Ashby, Athletics win ESPN Rise national championship

GLENDALE — The following are odds and ends from the local sports scene.



Reigning All-Area Softball Player of the Year Erin Ashby and her So Cal Athletics travel ball team celebrated a championship on Saturday afternoon.

The Athletics defeated Texas Impact Gold, 4-2, in Irvine in the ESPN Rise National Softball Championship High School Division.

Ashby, who will be a senior at Crescenta Valley High, played in 10 of her team's 12 games and batted .304 with a .385 on-base percentage, notching seven hits, two runs batted in, three walks and two stolen bases.

So Cal Athletics went 10-2 in the tournament, which began Aug. 9.

Two other locals were a part of the action in the 68-team field.

Alyssa Sovereign, Ashby's former CV teammate who graduated in the spring and will play at Penn State, started all four games for the So Cal Choppers. The All-Area mainstay hit .385 with five hits in 13 at-bats. She had one RBI and one stolen base.

Village Christian's Maddi Velasquez hit .333 for the Victory USA Gold, notching five hits in 15 at-bats. The La Crescenta resident, who will be a senior next year, had two runs, one RBI and two walks.



The United States Baseball Women's National Team, featuring former Glendale High softball star Jenny Dalton-Hill, improved to 3-1 at the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) World Cup in Venezuela.

The United States started the tournament Thursday with a 5-1 loss to Japan at Jose Perez Stadium in Maracay. Dalton-Hill, a first baseman, had a run-scoring single in the third inning to give the United States a 1-0 lead. She also recorded 11 putouts.

The United States then rebounded Sunday with a pair of victories at Aviacion Stadium in Maracay. It started with a 21-0 win against Korea followed by a 5-0 victory against Cuba.

Dalton-Hill, who didn't take part in the Korea contest, had one hit and finished with eight putouts against Cuba.

On Monday, the United States came through with a 9-0 win against Puerto Rico. Dalton-Hill didn't participate in the game.

"We felt this was an important game for us to perform well in because it's a stepping stone for the next round," USA Coach Don Freeman told "We've been very pleased with our pitching the last three games. Our hitting is still sporadic. We need to be a bit more disciplined and look for hittable pitches. But for the most part we're playing well and we've improved everyday as a team."

The United States will next play Wednesday against a team to be determined. The series will conclude Sunday.



Second-year New York Giants wideout Ramses Barden caught two passes for 12 yards during the nationally televised Monday Night Football game against the New York Jets on Monday, although it was a teammate of the 2004 Flintridge Prep graduate that stole the show.

Undrafted rookie Victor Cruz had six catches for 145 yards and three touchdowns to spark the Giants to a 31-16 comeback win, and now figures to join the already crowded wide receiver depth chart that Barden will look to ascend after catching just one pass as a rookie.

Barden's first of two six-yard grabs on Monday came on the final play of the first quarter from quarterback Eli Manning. He was on the receiving end of a pass from backup Jim Sorgi late in the second quarter.

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