VAN NUYS — In her final at-bat representing Crescenta Valley High softball, Alyssa Sovereign did what she's done all year long, she produced.
Unfortunately for the East squad which she was a part of, Sovereign's run-scoring fielder's choice would bring the team as close as it would get in a 4-3 loss to the West in the annual San Fernando Valley All-Star Classic at Birmingham High on Tuesday afternoon.
The Penn State-bound Sovereign played three innings, two at shortstop and one in right field, perhaps symbolically, as she'll likely play the outfield in college after a senior season at shortstop.
"It kinda bums me out," said Sovereign of representing Crescenta Valley for the final time. "It's officially over now and on to Penn State."
Sovereign was joined by Rebecca Gieske, a La Crescenta resident who played at Village Christian. Like Sovereign, Gieske had just one chance at the plate, going 0 for one. Gieske got the start in right field and played three innings.
The game began as a pitcher's duel, holding at a scoreless deadlock until the bottom of the fifth when the East's Brittany Williams of Canyon, who had won the pregame home run derby, went to opposite-field left for a solo dinger and a one-run lead.
Burbank High's Kassy Uchida, who also had a stolen base and a walk, scored later in the inning after two errors in a foreshadowing of things to come. Burroughs' Jena Serranzana also played in the game for the East, going 0 for one and playing in the outfield.
The East, which got a scoreless start from Alemany's Lindsey Webster through five innings, saw its lead washed away by three runs in the seventh, all of them unearned and all of them coming without the benefit of a hit.
Unfortunately, the errors seemed to plague everyone, including Gieske, who committed one in the first, and the normally sure-handed Sovereign, who was eaten up by a grounder in the eighth that led to a 4-2 deficit.
"It was my fault," said Sovereign, who made just four errors at shortstop this season for the Falcons. "I'll man up, I messed up."
In the eighth, Sovereign bounced a chopper back up the middle that was enough for the runner at third to score, cutting the lead to 4-3. It was as close as the East would get, however.
Nonetheless, as is often the case, the all-star matchup was less about the final score than about the event itself and the honor of being an all-star.
"It was fun, I'm glad I came," said Sovereign, who attended the previous year's game to support former CV teammates Baillie Kirker, Stephanie Ziemann and Heather Bacon. "It's cool to be a part of it, I'm glad I got to represent [my school]."
And, of course, it served as a curtain call to two stellar high school careers.
Gieske, who will move on to The Master's College, was a captain on a Village Christian team that advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division V semifinals this past season. She batted .327 (34 for 104) with four doubles and seven runs batted in. She also scored 25 runs and led her team with 22 stolen bases.
Sovereign wrapped up a stellar CV tenure, in which she started all four years on varsity, with an outstanding senior year in which she hit .565 (52 for 92) with a team-best 42 RBIs and scored 31 runs.