Cal Poly will be the new home for Sarah Wulff next year. Although it's less than 20 miles from her Atascadero home, she seriously looked at schools a little further away. Sarah's academics and athletics also drew the attention of schools like UC Davis, MIT, Stanford and CSUN (Cal State U-Northridge).
Coming off an torn ACL knee injury early in her junior year, Sarah worked hard to rehab and be ready for the rigorous 18 Gold summer softball schedule. By late July at the Champions Cup, the finalists were Cal Poly & CSUN both intently studying Sarah on the field. After back-to-back visits to both campuses, Sarah made the choice to become a Mustang.
Sarah says, "Cal Poly is the perfect fit for me on all levels. It has an excellent Kinesiology Department, an amazing and experienced coaching staff, and a very competitive softball program.
FUN FACT: Sarah is a very accomplished tennis player too. At a recent HS tennis tournament at Cal Poly, her future college coaches came out to cheer her on! How cool is that?
All it took was watching one game last summer and the St. Martin’s University coaching staff was sold on Julia Lucas. Her hustle, strong bat, and incredible (loud) spirit immediately impressed the coaches. Within a few days, the senior catcher from Archbishop Mitty High was on a plane bound for Lacey, WA to check out the school. The rest, they say, is history.
“I chose Saint Martin's because I felt right at home the minute I walked on campus. The campus is 250 acres and engulfed in trees and nature. It's peaceful vibe and beautiful softball field grabbed my attention and I fell in love right away. I can see myself living out the next four years at Saint Martin’s,” says Julia.
The future Criminal Justice major went to a lot of elite camps and a couple visits including USD, Cal Baptist, Emory and Sonoma State. Julia is in her fifth full year with the Sting after moving here from Southern California.
Go get em’ Jules!
Becca Ortiz, a senior at Mitty High School, will be playing softball and attending UC Davis next fall. UC Davis has always been by far, her first choice even though she did visit other schools and camps throughout California. UC Davis has a great science curriculum including Biomedical Engineering in which Becca plans to study. Everyone knows that Biomedical Engineering (BME) is the application of engineering principles and design concepts to medicine and biology for healthcare purposes (e.g. diagnostic or therapeutic). Right? Well...Becca knows. Becca is always in search of the best menudo around so maybe she'll learn to cook it at Davis!
Becca is in her tenth year as a loyal San Jose Sting player. (YES 10!) Along the way, she has had a great prep career as well including multiple CCS Championships. Her achievements on the field and in the classroom certainly have prepared Becca for the rigorous college schedule in front of her.
All of us in her Sting family wish Becca well in her dreams and aspirations. Congrats!
Bella Malvini has a passion for fashion. Fashion Marketing that is. That's why she has accepted an opportunity to play softball and attend the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. Bella explored schools from coast to coast including New York, Rhode Island and Oregon but made her decision to stay in the Bay Area for the next four years.
Bella says, "My favorite part about ArtU is their welcoming environment and focus on the individual success of all their students. As soon as I met the team and toured the campus, I knew it was the perfect fit for me. They academically challenge their students by teaching them as though they are in a working environment, and I feel this is vital in pursuing the industry I will be going into."
The six-year San Jose Sting veteran will graduate from Willow Glen High this June.
Good luck Bella!
Sara Gayer, now in her third year with the Sting, has verbally committed to play softball and attend Whitworth University in Spokane, WA. Whitworth is a private, academically oriented school that plays softball in the Northwest Conference. Sara is a senior at Leigh High School and will graduate in 2017.
The Whitworth Pirates are coming off back-to-back NWC titles and their head coach, Cristal Brown, was also named NWC Coach of the Year in 2016. Coach Brown remarked about Sara's commitment, "We are so thrilled! She is going to be a great addition. We just love her personality on top of her ability. She is going to have a great experience while receiving a top notch education."
Sara had a tough choice to make as she also recently visited and received an offer from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. She loved both schools, all of the coaches and the beautiful surrounding areas in both states. After starting softball at only five years old, Sara thought seriously on the decision of where to continue her career in college.
After a couple days of studying the pros and cons of both schools, Sara made her final decision ultimately because she felt she would just fit better and would continue to help build the Whitworth program.
Congratulations to the Thomas Family for Korie's recent acceptance to play for UCSB. Korie has been attending multiple camps there and fell in love with the school, coaches and players. Korie had ASU and Cal interested in her as well which made her decision that much more difficult but ultimately decided amongst her family that UCSB was the right choice. Congratulations Korie!!!
Lindsey "Lu" Walljasper has chosen the Nebraska Cornhuskers to play softball. Lu and her entire family including Allie (who drove from LSU to Nebraska to surprise her) along with Kit Perales all were there for the announcement. It was not an easy decision as LSU was also interested in Lu and she could have spent her freshman year with Allie but Lu wanted to make a name for herself and be close to all her Walljasper Family in Iowa!
Congratulations to the entire Walljasper Family and especially Lu for her awesome accomplishment!
Diamond Holland (2020 Grad) has realized her dream and found her FIT - she verbally committed to Cal and will join other Sting alumni who proudly wear the blue and gold.
*newest commitments in BOLD
Class of 2020
Class of 2019
Class of 2018
Class of 2017
Class of 2016
Class of 2015
Class of 2014
Class of 2013
Class of 2012
San Jose Sting 18 G Gron
The San Jose Sting 18G - Gron team traveled to Georgia to compete in the prestigious USA/ASA Junior Olympic cup. Along with 32 other elite softball teams from around the country, San Jose Sting 18G - Gron battled heat, humidity, rain delays and highly competitive softball teams to take an impressive 5th place finish.
The USA Softball JO Cup serves as a National Team identification opportunity for athletes wishing to compete in front of members of the WNTSC. With the possibility of softball and baseball returning to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, this tournament annually serves as an identification tournament for the USA Softball National Team Program.
Congratulations 18G - Gron and an outstanding tournament finish!
OKLAHOMA CITY – The hopes and dreams of millions of softball athletes across the globe have been answered today as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted today to approve the addition of five new sports to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball announced today. The decision, which comes after the IOC met in Rio de Janeiro, was made possible after the groundbreaking Olympic Agenda 2020, which provides flexibility for the future of the Olympic Movement to encourage innovation in the Olympic program. In addition to softball/baseball, other sports that will be added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are karate, skateboard, sports climbing and surfing.
“What a truly great day for the sports of softball and baseball,” said ASA/USA Softball Executive Director Craig Cress. “For softball and baseball to be added to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games program is a dream come true for many athletes across the world. USA Softball is proud to be the National Governing Body for the sport of softball and will continue to work diligently every day to promote our great sport of softball on the world stage.”
Softball and baseball’s global reach, loyal fan-base and positioning across many of the biggest sports markets, including Japan, offers a unique opportunity to further spread and elevate the Olympic brand. The decision today further highlights the growing global appeal of the two sports, particularly among young people and women. In Japan, softball/baseball have remained atop the landscape and a central part of the culture for more than 70 years. Other factors considered in the sports package include the impact on gender equality, the youth appeal of the sports and the legacy value of adding them to the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Softball spent four “quads” as an Olympic sport debuting in the 1996 Atlanta Games with the final Olympic softball competitions taking place in Beijing in 2008. Softball and baseball were ousted from the 2012 Olympics following a vote from the IOC in 2005 in which softball, needing a simple majority of votes (53), received just 52. Despite its exclusion from the Olympics for the past eight years, international softball has become increasingly competitive as a record 30 nations competed in last month’s 2016 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Women’s World Championship in Surrey, B.C., Canada and a record-breaking 12 nations competed at the World Cup of Softball XI in Oklahoma City, Okla. This was also highly showcased during the USA vs Japan All-Star Series in Tokyo and Sendai, Japan, where members of the USA Softball Women’s National Team squared off against Japan in a three-game series. A record-breaking 31,448 fans attended Stage One of the series at the Tokyo Dome, while an additional 3,000 fans attended the final two stages at Shellcom Sendai.
“Thank you to the IOC and the WBSC for this tremendous honor for not only our sport, but our athletes and the millions of young girls who dream of one day being an Olympian,” said USA Softball Women’s National Team athlete Janie Takeda (Placentia, Calif.). “This means so much to not only our USA Softball Women’s National Team program, but to millions of girls across the world. Even if I’m not there, knowing that softball athletes will get to compete on the highest stage against the best competition in the world is amazing.”
In four Olympic Games appearances, the USA Softball Women's National Team claimed three Gold Medals and one Silver Medal finish while setting numerous international records and are one of only two women's sports involved in the Olympic movement to capture three-consecutive Gold Medals. In 2012, three-time Olympic Gold Medalist Lisa Fernandez and the 2004 U.S. Olympic Softball Team were honored for their accolades with induction into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. Members of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Softball Team set 18 Olympic records in Athens. Among the team records set were the most hits (73), highest team batting average (.343) and highest slugging percentage (.559). Fernandez set the individual record for batting average with .545 while Crystl Bustos’ 10 RBI and five home runs were also records.
This decision comes just 10 days after the USA Softball Women’s National Team claimed their first WBSC Women’s World Championship title since 2010 after defeating Japan 7-3 in the Gold Medal finale. As a team, the U.S. finished the 2016 WBSC Women’s World Championship with a .436 team batting average, 19 home runs, 80 RBI and outscored opponents 83-10. The pitching staff was lights out, allowing just eight earned runs for a 1.19 ERA.
For more information on the USA Softball National Teams, visit www.ASAUSASoftball.com.
Jazmyn Jackson has always had a plan for what’s next.
This time though, as she sat in the back of a lecture hall listening to fellow students and advisors discuss various majors and options, Jackson found herself questioning the blueprint she’d laid before herself. Yes, the goal was always to apply and be accepted into the prestigious Haas School of Business. But plans often change, and what if the route she’d meticulously crafted wasn’t necessarily the straightest path to her desired destination?
Then again, what if it was?
As the tears welled up and the questions swirled in her head, the softball player inside the Cal sophomore resurfaced. She had a plan and knew what to expect, and in much the same way as she takes in and applies a scouting report, Jackson pulled herself together, left the lecture hall and looked forward to the possibilities that existed should she get accepted for the final two years of her undergraduate career.
Fast forward to Feb. 19, 2016, and the Marriott Mission Valley Hotel in San Diego, Calif. Having beaten South Dakota and No. 18-ranked Kentucky in the same day, the Bears returned to their hotel to rest, visit with family and prepare for two more games the next day. Unbeknownst to most of the team, Jackson was still on edge. She had one more challenge to confront, and it had nothing to do with an opposing pitcher or a fly ball.
The email came informing her she was in. The No. 2-ranked undergraduate business program in the country wanted Jazmyn Jackson. She told her parents, told her friends and took a deep sigh of relief as her plan came back into focus.
“I see how hard she works,” said Jackson’s best friend and teammate Annie Aldrete. “She comes home at 10 at night and she’s been at tutoring for calculus and statistics and all these business classes. Business is hard in general, let alone at Berkeley and at Haas. It’s such a big accomplishment. We’re student-athletes and we know what it takes to get good grades, but when you get into a prestigious school like that, it’s a whole different story. I cried. I was so proud of her.”
Business school is the next adventure for a student-athlete who has already accomplished more than most will ever hope to in a four-year college career. Named to the 2016 U.S. Women’s National Team, Jackson spent the summer of 2015 as one of the best players on the U.S. Junior National Team. She made an immediate impact in Berkeley as a freshman for the Bears, hitting .446 and finishing the year as a top-10 finalist for the NFCA Division I Freshman of the Year Award.
Those who know her understand that getting into Haas is another step on Jackson’s list of life goals. That fact is especially evident with one look at her day planner, a color-coded, carefully plotted description of everything she needs to accomplish in a given week. To line up everything she needs to get done, she pores over the neatly arranged lines to make sure she is in the right place at the right time.
That attention to detail has brought Jackson plenty of success already, both on the field and in the classroom.
“She takes everything very seriously and she puts just as much time into her schoolwork as her softball,” Cal head coach Diane Ninemire said. “She’s a very well-balanced individual. It’s not just one or the other, and I think that’s why she selected Cal. She understood the importance of having to have both things going for her in order to go to Cal. And then, to be accepted into the Haas School of Business, ranked No. 2 in the country, she’s not going to back down from any challenges that are put in front of her.”
Jackson and Aldrete have known each other since they were about 12 years old. Both Northern California natives, the duo journeyed to Southern California to play on travel teams and connected through a mutual friend, Fatima Larios. Aldrete, who is a year older than Jackson, eventually left to play at Tennessee and Jackson came to Berkeley.
In the spring of 2015, Jackson’s life plan took another turn. Larios passed away, and those who knew her well were left to grieve a friend taken far too soon. Aldrete made the decision to move closer to home, and when she selected Cal as her landing spot, both she and Jackson knew where to turn to get through what remains a difficult time.
“It means so much that she’s back,” Jackson said. “When we see something, we’ll say ‘hey, do you want to talk.’ We don’t really have a common area, so we’ll go to each other’s rooms. The other night, I went to her room and we just talked, ate candy, did our hair. A lot of it is us being so in our own worlds that we don’t have any release, so I think a big thing for us is knocking on the other person’s door and saying ‘hey, can we talk?’”
On the diamond, Jackson will join the National Team this summer as one of 16 players to represent the United States in international competition. She’ll be one of the youngest players on a team that includes former Cal star Valerie Arioto.
Having just completed her sophomore season, Jackson will play over the summer and return to Berkeley with the added load of business school to shoulder during her junior and senior years.
No one doubts she can handle it.
“She’s hard enough on herself with her expectations that, as long as she can stay within herself and not try to do too much, that will be her biggest challenge,” Ninemire said. “Every time you win another accolade or get named to another team, the pressure kind of grows and mounts on players. Some people embrace it and some people kind of melt. Hopefully, she’ll be the one that will embrace it and continue to grow, accept the challenge and keep working hard to get to the next place.”
In the meantime, Jackson continues to plan for the future. She’s interested in working to become a general manager of a sports franchise or perhaps an agent in sports or entertainment. Making connections in both sports and business will take on added importance as she moves through her time at Berkeley.
And she’ll continue to organize her thoughts in her planner, color coding and plotting for what comes next in a plan that has served her well so far.
“My priorities are God, family, school and softball, so school is before softball. That’s a huge thing for me,” Jackson said. “I’m really excited to get started in Haas and excited to start getting stuff done there and learning about business. I see myself growing in that way, making connections, things like that. Softball-wise, I’ve still got a lot to learn. Being on the National Team, all the girls are older than me, which is awesome. I learn something new every day here (in Berkeley), I can only imagine how much I’m going to learn this summer. I’m excited to get better.”
Here is a recent article written by Thomas Hoffman of Triple Crown Sports:
Every little kid growing up dreams big. No matter the sport, no matter the goal, no matter the subject, we’ve all dreamed about accomplishing something bigger. For Bob Perales of the San Jose Sting, his dream is helping his young players accomplish theirs. Perales joined the Sting organization in 2000 when his daughter needed a place to showcase her fastpitch softball abilities. Staying with her all the way from 12u to 18u gold, Perales soaked up a breadth of knowledge about the fastpitch community and the ever complicated process of recruiting.
“It’s changed a lot since we started this thing,” said Perales, who now spends most of his time with the Sting’s 14u teams. “The ages that these girls are being looked at continues to decline, and I want to be there every step of the way so these girls have the best chance at accomplishing their ultimate goals.”As Perales made the adaptation to the ever-changing world of recruiting, he also made changes in the way that he prepares his players, utilizing Edufii, a computerized application that allows Perales to keep up with his players from long distances.“This app has really changed the game for me,” said Perales. “Now, I can see what my players are working on while they’re at home. It allows us to practice, even when we can’t meet.”
It’s not just Perales that is taking note of the changing landscape of cloud-based instruction — softball’s nationally known instructional quartet, The Packaged Deal, also makes use of the 21st century innovation. Not only can the Sting check on what their coach has to say, but they call also hear and watch from some of the game’s biggest names.
His modifications in coaching have translated into a great amount of success for the Sting. Last season, at Triple Crown’s TC/USA Nationals in Reno, NV, the Sting rode a wave of momentum right into the championship game of the 16u division. Narrowly taken down by the Oklahoma Exclusive, 6-5, the Sting and their skipper still look back on that moment as the highlight of their summer season.“It was an experience I’ll never forget,” said Lindsey Walljasper, who pitched for Perales in the championship game. “Although it wasn’t the outcome that we wanted, I am very proud of what my team and I accomplished.”“That was a huge moment for us,” Perales said. “Not only was it a great experience for us as a team, but I think it was easily our best tournament of the year.”“It was exciting to have the opportunity to play at the University of Nevada-Reno,” said Sarah Wulff, a former player of Perales. “Playing in the championship game was an unforgettable experience.”
Wulff has been loyal to the Sting since joining the organization, but the fundamentals of softball aren’t the only tools she’s picked up from Perales.“I originally joined the Sting because the organization had an excellent reputation,” said Wullf."But what stands out significantly from my time with the Sting is respect. I have learned respect for my coaches because of their commitment and willingness to accept nothing but the best that we have to offer. I have learned respect for the players because softball is a team sport and every player holds value and is an essential component to the team’s synergy and productivity. I have learned respect for my family because they have sacrificed so much to provide this rare opportunity and have been my biggest supporters through it all. Respect is what Coach Bob and his staff have taught me and it is applicable in all areas of life.”
This month, Perales and his new batch of 14u talent will make their way to Hemet, California for the 2016 Zoom Into June event. The Sting are no strangers to Triple Crown softball events as Perales recollects contending in TC tournaments for well over 10 years.“I remember when it was just Tony Rico that ran that tournament by himself,” said Perales. “Ever since Triple Crown and Krista (Crawford) have stepped in, they have rolled out the red carpet for us.“They have done everything to get us in front of the big coaches and playing on the main fields and we certainly haven’t forgotten it. There are a lot of new ventures out there and a lot of teams are jumping ship to go play in newer tournaments, but we wanted to stick with an organization that has always taken care of us. I’ve always said that we will go where my girls can get the best exposure. Zoom Into June is a tournament that attracts the best competition and the best college coaches.” Perales and the Sting have showcased their prodigious play over the past decade-plus, but for Perales, it’s always been about the double play. No, not your garden variety 6-4-3 inning ending, get-you-out-of- trouble double play. He’s more interested in getting his players to realize their dreams and then doing everything he can to help accomplish them.
“As in softball and in life,” says Perales. “I tell my girls it’s nice to get the double play, but you have to get the first out.”While Wulff and Walljasper are on the homestretch of turning their own double plays, Perales has a new crop of youthful talent just trying to get their first out; Zoom Into June marks an early step in that process.Judging from the success and development from his current Sting players, don’t expect anything less from the new regime.As Walljasper puts it, “Once you put that San Jose Sting uniform on, there’s no going back.”
Taylor Klauser, Colorado School of Mines
Mackenzie Drake, San Jose State softball
Alexis Lindsey - University of South Carolina
Lizzy Beutter - UC San Diego
Eleni Spirakis - Santa Clara University
Jacqui Prober (2nd from right) and Jenna Crawford (on end, right side)
The Sting family was deeply saddened to learn of Bob Randall's unexpected passing on Friday, March 4th. His daughter, Dani played for the Sting and as a former Sting coach, Bob left his mark and then some on our organization and all of softball. How to describe Bob.....
- All in
- Fiercely loyal and devoted
I could go on and on, he's that memorable of a man. Once you met Bob Randall, you never forgot him! His smile and laugh were contagious and his bear hugs were legendary. He loved the game of softball and gave his all to the players fortunate enough to have played for him. Our heartfelt condolences, prayers and love go out to the Randall family. Larger than life? Absolutely!
Julie being presented with a plaque by Sydney (#9) and the Sting team, after winning a breast cancer awareness tourney Fall 2014
It is with a heavy heart that the Sting family shares that we have lost one of our biggest fans and supporters, Julie Loeffler. Julie passed away on February 20th after a courageous battle with cancer over the past few years. Julie was a shining example of bravery, toughness, courage and love for the game!
Julie's daughter, Sydney has been with the Sting family since Fall 2014 and Julie loved watching her play! Please keep Sydney, her brother Kyle and her father, Larry (Julie's husband) in your thoughts and prayers.
Also, a site has been created by a Loeffler family friend for donations for the family in this time of need:
Julie Loeffler's love of the game started way back, here is her high school team photo from 1988 (Julie is seated - bottom right)
Sydney and her Sting team playing in a breast cancer awareness tournament in honor of Julie, Fall 2015
Please forward any articles/box scores or player recaps (for all levels within the Sting Softball Organization) to the following e-mail address for website consideration:
The San Jose Sting is an independently operated California Corporation and is committed to being a superior girl's fastpitch softball organization.