Whitecaps to host Island Invitational softball and baseball tournaments Friday and Saturday

In a first for Galveston Island, the Galveston College Whitecaps softball and baseball teams will host joint Island Invitational tournaments Friday and Saturday, Feb. 5-6, with first pitch at 10 a.m. each day.

Island Invitational Softball Tournament
In what has become an annual tradition on the island, the Whitecaps softball team will welcome the Alvin Community College Dolphins, Blinn College Buccaneers, Connors State College Cowgirls, Louisiana State University Eunice Bengals, Northwest Florida State College Raiders, San Jacinto College Coyotes and Temple College Leopards to this year’s tournament at the City of Galveston’s Lassie League Complex, 83rd Street and Airport Boulevard, Galveston.

On Friday, the Whitecaps will play Connors State College at 10 a.m. and San Jacinto College at 3 p.m. on Field 2. On Saturday, the Whitecaps will play Temple College at 10 a.m. and Alvin Community College at 12:30 p.m. on Field 2.

Christa Wallace is entering her second season as head softball coach and director of athletics at Galveston College and third season on the Whitecaps coaching staff.

During Coach Wallace’s time at Galveston College, she helped coach the Whitecaps to the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIV Conference Championship in 2018 and an NJCAA National Tournament appearance in St. George, Utah, in May 2018.

Prior to joining the Whitecaps coaching staff, she served as an assistant softball coach at The University of Texas at Tyler. In two years at UT Tyler, she helped coach the Patriots to the program’s first NCAA Division III National Championship in 2016 and a third-place finish in 2017.

Coach Wallace helped coach three All-Conference players, two All-West Region award recipients, two All-Americans and a HERO Player of the Year. During her time as an assistant, the Patriots posted a combined record of 95-11.

As a collegiate player, Coach Wallace split her career between Blinn College and UT Tyler. At Blinn College, she was named second-team NFCA All-Midwest Region, second-team All-Conference, NJCAA Academic All-American and NFCA All-American Scholar-Athlete. She went on to UT Tyler where she was named All-Conference Honorable Mention and to the NCAA DIII Championship All-Tournament Team. She finished as NCAA National Runner-Up with a record of 50-5 while making “The Catch” (#1 play on ESPN Top 10 and Best of the Best).

Assisting Coach Wallace is longtime collegiate softball coach Maria Winn-Ratliff, who spent the 2020 season as the head coach at Louisiana Tech, where she led the Lady Techsters to a 2-1 start to conference play before the COVID-19 pandemic prematurely ended the season.

Prior to assuming the position in Ruston, Coach Winn spent 15 years as the head coach at Tyler Junior College and Western Nebraska Community College, where she amassed 699 wins and made eight appearances in the National Junior College Athletic Association National Softball Championship tournament.

Coach Winn posted a record of 164-42 during her three years at Tyler Junior College – a program that produced the 2019 Conference USA Player of the Year. All three teams were ranked nationally and advanced to the NJCAA National Softball Championship tournament.

While at TJC, Coach Winn coached eight National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Americans, eight NJCAA All-Americans, three Fastpitch News All-Americans, 21 All-Conference players and 15 All-Region players. She and her coaching team were named the NJCAA Region XIV Coaching Staff of the Year in 2017 and the NFCA Region Coaching Staff of the Year in 2019.

During her 12 years at WNCC, Coach Winn had a record of 535-218-1, including nine seasons with 40 or more wins and five trips to the NJCAA National Softball Championship tournament. A six-time Region IX Coach of the Year recipient, she coached 16 NFCA All-Americans and seven NJCAA All-Americans at WNCC. Her teams also won 32 NJCAA and NFCA academic awards.

Admission for the softball tournament is $10 for a two-day pass or $5 per day. Coach Wallace invites everyone out to watch some fastpitch college softball in action.

Island Invitational Baseball Tournament
In what promises to be an exciting two days of college baseball on the island, the Whitecaps baseball team will welcome the Alvin Community College Dolphins, Blinn College Buccaneers, Temple College Leopards and Western Texas College Westerners to Galveston for its second annual tournament at Bernard Davis Stadium, 81st Street and Frank Giusti Drive, Galveston.

On Friday, the Whitecaps will take on Western Texas College at 4 p.m. and Blinn College at 7 p.m. On Saturday, the Whitecaps will play Temple College at 3 p.m. and Alvin Community College at 7 p.m.

Kevin Lallmann is entering his third season as head baseball coach at Galveston College and his sixth season on the Whitecaps coaching staff. During Coach Lallmann’s tenure, the Whitecaps sent 30 players on to the NCAA Division I level, had three players drafted in the MLB draft and had another player sign as a free agent.

Assisting Coach Lallmann is former Whitecaps standout Kyle Giusti, who joined the Galveston College coaching staff as assistant coach in 2019 after spending the 2018 season at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where he worked with the team’s hitters and served as bullpen coach.

In its preseason rankings, the JUCO Baseball Blog (The JBB), a leading media outlet for junior college baseball news, ranked the Whitecaps as number 31 in the nation among the NJCAA’s 221 Division 1 teams. Galveston College competes in NJCAA Region 14, long-considered a powerhouse in the nation.

“We are excited to be back on the field after such a long layoff,” Coach Lallmann said. “We look forward to competing in a tough region, and expectations are high for the Whitecaps.”

Coach Lallmann invites everyone out to Bernard Davis Stadium to watch the teams in action.

Admission for the baseball tournament is $5 each day.

For both tournaments, spectators, student-athletes, coaches and media will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. In keeping with state of Texas guidelines, masks will be required. Fans are encouraged to socially distance into groups (individuals, families and students who live together).

For more information on Galveston College athletics and the complete Whitecaps softball schedule, please visit the official website at gcwhitecaps.com.