While Hannah Cookson's team didn't stick around the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs for long, the memory of the Crescenta Valley High softball player's exploits this season was a lasting one for coaches around the division.
A slick fielder, a dangerous hitter and a gamer in every sense of the word, Cookson got her due with the release of the All-CIF team, which included the Falcons sophomore center fielder and No. 3 hitter alongside the division's best players.
"I was really happy," said Cookson of her first All-CIF honor. "I wasn't expecting it, it was a big surprise.
"I just prepared myself [for the season] starting off the year in practice really hard. I went to the batting cage every night and hit with my dad. I guess it paid off."
A potential game-changer every time she picked up a bat, Cookson batted an eye-popping .731 while driving in 53 runs and scoring 41 times. She hit 16 home runs to go with five doubles and five triples.
Cookson had some of her biggest games in Pacific League play, where the Falcons (20-6) finished 11-3 and tied for second place, including an offensive onslaught against Arcadia on April 19.
In a stunning display of her power and bat speed, Cookson connected on two grand slams, in the same inning no less, en route to finishing three for three with 10 RBI, three runs scored and 11 total bases.
In the Falcons' May 1 win over Burroughs, Cookson was on base all four times she batted, stealing two bags, scoring twice and gunning down a runner at the plate. Cookson also had a multi-hit game in the Falcons' April 27 win over Burbank that was part of the team's eight-game winning streak in league.
"She's got to be [All-CIF]," said Crescenta Valley Coach Mark Samford, whose team suffered a 9-4 loss to Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in the wild-card round of the playoffs. "I don't know who else has better stats than that anywhere, to be honest.
"It was great fun [coaching Cookson]. She's a great kid. That 16 home runs put her pretty high on the list for the state record. It was fun to watch her be mature about it and the approach she took. [She] never got up or down, she just came in, did her business and played really well and was a great teammate."