California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) head softball coach Andrea Kenney and her team dominated the competitive Tournament of Champions with a (5-0) record, concluding on April 3.
Kenney reached her 500th win that weekend, a milestone she credits to the talented athletes she’s worked with over the years. Winning the tournament was the real victory, and more valuable than a number to Kenney.
Captains Alyssa Burt (#35), Cassie Gasper (#13), Ivana Perez (#8), and Madi Avery (#55) believe in Kenney’s teachings in the same way the team buys into their leadership, connecting the program through high standards and a desire to succeed.
Kenney recognizes the benefit of collaboration, from involving experts in sports psychology to leadership council meetings. These resources have enhanced their performance.
The support of CSUMB’s track and field coach Greg Rhines is a pivotal part of the team’s Fall conditioning. Kenney employs his help and training expertise to build stronger runners.
“In my career, I’ve taken advantage of all these great minds on campus,” Kenney said. “Not thinking that I can do it all alone.”
This 2022 team plays for each other, a selfless and supportive bench with different players stepping up every week.
Six first-year students are starting on the roster this season, and there’s a lot of room for growth as these athletes expand their experience.
Kenney loves this team, saying she’ll coach forever if teams continue to work as hard as this – a well-behaved and cooperative group of young competitors.
Adversity has been a regular aspect of the season. There have been concussions, fractured wrists, Gasper dislocated her knee running bases, and even Kenney encountered physical damage, suffering a broken hand caused by a hit from an incoming ball.
These injuries have not affected the team’s success because they believe in their bench, using these challenges as fuel to continue pushing forward.
Gasper is a top pitcher for the Otters, and her knee injury has kept her off the field, but freshman Kassidy Stetler (#23) is filling that gap, stepping in with confidence, delivering multiple strikeouts this year.
Kenney is proud of these women, their dedication to the sport, and the program’s mission. This game is about family.
The Otters face off against Cal State San Marcos on Friday, April 22.