It proved to be a successful season for the Crescenta Valley High and Flintridge Prep softball teams.
Crescenta Valley and Flintridge Prep had stalwart players who led the way to the CIF playoffs. Dee Dee Hernandez dazzled in the circle and in the batter’s box for the Falcons and Emma Stellar and Melissa Grande provided power at the plate for the Rebels.
Hernandez, Stellar and Grande received All-CIF Southern Section first-team nods after the CIF Southern Section office released All-CIF first-team squads for all seven divisions Monday.
Hernandez, a freshman, helped Crescenta Valley win the Pacific League championship for the second straight season. The Falcons finished 25-3, 13-1 in league and advanced to the second round of the Division III playoffs as the No. 2 seed. They beat Knight before succumbing to El Modena.
Hernandez, who was named the league’s pitcher of the year, went 21-2 with a 0.42 earned-run average. The left-hander struck out 162 and walked just four in 131 1/3 innings. Hernandez batted .556 with 45 runs batted in. In addition, she recorded 19 doubles, three home runs and scored 10 runs.
“I’m very proud of her and it’s great to see her get recognized like that,” Crescenta Valley coach Amanda Peek said. “She’s put in the work and Dee Dee is a very big part of our program.
“She’s confident and she’ll definitely continue to get better.”
While the Rebels finished fourth in the Prep League, it was the CIF Southern Section Division VII postseason where they served noticed. Upstart Flintridge Prep received a wild-card entry and marched to the second round of the playoffs.
Along the way, Flintridge Prep received spectacular seasons from Stellar and Grande.
“They definitely put up some great stats and it’s just awesome for our program moving forward,” Flintridge Prep coach Julie Mejia said. “They were the co-most valuable players of our team. I’m just happy for both of them.”
Flintridge Prep finished 11-8, 6-6 in league. It posted playoff victories against Coastal Christian and Santa Clarita Valley International before falling to San Gabriel Mission.
Stellar, a catcher, made a smooth transition as a freshman and posted some outstanding numbers.
Stellar batted .548 with eight home runs, 33 runs and 39 runs batted in. She also recorded 11 doubles, three triples, eight stolen bases an on-base percentage of .600 and a superb slugging percentage of 1.210.
“When you look at Emma, you could see her skills were awesome,” Mejia said. “She had a remarkable season and led our team in just about every category.
“It’s her leadership skills that really stand out and she’s just a terrific teammate. She’ll continue to get better.”
Grande, a junior center fielder/shortstop, batted .517 with 28 runs and 25 RBI. Grande finished with 11 doubles, 11 stolen bases and a .592 on-base percentage.
“With Melissa, it’s about being versatile and being a great athlete,” Mejia said. “She always found a way to get that big hit.