Though the Crescenta Valley High softball team earned the lion’s share of local accolades on the Pacific League awards list, Hoover and Glendale had their own proportion of spoils.
There was no doubting that 2017 was a wonderful season for Crescenta Valley, which posted a 21-8-1 record.
The Falcons captured a share of the Pacific League title with Burroughs for the first time since 2011, while the team won its first postseason game in three years when it dispatched Paso Robles, 10-0, in five innings in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs.
Crescenta Valley advanced to the second round of the postseason for the first time since 2009 before losing at Hacienda Heights Los Altos, 8-0, on May 23.
“The girls believed from the beginning that they had a chance to do something special,” Crescenta Valley coach Amanda Peek said. “They put in the hard work, believed in the process and they made history.”
Arcadia’s Richard Kumpp was selected the league’s coach of the year, while Burroughs’ Presley Miraglia earned pitcher of the year accolades.
Crescenta Valley landed a share of a major award when senior center fielder Jessica Yzaguirre split the league’s co-player of the year honor with Arcadia’s Deja Westbrook.
The Mercy College-bound Yzaguirre turned in a mammoth league season, batting .800 as she connected on 36 hits in 45 at-bats.
Yzaguirre finished league with 23 runs, 17 runs batted in and eight extra-base hits and she tallied an on-base percentage of .843 and a slugging percentage of 1.089.
“She legitimately got base hit after base hit,” Peek said. “She had a 20-game hitting streak during the season and was an excellent batter. Not only was she clutch with her bat, but she was a spark plug in the outfield and made some outstanding plays.”
Crescenta Valley was awarded three additional first-team selections in junior pitcher Emily Mulcahey, sophomore shortstop Alyssa Hernandez and sophomore third baseman Peyton Hause.
Mulcahey, who started every game and tossed almost every inning for the Falcons, batted .357 in league with 13 RBI and five runs (pitching stats were not made available).
“Honestly, Emily has come really far from last year,” Peek said. “She worked on her weaknesses and on her mental game. She studied the game, studied and studied. She put the girls on her back and just kept on going.”
The Cal State Fullerton-committed Hernandez is a slick-fielding shortstop who batted .537 with five home runs, 24 runs, 24 RBI and seven doubles in 14 league contests.
“I think her leadership is what really stood out to me,” Peek said. “It didn’t matter the situation, she’d come up with the big hit. The team looked to her as a guide and she’s an all-around great player and a smart one.”
Hause played third base and slammed her way to a .633 batting average with a team-high 31 RBIs, 19 runs and 15 doubles in league.
“If you look at Peyton, she had the second-best batting average on our team, the most RBI and doubles, so she had some impressive numbers,” Peek said. “When you look at our rallies, she started a lot of them.”
Glendale had its own historic season that included a 15-10 record, a tie for fourth in league and the school’s first postseason victory this century in a 13-12 win over Carter in the wild-card round of the Division III playoffs.
One giant reason behind the success was senior Sammy Fabian, who played center field, shortstop and second base.
The hitting machine was named to the league’s first team for the fourth straight season after batting .573 with 47 hits, 36 runs, 22 RBI, eight doubles, seven triples and two homers. She also didn’t strike out this season, while walking 12 times and swiping 21 bases.
“Sammy is one of the greats and there’s really nothing she couldn’t do,” Glendale coach Chris Funaro said. “She did everything for the team and it was awesome to coach her and watch her play.”
While Hoover had its struggles in finishing 7-17 and 3-11 in league, the Tornadoes still merited a league first-team choice in senior pitcher Evelyn Unger.
“She’s been a great member of this team and she’s been super coachable and has been our starting pitcher since freshman year,” Hoover coach Rich Henning said. “She’s a really good batter and a super player and a super girl.”
Unger batted .396 with 16 RBI (pitching stats were not made available).
As for the second team, Crescenta Valley had three selections in freshman first baseman Maddie De Leon (.362 with 17 RBI and 12 runs), sophomore left fielder Ryan Eldred (.400 with 11 runs and seven RBI) and junior catcher Jennie Chacon.
Glendale senior catcher Tiffany Bartamian (.384 with 19 RBI, 17 runs, nine doubles and 15 walks) and Hoover junior second baseman Olivia Jukes (.383, 19 runs, 11 RBI and 23 hits) were also named to the league second team.
Glendale sophomore pitcher Aurora Funaro (.338 with 18 RBI and eight runs along with a 15-9 record and a 1.87 earned-run average with 125 strikeouts over 131 1/3 innings) and Hoover freshman outfielder Priscilla Pena (.339, 18 hits, 14 RBI and 23 stolen bases) were honorable mentions.