FULLERTON, Calif. – With the Titan Softball program set to host their annual alumni slow-pitch game and the Leadoff Social dinner on Saturday, January 27th, we take a look at some of our former Titans who are now giving back to the sport of softball.
This week we focus on Amanda Hockett and Leslie King.
Amanda Hockett is going into her tenth season as the head coach of Stockdale High School. She took over the head coaching job back in the 2008-09 season after coaching travel ball for several years. In her time coaching the Mustangs, she sports a very impressive 190-77-5 record including the program's best season last year when the team went 29-2 for the season. Overall, she has won two league titles and taken her team to the Central Section Division I semifinals twice.
"I've loved softball my entire life," said Hockett. "I learned a lot from it, so I want to take what I learned and give back to the game that has given me so much. My experiences at Fullerton really made me want to stay in the game for as long as possible and coaching is the perfect way for me to do that."
The last two seasons for Hockett and the Mustangs have been absolutely remarkable. Coming off a 16-15 season in 2015, Hockett knew she had a special team that could make a championship run and they did. For the last two seasons, Stockdale has not lost a single league game going 15-0 both years winning the league championship both years. Hockett's efforts were rewarded as she earned consecutive Varsity Softball Coach of the Year awards. She managed the team to 21 consecutive wins en route to becoming ranked number six in the nation.
"Seeing the girls continue to grow as both athletes and as people overall is amazing," Hockett continued. "It's so awesome to see them continue to blossom and I get the pleasure of continuing to play through them as I coach them."
In her time at Fullerton (2000-03), Hockett was a force at the plate. She earned All-Conference honors in all four seasons as a Titan, including three second-team selections. She also helped lead the team to NCAA Regional appearances in all four years. Hockett currently ranks in the top 10 all-time for games played, runs scored, home runs, RBI, and hit by pitch.
Leslie King will be going into her 15th season as the head coach for the University of Pennsylvania softball program. Overall, she has been coaching since 1982 where she served as a hitting and catching instructor for the Grand Slam Academy as well as being a clinician at the CSF softball summer camp. She has also served as a regional coach for the New Zealand Softball Association and was a player/coach for the Ramblers and Metro softball clubs in New Zealand until 1991. After finishing a 14-year playing career for the New Zealand national team which led to her being inducted into the Softball New Zealand Hall of Fame, she joined the Lock Haven University as an Assistant Coach. After Lock Haven, she was named the head coach for George Washington University for the team's inaugural season in 2003. Following her season with GW, she began her tenure with Penn.
"Softball has always been my passion," explained King. "And I've always coached since we ran softball camps at Fullerton for Judi [Garman]. So, when I finished playing internationally in New Zealand, I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. But I knew I had plenty to give back to the game, so coaching was a very natural transition for me."
Since her arrival at Penn, King led the program to its first ever NCAA playoff appearance in 2013 and has seen 42 of her players earn All-Ivy honors and six players earn Ivy League Yearly Awards. She has led the team to three-straight 20-win seasons and led the Quakers to four straight South Division titles from 2012-15. Under King's leadership, the Red and Blue set a program record for most conference wins in a season in 2013 and most overall wins in a season in 2012. In her first season coaching Penn, she tied the program record for wins in a season and has only made the team better since then.
"I get the opportunity to work with so many bright, young, and talented athletes and to see them grasp concepts and put them into game situations is very satisfying," King said. "The team is different every year with new recruits and transfers, so for me coaching never gets stale and presents new challenges year after year. And I like to think that being out on the field with these girls everyday keeps me young and I get to play through them."
As a Titan (1982-85), King was a three-time all-conference award winner and helped lead Fullerton to three Women's College World Series appearances including a pair of runner-up finishes. King currently ranks in the top 10 for games played and sacrifice hits in the Titans' all-time record book.
The alumni game will be played January 27 at 1:00 p.m. at Anderson Family Field followed by the Leadoff Social dinner at 4:00 p.m.
If you or anyone you know is a Cal State Fullerton alumni and is continuing to give back to the game of softball by coaching, giving private lessons, or running camps/clinics contact Collin Robinson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Head Coach Kelly Ford (email@example.com) so we can share your story.=
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