Thursday, April 26, 2012
Cal-Hi Sports Softball State Stat Stars
By Harold Abend & Paul Muyskens
Crescenta Valley has yet another big-time slugger in sophomore Hannah Cookson. This week's best also includes more homers from Michigan-bound Sierra Romero of Vista Murrieta, a five-RBI day that helps a coach win her 500th game and a promising freshman from Valley Christian of San Jose.
Note: We’re proud once again to collect weekly writeups of the most significant individual high school softball totals in California. We use these as the basis for updating the state record book, which has been published seven times, most recently in the spring of 2009. To report a state stat star of your own, please email highlights to Mark.Tennis@espn.com.
(After games of Saturday, April 21; includes some games as of Wednesday, April 25; Contributing: Bob Barnett, Mark Tennis)
Marissa Chapa (Newark Memorial, Newark) The Cougars’ ace bounced back from a loss to arch-rival and state-ranked James Logan (Union City) by pitching a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts and also contributing two RBIs in a mercy-shortened 13-3 win over Irvington of Fremont.
Hannah Cookson (Crescenta Valley, La Crescenta) Despite being just a sophomore, this Falcons’ slugger is among the state leaders with 43 runs batted in as she hit three homers and drove in five runs in a 16-0 win over Muir of Pasadena earlier this week and then hit two home runs and drove in four runs the next day in an 8-7 win over Hoover of Glendale. Cookson's biggest slugging accomplishment this season so far, though, is the two grand slams she hit in one inning of a game last week when Crescenta Valley beat Arcadia, 18-7. The two grand slams in one inning ties a state record first set in 2005 by Brigean Murphy of Los Angeles Ribet and tied in 2008 by Delaney Willard of Camarillo. It's also believed to be a tie for a reported national record.
Jordan Courage (Del Oro, Loomis) She did it all in a 3-0 win over state-ranked Woodcreek of Roseville as she cleared the bases with a three-run two-out double in the first inning and then she allowed just two hits while striking out five.
Demi Danell (Central Valley Christian, Visalia) She had a week to remember in three games as she went 8-for-9 at the plate, hit five home runs, drove in 11 runs and scored six times. CVC lost to Selma and beat Immanuel of Reedley and Coalinga.
Maleena Esparza (La Habra) Driving in all five of the runs for the Highlanders, she went a perfect 3-for-3 with a grand slam home run in a 5-1 win over Fullerton.
Byrnne Fitzpatrick (Valley Christian, San Jose) The Warriors’ freshman pitcher bounced back from a 3-1 loss (one earned run) to Archbishop Mitty of San Jose by tossing a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts to earn her 10th win in a 4-1 victory over Gilroy.
Madison Fleming (Moorpark) Helping her team stay in first-place in the Marmonte League, she also earned herself the Ventura County Star Athlete of the Week honor as she hit a walk-off grand slam home run in a 10-6 win over Westlake of Westlake Village.
Alex Flores (Fowler) She had an outstanding game at the plate as she went 4-for-5 with one home run and seven RBIs in 18-2 win over Fresno Christian.
Ali Goldberg (Los Altos) The senior star of the 18-4 Eagles continues to shine like the precious metal in her name. Last week, she picked up another three wins from the circle with her best outing coming in a 6-1 win over neighboring Mountain View. She tossed a four-hitter with 12 strikeouts and added a double and two runs scored on offense.
Naomi Gomez (Madera) On a historic day, Gomez collected three hits at the plate with five RBIs in a 13-0 win over Sunnyside of Fresno. Naomi's effort helped her coach, Judy Shaubach, reach 500 wins in her career, as Judy became just the fourth coach in Central Section history to reach that milestone, according to section historian Bob Barnett.
Johanna Grauer (Amador Valley, Pleasanton) She had already struck out 13 and only given up four hits but needed her team to rally for two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out a 2-1 win over a solid California of San Ramon. The sophomore sensation for the Cal-Hi Sports’ No. 3- ranked Dons had a little easier time against Livermore in a 7-0 win, pitching a two-hitter with 14 fanned. Already this week she had 16 strikeouts in a one-hitter as the Dons took a 7-0 decision from crosstown arch-rival Foothill.
Kim McKernan (Healdsburg) She had a triple, five RBIs and three runs scored to help the Hounds break a six game losing streak with a win over Santa Rosa Elsie Allen.
Kobie Pettis (Argonaut, Jackson) This Kobie played and played a lot for her team in a 23-0 win against Amador of Sutter Creek. She hit a grand slam homer, added a single and double and drove in six runs in all.
Gabriella Pons (Carlmont, Belmont) She had a home run, two doubles, four RBIs and three runs scored to help coach Jim Liggett add to his 900-plus win total in a 14-1 shellacking of Pacifica Terra Nova.
Alyssa Reina (Bear River, Lake of the Pines) The senior catcher went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs to help her team take the lead in the Pioneer Valley League with a 7-1 win over Center of Antelope. While batting .614 with six homers puts Reina at the top of the batting charts, it's her ability to keep opponents' runners out of scoring position that really stands out. For the season, she has no bases stolen against her, and frequently picks off unwary runners from her knees, as she did twice in the game against Center.
Lisa Rodriguez (Heritage, Brentwood) The way she pitched last week the Patriots senior should have won all four games. She started with a one-hitter with 11 strikeouts in an 11-0 over Pittsburg. Next came a three-hitter with 12 fanned in a 5-0 win over crosstown arch-rival Heritage. Then she had another one-hitter with eight strikeouts in a 6-0 win over Pittsburg. But alas, her luck ran out when the girls couldn’t muster anything for her in a 1-0 loss to Rancho Cotate Rohnert Park even though the run was unearned and she tossed a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts. This week, Rodriguez rebounded with a two-hitter and 11 strikeouts in a 9-0 blanking of Antioch.
Sierra Romero (Vista Murrieta, Murrieta) Not only did she homer for the fourth straight game but she hit two more in the same game while driving in eight runs in a 13-2 win last week over Murrieta Mesa. Romero has signed with Michigan.
Kim Scarsella (Tamalpais, Mill Valley) With the Cal-Hi Sports caravan looking on, the Cornell-bound 4.6 GPA hurler pitched a no-hitter with 18 strikeouts, plus she blasted a two-run home run and doubled in a 7-0 win at Acalanes of Lafayette. She came back the next day to fan 19 in a eight-inning 2-0 win against Kentfield Marin Catholic. Although she struck out 10, the Cal-Hi Sports kibosh came this week when hers and the team’s nine-game winning streak came to an end in a loss to Marin County Athletic League rival Novato San Marin.
Delaney Spaulding (Etiwanda) For the third time this season, the ball soared off Delaney’s bat for two home runs in a game as her long balls and five RBIs helped the Eagles beat Alta Loma 13-0.
Shelly Suhling (Campolindo, Moraga) Suhling certainly wasn’t cooling her heels in a 6-5 come-from-behind victory over arch-rival Orinda Miramonte. In fact, the Cougars’ pitcher struck out 12 from the circle and doubled twice with two RBIs from the batter’s box.
Savanna Torres (Garces, Bakersfield) In a game that also saw the Rams turn a triple play, she had two doubles and drove in five runs in a 28-0 win over Foothill of Bakersfield.
Kristen White (Wilcox, Santa Clara) She blasted two home runs last week and drove in four while scoring three times in a 12-2 win over San Jose Branham. Earlier in the week, she also homered in a win against Mountain View.
Madison Williams (Freedom, Oakley) The junior pitcher and baby sister of 2006 Ms. Softball State Player of the Year Amanda Williams, and Hannah Williams, pitched a three-hitter with 12 strikeouts in an 8-0 win over Brentwood Liberty. Madison, who had another older sister, Hannah, star for Freedom several seasons ago, gave state No. 2 Norco one of its toughest games earlier this season when she had a five-hitter in a 1-0 loss at the TNT Tournament in Torrance.