Caitlyn Brooks of Burbank High softball and Cheyenne Steward of Burroughs helped their respective teams advance to the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs. Though Burbank and Burroughs saw their playoffs runs end early, it certainly didn’t diminish the contributions made by the duo.
Displaying domination in the circle and at the plate, Brooks and Steward were bestowed with All-CIF Southern Section Division III recognition Monday.
The University of Notre Dame-bound Brooks provided the Bulldogs (24-4, 14-0 in league for first place) an opportunity to win most games. The right-hander finished 21-4 with a 1.18 earned-run average over 160 innings. Brooks, the Pacific League most valuable player, struck out 258 and walked 22.
“It validates the work she put in every day and then going out there to have a great season,” said Burbank first-year Coach Mike Delaney, whose team reached the second round of the playoffs. “She applied herself and did a great job.
“When I came over to Burbank, I told Caitlyn that I’d like to see her do some different things. She pitched off the plate and she threw her screwball and riser a lot more. She’s very talented with her pitching and at the plate.”
Brooks also proved to be a force to be reckoned with at the plate. She batted .513 (40 for 78) with seven doubles, six triples, five home runs and 42 runs batted in. In addition, she finished with a .948 slugging percentage and a .623 one-base percentage.
Burroughs challenged Burbank for the league title for most of the season before finishing second. The Indians went 19-7-1 and 11-3 and lost in the first round of the playoffs.
Burroughs often flourished with Steward paving the way. The right-hander, who earned all-league first-team honors, excelled pitching and stabilizing the middle of the Indians’ lineup.
Steward went 9-5 with a 2.59 ERA and struck out 58 in 111 innings. At the plate, Steward hit .516 (32 for 62) with seven doubles, five home runs and 32 runs batted in. Steward scored 16 runs and registered a 1.000 slugging percentage.
“I’m excited for Cheyenne right now,” Burroughs Coach Doug Nicol said. “She knew exactly what she needed to do.
“She went out there and gave us a chance and that’s all you can ask for. She improved every year and is one of the top players in the area. Not only did she do well pitching, but she was one of our better hitters.”
Bellarmine-Jefferson, which captured the Santa Cruz League championship for the fifth straight season and advanced to the Division VI semifinals, didn’t have any players receive All-CIF accolades. The Guards went 15-5-2. However, Bell-Jeff did not have season-ending statistics, which are necessary for All-CIF nominations.
Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich .