Sports Briefs

The Malibu Juniors softball team enters the regional tournament with the best record in Malibu Juniors history.

Malibuites win soccer title

Over Memorial Day weekend, Malibuites Kaitlin Davis, Lydia Bowman and Kristiana Konkol-Mroczkowski participated in the Memorial Challenge Cup soccer tournament in Cerritos as players on the Southern California United Soccer Club’s Girls U-10 team.After winning their bracket, the girls advanced to the finals, winning the championship against the Anaheim Soccer Club Express.

Pepperdine volleyball coach earns top honors

Coming off last month’s national championship, Pepperdine University men’s volleyball coach Marv Dunphy was named Coach of the Year by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. This is the first year Dunphy has received the honor or that somebody from Pepperdine has been named top coach in the nation.

Local excels in college ball

Former Malibu Little League player Taylor Shoop was named to the All-Southern Conference second team for his play this year as a designated hitter with Davidson. Shoop, a left-handed senior, had nine home runs this season and hit .310 in league games

In a game against Georgia Southern, Shoop hit three home runs, becoming only the third player in Davidson history to do that. In another game against The Citadel, Shoop hit a game-winning, two-run home run that gave Davidson a crucial league victory.

Davidson completed the 2005 season with an overall record of 26-24, the school’s best record since 1992.

Pepperdine baseball loses in regional final

The Pepperdine baseball team (41-23) finished its season with a 5-2 loss Monday in the Long Beach Regional Championship game against USC.

The Waves fell behind early, with USC taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Pepperdine cut the deficit to one run in the third inning when junior David Uribes hit a two-out single, allowing freshman Donald Brown to score. USC reclaimed the two-run lead in its half of the inning. Pepperdine was able to make it 3-2 in the fourth inning, but never scored again.

The team was hurt by an inability to bring runners home, going 1 for 9 on the night with runners in scoring position.

Pepperdine’s appearance in the championship game came after a series of wins that followed an opening round loss to USC in the double-elimination regional tournament. The Trojans defeated the Waves on Friday, 7-3. Pepperdine came back the next day with a 2-1 win over Rhode Island. Then on Sunday, the Waves had two impressive victories; eliminating top-seeded Long Beach State from the tournament with a 6-3 win and defeating USC, 9-2, to set up Monday’s championship.

Pepperdine players named to the all-regional team included pitcher Steve Kleen, shortstop Danny Worth, center fielder Adrian Ortiz and catcher Chad Tracy.

Waves golfer places 2nd at NCAA Championships

Pepperdine senior Michael Putnam lost in a three-hole playoff to Washington junior James Lepp to finish second at the NCAA Men’s Division I Golf Championships Saturday in Owings Mills, Md.

Putnam led the tournament field coming into Saturday’s final round. With a 3-under 207 in the first three rounds of the tournament, Putnam had a one-shot lead over second place Roberto Castro as the final round began. A bogey in the final round on the par-4 16th hole dropped Putnam into a tie for the lead. He finished in regulation with pars on holes 17 and 18 to set up the playoff with Lepp, who had entered the final round six shots back in a tie for eighth place.

Both players had pars on the first two holes of the playoff round. On the third hole, Putnam missed a six-foot put for par, while Lepp was on target with a two-foot par put.

Putnam finished his Pepperdine career with the lowest stroke average in team history. On Friday, he received the Byron Nelson Award, which is given to a graduating senior based on athletics, academics and character. Then on Sunday, he was named a first-team All-American.

Sizzling softball squad

This year’s Malibu Juniors softball team (ages 13-15) had the best record in the Juniors Division, 14-1-1.

With a synergistic combination of seasoned veterans from last year’s squad (Lauren “Rabbit” Haag, Jordan “Killer” Rader, Sonja “Jason” Van Solen, Carol “Forrest” Yang, Rebecca “R.B.” Gray and Sarah “Pucci” Zweig) combined with an exuberant group of rookies (Cheyenne “Queen” Cantor, Kaitlyn “Plate” Connors, Lili “Purpleator” Hodgins, Gina “Lefty” Rogari, Thea “Breeze” Stutsman, and Hannah “Blondie” Fagerbakke), the Malibu Juniors have taken the district by storm.

The pitching staff-led by ace Zweig, and steady contributors Rogari, Haag and Stutsman-has been the strength of the team all year. The offense has been keyed by a teamwide devotion to bunting and running, with big bats from cleanup hitter Van Solen and Rader, Zweig and Haag.

The team was sad to lose key player Hodgins to injury for the season, but has added Theresa “T.J.” Corrodi and Amanda “A.E.” Ernst to the squad following their completion of the Malibu High School varsity softball season.

The sizzling Juniors will now take their 14-1-1 record, the best in Malibu Juniors recent history, into the District 25 Tournament of Champions. The tournament will be hosted by Malibu Little League at Bluffs Park.

The team is coached by co-managers Connie Connors and Michael Zweig and coaches John Haag and J.R. Rader.

The Tournament of Champions will begin on Saturday and will conclude on June 18 with the final game.

Malibu Warriors take first in final season tournament

Malibu’s U-14 girls all-star team, the Warriors, finished off the year with a season-ending victory at the Santa Barbara Splash AYSO Tournament.

Coming off a first-place finish at the Strawberry Cup, the Warriors again showed that they are hungry to maintain their position as one of the best girls U-14 AYSO teams in the country. Malibu beat Pacific Palisades and the Ventura Vipers and then tied an excellent Woodland Hills team 2-2 to make it to the finals.

The Warriors showdown with Simi Valley was their fourth head-to-head match this year, ending with Malibu victorious, 4-1. The team will now take a break prior to the start of the new AYSO season.

-Jonathan Friedman