Named to National Teams
June 4, 2002 Fullerton, Calif.
Cal State Fullerton head coach Michelle Gromacki, along with junior catcher Jenny Topping and junior pitcher/infielder Gina Oaks, have been selected to represent the United States in international competition this summer on a pair of national teams, USA Softball announced on Tuesday morning.
Topping (Whittier, Calif./University of Washington/La Habra HS), who was named a first-team All-American for the third consecutive season on May 23, was one of 17 players out of a group of 57 to be named to the 2002 International Softball Federation World Championship roster, which will compete against the best the world has to offer in order to qualify for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. The World Championships will be held on July 26-August 4 in Saskatoon, Canada.
Topping hit .472 on the season for the Titans en route to her second-consecutive Big West Player of the Year honor. She also hit nine home runs and drove in 33 while scoring 37 runs on the season, walking 35 times and leading the Big West with a .761 slugging percentage and a .575 on base percentage.
At the NCAA Regionals in Fresno, Calif., Topping walked five times and broke the school record for career walks with 91, passing Sue Lewis 89 free passes from 1981-84. Her .472 batting average is also a school and Big West Conference single-season record.
Oaks (Alta Loma, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga HS) was named to the 2002 USA Softball Elite Team, which will help prepare the World Championship team for its upcoming international events by competing in scrimmages and exhibition games prior to these events. The Elite Team will also compete at the Canada Cup in Surrey, British Columbia, on July 12-21.
Oaks had a stellar season, posting a 22-4 record and a 0.73 ERA in the circle while striking out 189 in 172.2 innings. Opponents hit just .158 against her. At the plate, she hit .301 with a career-high 10 home runs and 32 RBI while also scoring 52 runs. She was named first-team All-America and first-team All-West Region as a utility player, while earning All-Big West Conference honors at both pitcher and third base the first time that feat had been accomplished by any player in conference history.
She became Cal State Fullertons first 20-game winner since 1999 when Jana Oetgen posted a 21-12 overall mark in the circle and was the first Titan since 1993 to post an ERA which averaged out to less than a run when Cheryl Longeway (0.93) and Tiffany Boyd (0.96) both accomplished the feat that year. Oaks 0.73 ERA is the lowest for any Titan pitcher since Boyds 0.68 ERA in 1991.
Oaks will be coached by her head coach Michelle Gromacki on the Elite Team, as the third-year Titan coach will serve as an assistant alongside head coach Jay Miller and assistant Kirk Walker (Oregon State).