PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Some teams in the region had great pitchers. Other teams had standout batters.

Only one team had Jodie Cox, and that's why Quartz Hill High was the only major-division school in the region to win a Southern Section championship.

Cox, a junior left-hander and The Times' Valley player of the year, could just as easily beat a team with her bat as with her arm.

She was 24-3 with an 0.32 earned-run average and struck out 247 batters in 196 innings. She batted .455 with nine home runs and 31 runs batted in.

"There's only one way I can describe her--awesome," a teammate said.

Cox saved some of her best performances for the playoffs, when unseeded Quartz Hill (24-3-2) upset three of the four seeded teams to win the Division II title, the school's first section championship.

In one stretch, Cox hurled 54 consecutive scoreless innings. She hit a home run against Cerritos in the Division II championship game.

In the quarterfinals, the three-time Golden League most valuable player delivered a two-run triple in the top of the 14th inning to spark a 2-0 victory over Righetti and all-state pitcher Jocelyn Forest.

"To do what we did, you need an outstanding pitcher and good hitting," Quartz Hill co-coach Ben Meyer said. "It was a bonus for us that Jodie was both."

For the Rebels, the true bonus is that Cox was only a junior. She'll be back.

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