GLENDALE — The following are updates on local athletes at the collegiate level.
Alyssa Sovereign (Crescenta Valley High, 2010) freshman, Penn State softball: With plenty of former Falcons currently playing at the collegiate level, Sovereign turned in the biggest season to date and did so in her first season in the college ranks.
The Nittany Lions, making their first NCAA playoffs appearance since 2007, went 2-2 in regional action before their season ultimately ended in a 3-1 loss to Oregon on Sunday.
Sovereign had a walk in the game for Penn State, which finished its season at 31-24-1 and 11-8-1 in the Big 10 Conference.
But on Saturday, the Nittany Lions won two regional games, besting Albany, 6-1, and Fordham, 5-2, in 16 innings with Sovereign notching a home run in each game.
Sovereign hit a fourth-inning two-run dinger against Albany that broke a scoreless tie and stood as the game-winning hit. Against Fordham, Sovereign hit another two-run home run that tied the game after Fordham jumped out to a 2-0 lead. The game ended after becoming the second-longest in PSU chronicle.
Before postseason play began on May 18, Sovereign was recognized as a third-team All-Big 10 Conference selection — one of four Nittany Lions to garner all-conference honors. During the regular season, the former Falcons standout hit .268 with 13 extra-base hits and 22 runs batted in. The right fielder also had five outfield assists and, in conference, hit .333.
For the season as a whole, including the playoffs, Sovereign played in all 56 of her team's games, starting in 55, and hit .257 with 11 runs, 26 RBI, a .413 slugging percentage, nine walks and an impeccable 1.000 fielding percentage in 62 chances.
Baillie Kirker (Crescenta Valley High, 2009) sophomore, Arizona softball: Kirker and the Wildcats are set to host a Super Regional against the Oklahoma Sooners, with the best-of-three series beginning on Friday and going through Sunday, if necessary.
All of the games are scheduled to be televised on ESPN, with Friday's 8:30 p.m. PDT contest on ESPNU and Saturday's 2 p.m. game on ESPN.
Arizona was at home for the regionals, as well, sweeping through Harvard, New Mexico State and Texas Tech. In the Wildcats' 10-2 regional-clinching win over Texas Tech on Sunday, Kirker hit her fourth home run of the season and also drew two walks.
Arizona is currently 43-16 and went 11-10 in the Pacific-10 Conference.
Kirker, a former News-Press Athlete of the Year and multiple-time All-Area Softball Player of the Year, has struggled at the plate, for much of the season, however. She's hitting .191 over 38 games, having started in 34. Of her 17 hits on the season, seven have been for extra-bases. She has nine runs and 18 RBI and has also drawn 11 walks.
Any hitting ups and downs have done little to affect her fielding at first base, as she's notched a .983 fielding percentage with just three errors in 172 chances.
Lainey De Pompa (Crescenta Valley High, 2008) junior, UC Santa Barbara softball: The Lady Gauchos' starting catcher, De Pompa was a focal point in UCSB finishing off with a winning season as it went 27-26 and 11-10 in the Big West Conference.
De Pompa started in 52 games for UCSB and hit .245 with 34 hits in 139 at-bats. She also tallied 14 runs, 17 RBI, 14 walks and led the team with seven sacrifices.
Behind the plate, she made five errors and handled a staff that had a 3.48 earned-run average.
Stephanie Ziemann (Crescenta Valley High, 2009) sophomore, San Jose State softball: Ziemann got her share of playing time during the season for a Spartans team that went 19-35 overall and 5-16 in Western Athletic Conference play.
Ziemann, an outfielder, played in 49 games and started in 21.
Offensively, she struggled with a .129 average (eight for 62) and drew 12 walks to add to a .289 on-base percentage. Ziemann, a former multiple-time All-Pacific League and All-Area selection, had seven runs and five runs batted in. She hit her first NCAA home run on Feb. 11 against Cal State Northridge in a 9-8 loss. She went two for three in the game with a walk, a run and two RBI.
Kali Cancelosi (Crescenta Valley High, 2009) sophomore, Utah State softball: Cancelosi and the Aggies both had their share of struggles.
Cancelosi found time usually as a designated player, starting in eight games and playing in 33. She also pitched sparingly.
At the plate, she hit .149 with seven hits in 47 at-bats. She had a pair of home runs and drove in six runs, while scoring two times.
The Aggies, who went 15-42 and 8-13 in the WAC, used Cancelosi in the circle four times, as she threw 3 2/3 innings, giving up six runs for an 11.45 ERA.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun