Friday, June 1, 2012
Cal-Hi Sports Softball State Stat Stars
By Harold Abend & Paul Muyskens
Lauren Cox gets La Canada one step closer with 20 Ks in seven-inning playoff win. Hard to top Fresno Central’s Lindsey Clarkson, though, who tossed a perfect game in Division I section championship.
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, May 26; includes some games as of Wednesday, May 30; Contributing: Bob Barnett, Mark Tennis)
Vanessa Alvarez (Archbishop Mitty, San Jose) The Cal-bound star finished her Monarchs’ career in style last week in the CCS Division II playoffs. First, she tossed a two-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts in a 5-0 semifinal shutout of Gilroy. In the championship finale, they couldn’t mess with Vanessa, as she led the team to its second straight section title and 10th since 1990, tossing her 24th complete game (25-1 record this season) on a three-hitter with eight fanned in a 7-1 victory over San Jose Leigh.
Hailey Boyett (Horizon, San Diego) Homering and driving in three runs, this freshman also allowed just one hit while in the circle during a 10-0 win over Christian of El Cajon in the CIF San Diego Section Division V championship game.
Lindsey Chalmers (California, San Ramon) The sophomore out-dueled Brentwood Heritage ace Lisa Rodrigues in the Grizzlies’ 6-1 NCS D1 quarterfinal victory. She pitched a two-hitter with 11 strikeouts.
Marissa Chapa (Newark Memorial, Newark) She homered, struck out 12 and allowed just four hits in an 8-0 NCS D2 quarterfinal win over Concord Clayton Valley.
Lindsey Clarkson (Central, Fresno) She’s been named the ESPNHS West Region Player of the Week after pitching a perfect game for the Bears in their 4-0 victory over Clovis West of Fresno in the CIF Central Section Division I championship. Going up against a team that had knocked off defending champ and nationally-ranked El Diamante of Visalia in its previous game, Clarkson only struck out five, but got numerous pop-ups and grounders and only went to a three-ball count twice.
Zoe Conley & Megan Bradbury (Salesian, Richmond) Conley had 16 strikeouts and Bradbury collected two hits, including a grand slam, and five RBIs, as the Pride advanced to the NCS D4 title game with an 8-3 semifinal win against Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa.
Lauren Cox (La Canada) For the second time this season, Cox struck out 20 batters in a seven-inning game and also allowed just one hit in a 7-0 win over Mary Star of the Sea in the CIFSS D5 playoffs. She then allowed just two hits and struck out 13 in a 1-0 win over Nipomo in the semifinals.
Taylor Fabing (San Benito, Hollister) She had a two-run inside-the-park home run and drove in five runs in an 8-3 victory over Carlmont of Belmont that secured a seventh straight CCS Division I title for the Haybalers.
Delaney Gourley (El Capitan, Lakeside) This junior pitcher had 13 strikeouts in a 4-1 win over Santana for the San Diego Section Division III championship. According the San Diego Tribune, she now has gone over 1,000 career strikeouts which is second all-time for career strikeouts in the section.
Johanna Grauer (Amador Valley, Pleasanton) First, she pitched a five-inning no-hitter in a NCS D1 quarterfinal game against Livermore for her 10th straight shutout and 20th this season. Then, with the Cal-Hi Sports caravan sitting behind the backstop, the Arizona State-committed sophomore had her 10-game shutout streak ended, but still pitched a dominating game, tossing a four-hitter with 13 strikeouts in a 3-1 semifinal victory over Oakley Freedom. Grauer also had an RBI single. Look for coverage by the Cal-Hi Sports caravan of Grauer facing James Logan of Union City in the championship game on Saturday at St. Mary’s College.
Janel Hayes (Lakewood) The Lancers moved into the top 20 of the state rankings in large part due to her performance in the CIF-SS Division II quarterfinals as she had seven strikeouts in a complete-game shutout performance that also saw her hit a grand-slam homer in a 4-0 win over Northwood of Irvine.
Vanessa Juarez (Pomona Catholic, Pomona) The Pacers have put up crooked numbers all over the scoreboard this postseason. This freshman catcher led the way with two home runs and nine RBIs in the latest of those romps, a 24-0 defeat of Mesa Grande Academy in the CIFSS Division VII semifinals.
Jenna Leavitt (Concord) The Minutemen senior pitcher’s back-to-back two hitters in 1-0 and 3-1 wins over Rohnert Park Rancho Cotate and Newark Memorial (Newark), respectively, has propelled Concord into the NCS D2 title game against Petaluma.
Emily Lockman (Norco) Allowing just three hits while homering and having three hits of her own, the senior helped her team take another step toward ending the season as the top team in the nation with a 15-0 win over Foothill of Tustin in the CIFSS Division I quarterfinals.
Maritza Lopez-Portillo (Mater Dei Catholic, Chula Vista) She did it all in the her team’s 7-3 win over Madison in the CIF San Diego Section Division IV finals as she hit a grand slam home run, doubled in a run and recorded the final two outs in the circle. The Crusaders captured their third straight section title.
MeShalon Moore (Sheldon, Sacramento) You'll read more about her later this week, but she went 4-for-4 with a home run as the Huskies defeated Ponderosa 8-1 for their second straight CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship.
Rachel Naslund (Torrey Pines, San Diego) A stat star regular, this junior led the way for the Falcons to capture their first softball section championship in school history as she had 15 strikeouts while pitching a complete game in a 1-0 10-inning win over Carlsbad in the San Diego Section Division I finals.
Kylee Perez (Alhambra, Martinez) The UCLA-bound sophomore shortstop hit her 11th home run in 10 games in an NCS D2 quarterfinal 5-2 win over Arroyo of San Lorenzo. With a semifinal loss to Petaluma in which she didn’t homer, Perez ends the season with 15 round-trippers to go with the nine she hit as a freshman. If she duplicates the 15 homers for her junior and senior seasons, Perez would get to 54 for her career and a possible new state record.
Briana Pontecorro (Hanford West) In leading the Huskies to their second CIF Central Section D3 title in the last three years with a 4-0 win over favored Ridgeview of Bakersfield, Pontecorro pitched a four-hitter and had three RBIs. Pontecorro had an RBI single in the first inning and a two-run double in the third.
Kim Scarsella (Tamalpais, Mill Valley) The Cornell-bound and previous ESPNHS Cal-Hi Sports State Athlete of the Week finished her career with 11 strikeouts and an NCS reported leading 253 this season, and she even had two hits including a double, but her high school career ended in a 4-1 NCS Division III semifinal loss to Bishop O’Dowd of Oakland.
Darian Tautalafua (Carson) Coming up just shy of breaking the state record for career home runs, Tautalafua finished with 17 home runs this year and 53 for her career as the Colts finished in second-place in the L.A. City Section Division I playoffs.
Karyn Wright (El Camino Real, Woodland Hills) Facing a Carson squad with Darian Tautalafua one home run shy of breaking the state record for career home runs, Wright allowed just five hits while striking out seven in a 5-0 win for the CIF L.A. City Section Division I championship.