Short season costs PC academic, postseason honors
The accomplishments of Porterville College softball, both on the field and in the classroom, will go largely unrecognized because of a shortened season due to COVID-19.
Kuea “Kiki” Angilau, the Pirates' star hitter, was on pace to become the program's second-straight All-American but was unable to finish the season. Batting .467 through 20 games, Angilau was second in the state in home runs (11) and slugging percentage (1.244), 17th in RBIs (25) and tied for 18th in runs scored (26).
“The lack of closure for the sophomores was the most difficult,” PC head coach Vickie Dugan said. “All but one of the sophomores will be coming back, but for Kiki there was no final sophomore game, end of year activities, etc. She was on pace to be an All-American and will not get that opportunity now. Hopefully she will keep the same pace at Texas A&M.”
Aniglau signed with Texas A&M University-Commerce in February. She'll join the NCAA Division II Lions on a full-ride scholarship next season.
Along with becoming an All-American for her play, Angilau was also set to earn an academic All-American honor for her grades. Angilau along with sophomore Annisa Gomez, and freshmen teammates Ally Boyd, Veronica Bosquez, Megan Enriquez, Brianna Osorio and Jaicey Pate; all achieved a 4.0 GPA.
“This year's team had a 3.81 GPA with seven players getting 4.0's. But again, the national organization is not going to bestow any season awards, so no academic All-American's either,” Dugan said.
Porterville's season was ended prematurely by the COVID-19 pandemic with 19 games left to play. The Pirates went 7-13 on the overall season and were in fifth place in the Central Valley Conference with a a 3-2 record.
Because of the short season, the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) is allowing sophomores to return and play next season. However there's still uncertainty of what next season is going to look like.
The CCCAA introduced a three-plan schedule for next season on June 9 but teams won't know until July 17 what plan is going to go into effect for their seasons. There is also the question of whether or not classes will be online or in-person.
“The plan does not help the student athletes who need to make plans to move to the area,” Dugan said. “They do not want to get housing if we are not going to meet face-to-face. The longer it takes to put the final plan in place, the harder it will be to get housing. I like at least there is a plan. The health and safety of the student athletes must come first.”