Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 26
 
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
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SPECIAL PROMOTION: Trina Salcido enjoys the action last spring as she served as an assistant coach for the Princeton University softball team. Last week, Salcido was named as the program's new head coach, replacing Maureen Barron, who recently relocated to Texas.

Salcido Named to Head Tiger Softball, Extending Love Affair With Princeton

Bill Alden

Trina Salcido was a west coast person through and through when she headed to New Jersey in 2005 to join the Princeton University softball team's coaching staff.

As a college player in the mid-1990s, Salcido, a native of Sacramento, Calif., starred for the University of Oregon where she earned honorable mention All-Pac 10 honors and was named to the school's Female All-Decade team.

After college, Salcido returned home for a two-year stint at Sacramento City College as an assistant softball coach/strength and conditioning coach.

Salcido then served as the head softball coach of El Camino High, guiding the program to three straight league championships.

While Salcido felt a bit out of place when she arrived in Princeton, the warm welcome she received from Princeton head coach Maureen Barron helped her feel at home.

"I came here three years ago not really knowing Maureen," said Salcido. "We had an instant connection from day one. I didn't exist as an employee. We had shared responsibility; she empowered me to work with the hitters and do recruiting."

Now, Salcido will have even greater responsibility as she was named as the program's new head coach in the wake of Barron's recent relocation to Texas.

As Salcido takes the helm of the Tiger program, she sees herself as a Princeton person. "In the time I've been here the place has really become part of me," said Salcido.

"It is everything that everybody says it is. All the right things have been happening since I got here. I got my masters and I've been exposed to some wonderful coaches in other sports. There is greatness around you; I love this place."

Salcido acknowledges that the place won't be the same in the absence of Barron, who will be a stay-at-home mother with her three young children as her husband, Richard, serves as the associate head coach of the Baylor University women's basketball team.

"Maureen is irreplaceable," said Salcido of Barron, a 1997 Princeton alum who guided the Tigers to four Ivy League titles in her seven years at the helm. "She leaves a great legacy for the program. She has laid the groundwork for me to build on what we have done. She was a respected colleague and a friend. I will definitely continue to consult her for advice."

The pitching acumen of Barron, an Ivy Pitcher of the Year during her playing days at Princeton, will be sorely missed by Salcido.

"She developed many good pitchers," said Salcido. "She handled the pitching staff so that they grew into a collective unit and not just a bunch of pitchers competing against each other. I'm trying to find someone who can do that."

Salcido believes she has talent on hand to do the job. "The freshmen this year who will be sophomores are really good," said Salcido.

"Jamie Lettire is a strong competitor who is a good pitcher and hitter. Collette Abbot played the last month of the season with a broken finger. Kelsey Quist has a lot of potential; I think we'll see her breaking out soon. We have a great class of incoming freshmen [Kristen Arguedas, Brittany Scott, Michelle Tolfa, and Megan Weidrick.]"

Lettire hit seven homers and went 8-7 on the mound as she earned second-team All-Ivy honors as a utility player. Quist hit five homers while Abbott had 17 RBIs.

The Tigers also have a solid core of veterans in rising juniors Briannan Moreno, Kat Welch, and Erin Miller together with rising senior Kristen Schaus.

Outfielder Moreno was a first-team All-Ivy pick after hitting .369 in league play while shortstop Welch earned second-team All-Ivy honors (.433 and 22 RBIs in Ivy play) and outfielder Miller (.311 in 17 league appearances) was selected for All-Ivy honorable mention. Schaus was a second team All-Ivy pick at pitcher after going 7-5 with a 2.37 ERA in Ivy games.

The Tigers' talent around the diamond, however, didn't come together this past spring as Princeton went 24-29 overall and 12-8 in Ivy play to finish second in the league's southern division.

In Salcido's view, last season's frustrations should fuel the motivation of her returning players. "Sometimes things don't work out the way you want," said Salcido. "It will sharpen us and make us more hungry. We will be ready to go that extra mile. We know we can lose it. We don't want to have that bitter taste in our mouths again."

Utilizing her laid-back west coast approach, Salcido believes she can keep things upbeat around the team. "I'm not as fast paced but I'm overly friendly," said Salcido. "I talk a lot; it's who I am. I'm a go-getter; I'm a positive force."

Salcido relishes the chance to have a positive influence on her charges. "I coach for the love of the game but also for these players," asserted Salcido.

"I pour everything into them; I try to help them develop as athletes and people. I'm excited to see what they go into after Princeton. I feel they are taking a little bit of me into whatever they do."

And with Salcido having fallen in love with Princeton, she is certainly excited to extend her stay on the east coast for a while.

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