Spring sports finish out overall difficult seasons

Despite potential and talent going into 2013, Biola closed out it’s spring sports season with one team finding post-season success.



Fellow Eagles gather around senior Sam Roberts at home plate after her home run on March 21 vs. Hope International University. Softball made it all the way to the GSAC semifinals this year. | Olivia Blinn [file photo]

Alexandra Campos, Writer

As the academic year comes to an end, so do all the difficulties, wins and losses that spring athletics brought this season. The Eagles had a disappointing spring with nearly all of the teams failing to make the NAIA tournament — with the exception of track and field, which will be competing at the NAIA Championship at the end of the month.

Baseball struggles to find identity

What began as a historic year for the baseball team ended in disappointment as they finished with an overall record of 25-26 and failed to reach the postseason for only the third time in 16 years under the direction of head coach John Verhoeven, who announced his retirement before the 2013 season started.

Seniors outfielder Benji Sutherland and right-handed pitcher Nick Turner, along with freshman catcher Sam Thorne, however, had impressive seasons for the Eagles and were named to the 2013 All-Golden State Athletic Conference team.

Turner is one of the top pitchers in the conference and finished his career posting a 9-5 season record and a 3.14 ERA in his 15 appearances. Turner also threw six complete games including three shutouts. Sutherland contributed greatly with a .344 batting average, racked up a team-high of 65 hits, added 35 runs and scored 34 RBIs. Thorne started his collegiate career throwing out 14 of 41 potential base runners, and ended his season with a .987 fielding percentage. He also ranked fourth in GSAC with a .356 batting average, adding 62 hits, 17 runs and 40 RBIs.

Women's track and field brings home the hardware

The women’s team won their first ever GSAC Track and Field Championship by one point, beating Westmont College 181-180 while the men finished with a program best of third place with 91 points. Both men’s and women’s teams will continue to the NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championship in Marion, Ind. on May 23-25.

Slow start dooms softball

The softball team opened the year debuting a new field but did not let that carry over into a strong start on the field, opening 2-10. After the rough start to their season the softball team managed to end strong, making the GSAC-CAL Pac Tournament. Their season ended with a 1-0 loss in the seventh inning to Simpson University.

Senior outfielder Chelsea Limm and junior catcher Celina Thornton have been named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-District VIII College Division team. This honor recognizes both outstanding academic and athletic performances. Limm posted a 3.59 GPA along with a .232 batting average, adding 35 hits with 27 runs and seven RBIs. Thornton earned a 3.62 GPA and hit an average of .277 this season with 33 hits, 14 runs and seven RBIs

Bria Madrid is the only freshman named to the 2013 All Golden State Athletic Conference team of 13. Second only to teammate and senior Sam Roberts in batting average with .287, the catcher led the team with 37 hits, 24 runs and 30 RBIs.

Young talent not enough for tennis teams

The men had a tough season, ending 1-9 in conference play and 2-17 overall. Despite the tough season, they were able to participate in the GSAC tournament but fell to Concordia University Irvine. Senior David Mossman has been named to the All-GSAC Conference men’s team, after playing No.1 at doubles for the Eagles throughout the season.

Freshman Kathryn Ashford Women’s also had an impressive season and was also called to the All-GSAC Conference team; she is the first women’s tennis player to earn this honor since 2005. Despite Ashford’s great season, Biola women’s tennis finished with 3-18 overall and 1-9 in conference play, ending their season with a loss to Vanguard University in the first round of the GSAC tournament.

Golf features standout individuals

The women's golf team finished tied for second with two golfers in the top five while the men's team finished sixth at the NAIA Unaffiliated Qualifying Tournament. The women’s finish was best in program history. Freshman Ava Lourenco was Biola’s first ever individual medalist, taking first place at the California State University San Marcos Invitational in October.

As all the spring athletic programs enter their off-season, they will prepare for the departure of seniors and the arrival of new freshmen and transfers. All teams are looking to build off of performances this year and improve for 2014.

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