UNDER MARK ELDRIDGE - YEAR-BY-YEAR
1978 – 14-45, Conference co-champions
1979 – 17-3, Second in conference
1980 – 24-5, Conference champions, third in regionals
1981 – 36-4, Conference champions, third in regionals
1982 – 26-8, Second in conference, fourth in regionals, 100th win
1983 – 25-10-1, Second in conference
1984 – 32-16, Conference champions, second in regionals
1985 – 26-19, Second in conference, 200th win
1986 – 34-12, Conference champions, second in regionals, second in State
1987– 40-9, Conference c-champions, third in regionals
1988 – 35-8-1, Conference champions, second in regionals, second in state, 300th win
1989 – 39-6-1, Conference champions, regional champions, State champions
1990 – 47-6, Conference champions, regional champions, second in State
1991 – 38-10, Conference champions, regional champions, fourth in State, 400th win
1992 – 42-9, Conference champions, regional champions, second in State
1993 – 50-3, Conference champions, regional champions, State champions, 500th win
1994 – 37-13-1, Conference champions, regional champions, fifth in State
1995 -- 36-7, Conference champions, regionals champions, seventh in State
1996 – 49-10, Conference champions, regional champions, third in State, 600th win
1997 – 44-15, Conference champions, regional champions, third in State
1998 – 38-7, Conference champions, regional champions, fourth in State, 700th win
1999 – 41-14, Conference champions, regional champions, fifth in State
2000 – 48-7-1, Conference champions, regional champions, State champions, 800th win
2001 – 37-9, Conference champions, regional champions, fourth in State
2002 – 48-8, Conference champions, regional champions, third in state, 900th win
2003 – 35-18, Conference champions, second in regionals
2004 – 25-12-1, Conferences champions, regional third round
2005 – 42-6, Conference champions, regional champions, second in State, 1,000th win
2006 – 35-13, Conference champions
2009 -- 22-19, Conference chamions
Career record: 1,062-291-6
Eldridge Women's Coach of Year for all sports
PALM DESERT (5-4-09) -- Palomar softball / women's golf coach Mark Eldridge (left) was voted as Pacific Coast Conference Women's Sports Coach of the Year for all sports for 2008-09 on Monday.
Balloting was conducted among PCC Athletic Directors on the first day of the joint Southern California community college conferences' spring meetings at Shadow Mountain Resort and Club.
Eldridge coached the Comets' women's golf team to the Foothill Conference championship and No. 3 in the state finals -- and the softball team to the PCC title.
Elliott signs with Minot State; List reaches six
MINOT, N.D. (5-23-09) -- Melissa Elliott, a sophomore outfielder from Escondido's Christian L.I.F.E. Academy, is the sixth player from the 2009 Palomar softball team to sign with a four-year college..
Elliott signed a Dakota Athletic Conference letter of intent with Minot State University.
Elliott hit .360 for the Pacific Coast Conference champion Comets in 27 games.
Hutchinson Pitcher of Year; Eldridge is honored
SAN DIEGO (4-24-09) -- Palomar sophomore right-hander Alex Hutchinson (left, photo by Hugh Cox) has been selected as Pacific Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year in softball by the conference's coaches. She also was named to the all-state team.
The Comets' Mark Eldridge was named conference Coach of the Year.
First-team picks, from the champion Comets, along with Hutchinson, were catcher Adrea Nedden, first baseman Kristin Dahl, infielders Shawna Barrow and Andi Anti, outfielder Becca Mussatti and Aanda Avila at utility. Infielder Sarah Vlahos and outfielder Melissa Elliott
The Southern California Community College post-season playoff seeding meeting is slated for Saturday morning (April 25) at Mt. San Antonio College.
ABOVE: Kristin Dahl slides in safely at home on Melissa Elliott's sacrifice fly. -- Photo by Rob Bacon. BELOW LEFT: Becca Mussatti dives back into third after overrunning the base. -- Photo by Hugh Cox. BELOW RIGHT: Andrea Nedden delivers a single. -- Photo by Rob Bacon
Comets rally to win 8-3, take undisputed title
SAN MARCOS (4-17-09) -- Trailing Southwestern 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth inning on Friday, Palomar exploded for six runs to down the Jaguars 8-3, wrapping up an undisputed Pacific Coast Conference championship.
It's the 23rd PCC title for the Comets in the last 24 years. Palomar had clinched at least a tie for the championship by beating defending champion Grossmont on the road on Wednesday.
Kristin Dahl doubled with one out to get the sixth inning rolling for the Comets (21-14, 13-1). Andrew Nedden doubled, Melissa Elliott singled in a run to tie the game. Donna Blackwood walked, Shawna Barrow singled to drive in the winning runs, Becca Mussatti doubled to drive in two runs and Andi anti drove in the final run with a sacrifice fly.
Winning pitcher Alex Hutchinson, who had come in to relieve starter Chelsea Blackman in the fifth inning, then retired the Jaguars in order in the top of the seventh. She to 13-3 on the season.
For the game, seven Comets had multiple hits -- Nedden (3-for-3, two doubles), Anti (2-for-3, two doubles, sacrifice fly, RBI), Dahl (2-for-3, two doubles), Barrow (2-for-4, triple, two RBIs), Mussatti (2-for-4, double, two RBIs), Amanda Avila (2-for-4, double, RBI) and Elliott (2-for-2, sacrifice fly, two RBIs).
For the game, seven Comets had multiple hits -- Nedden (left, 3-for-3, two doubles), Anti (right, 2-for-3, two doubles, sacrifice fly, RBI), Dahl (2-for-3, two doubles), Barrow (2-for-4,trkiple, two RBIs), Mussatti (2-for-4, double, two RBIs), Amanda Avila (2-for-4, double, RBI) and Elliott (2-for-2, sacrifice fly, two RBIs).
San Diego Mesa 3, Palomar 2 -- The Pacific Coast Conference champions dropped their regular-season finale in nine innings on the road on Tuesday, April 21.
Kristinn Dahl went 2-for-3 for Palomar (21-17, 13-2) with a home run to lead off the fourth inning. She also was hit by a pitch. Alex Hutchinson had a sacrifice fly.
Comets beat Griffs again, clinch at least title tie
EL CAJON (4-15-09) -- Palomar secured its 23rd Pacific Coast Conference championship in 24 years on Wednesday, ending a one-year drought by beating Grossmont for the second time in three meetings 8-5.
The Comets (20-14, 12-1) clinched no worse than a tie for the title with the victory, and can wrap up an outright championship by beating either Southwestern (Friday at 3 p.m. at home) or San Diego Mesa (on Tuesday at 3 p.m. in San Diego) their last two conference opponents -- or could clinch outright with another Grossmont loss.
The Comets also the conference's top playoff seed with Wednesday's win, by virtue of winning the season series with the Griffins (29-10, 10-3).
Palomar, which wasted a double by Andi Anti in the first, took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning on Donna Blackwood's (above left) single, Becca Mussastti's single and Amanda Avila's (above right) two-run double. Grossmont came back to score four runs in the bottom of the inning, but the Comets won it with two more runs in the fourth and four in the top of the sixth to go in front8-4.
Avila went 2-fo-3 with her double and drove in four runs for the Comets. Mussatti had two walks to go along with her single.
Alex Hutchinson was uncharacteristically wild but pitched a four-hitter to advance to 12-3 on the season.
2010 Softball Schedule, Results
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