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Former Arizona softball All-American Danielle O’Toole-Trejo joins California as new pitching coach

Photo courtesy of Arizona Athletics

When Arizona softball was in need of a new pitching coach two months ago, the name of former Wildcat star Danielle O’Toole-Trejo was a popular one. She didn’t join the Wildcats, but the former All-American pitcher will be a Pac-12 pitching coach next season. California announced the hiring of O’Toole-Trejo on Friday morning.

O’Toole-Trejo goes to Berkeley after three seasons as the volunteer assistant at Cal State Fullerton. The Titans’ staff has been successful under the former Wildcat. As a group, they had a 1.87 ERA and a .207 batting average against last season. The staff of six gave up only 11 home runs all year.

The staff’s improvement between 2022 and 2023 was marked by a drop in ERA from 3.49 to 1.87. Only one pitcher had an ERA under 3.25 in 2022. In 2023, four pitchers did.

Myka Sutherlin, a senior out of Gilbert, Ariz., was in the circle when the 2022 Titans defeated Arizona 1-0.

The team had two pitchers throw triple-digit innings in 2023. Both were highly effective.

Sutherlin had an ERA of 1.64 and a 20-11 record on her way to Big West Pitcher of the Year honors. She pitched 200.2 innings, 17 complete games, and nine shutouts. Opposing batters hit just .174 against her in 696 at-bats. She allowed the ball to leave the park just five times all year. She had 70 walks against 242 strikeouts.

It was Sutherlin’s second season in Fullerton. She transferred from Pacific the year before, making strides between her junior and senior seasons under the tutelage of O’Toole-Trejo. In the 2022 season, she had an ERA of 2.43 in 150 IP. She went 16-7 in 24 starts. Ten of her starts were complete games.

Sutherlin was joined by sophomore Haley Rainey, who pitched 105 innings for Fullerton after transferring from Idaho State. Rainey went 9-5 with a 1.53 ERA. She threw three complete games and two shutouts. She gave up three home runs, walked 49, and struck out 87.

In her first season at Fullerton, O’Toole-Trejo guided the pitching staff to a 2.75 ERA. Three of the six pitchers had an ERA under 2.90.

Prior to working with the Titans’ pitchers, O’Toole-Trejo was the volunteer assistant at San Diego for two years.

As a player, O’Toole-Trejo was a first team NFCA All-American and the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year in 2017. Prior to coming to Tucson, she was the 2014 Mountain West Pitcher of the Year honors and 2013 Mountain West Freshman of the Year while with San Diego State.

She transferred to Arizona after her sophomore year. SDSU did not release her under the old rules, so she sat out in 2015. In 2016 and 2017, she appeared in 81 games with 72 starts for the Wildcats. She ended with a 56-17 record and a 1.69 career ERA for UA. She had 402 strikeouts against 89 walks.

After competing for Arizona, she played professionally in National Professional Fastpitch and AU Sports. She also fulfilled her dream of playing in the Olympics when she represented Mexico in Tokyo

When she retired from professional softball last summer, O’Toole-Trejo was not sure she wanted to continue coaching. She said that she had dreams of becoming a mom and didn’t know if she would be able to juggle the demands of college coaching and motherhood. However, she said if the right opportunity came along, she would pursue it. That opportunity turned out to be in the East Bay.