GLENDALE -- Burroughs High’s Ryanne Hodgins and Burbank’s Kristin
Talamantes are recognized as two of the best softball players in the
Their selections to the league’s first-team roster and their
commitments to play next year at the University of New Mexico and
Mercer University, respectively, justify that.
But for all their efforts representing the East squad in Monday’s
17th annual San Fernando Valley All-Star game at the Glendale Sports
Complex, the duo learned the tough lesson that there’s definitely
strength in numbers.
Hodgins and Talamantes held their own, but they couldn’t match the
depth of seven fellow all-league selections -- five from Valencia and
two from Newhall Hart -- on the West roster, which handed the East an
The victory was the second in a row for the West -- which was led
by Newbury Park’s Sarah Scott, who was selected the game’s most
valuable player -- including a 6-3 triumph last season. But the East
still holds an 11-6 edge in the all-time series, including four
straight wins from 1998 to 2001.
Things appeared to be in place for the East to get off to a quick
start, especially after Glendale pitcher Heather Hamasaki retired the
West’s first three batters in order in the top of the first inning.
Co-coaches Carolyn Gunny (Granada Hills) and Coy Ray (Quartz Hill)
had Hodgins -- who played four of the nine innings in the outfield --
lead off and Talamantes bat third, trying to put the pressure on the
Unfortunately for the two local standouts, they were facing
two-time league most valuable player Tori Rocco of Valencia, who
struck out Hodgins and Talamantes en route to fanning four batters in
her two innings of work.
The West pitching staff of Rocco, Ginger Ayala (Oxnard Rio Mesa),
Danielle Ellement (Newbury Park), Ashlee Freeman (Westlake Village
Oaks Christian) and Kristie Kenton (Simi Valley Royal) combined for
16 strikeouts and allowed only four hits.
And even though Hodgins -- who was among the top athletes in the
region with 41 hits -- and Talamantes, who hit over .500 during the
regular season, didn’t manage any of those hits. “To be able to
represent Burbank is such an honor,” said Talamantes, who played two
innings at catcher and two innings at second base.
“I was really excited when I got the phone call and getting to
play with most of the girls [that I’ve played against] was a lot of
Talamantes -- who popped out to first in the sixth inning -- was
the third Bulldog player in as many years to compete in the game,
along with Emily Brower in 2001 and Tiffany Rhoads last year.
Hodgins -- who also batted in the sixth, and was thrown out by a
half-step at first on a bunt attempt -- joined University of Virginia
catcher Sara Larquier as the second straight Burroughs athlete to
play on the East roster.
“It was a great experience because I got to play with a lot of
girls I know from travel ball,” Hodgins said. “I am just honored to
have been chosen to play in the game.
“It was also nice to play in front of a big crowd.”