The Herald’s All-County Team – Monterey Herald
Here’s a look at who turned out to be the best high school softball players in the county. The Monterey Herald All-County Softball Team:
Addison Amaral, Notre Dame >> Amaral spiked the ball, hitting .425, ripping seven home runs and making 22 runs. Having previously committed to the University of Notre Dame for softball, the junior shortstop had 31 hits in 25 games and scored 22 runs for the Spirits, finishing with a .508 on-base percentage.
Dani Amendola, Alvarez >> Thrown into the fire by necessity, all the freshman did was launch the Eagles to the program’s first-ever Division I title in the Central Coast section. Amendola sported a 1.66 ERA, going 14-0 heading into the Northern California Division II playoffs, posting three shutouts, with 130 strikeouts in 72 innings of work.
Iris Bejarano, Salinas >> No one has been tighter at home plate for the Cowboys than Bejarano, who hit .422 with a team-best five home runs and 22 RBIs. Of the senior first baseman’s 28 hits, 17 went for extra bases as Bejarano led Salinas in doubles. She also finished with a .500 on-base percentage.
Victoria Castillo, Alvarez >> Heading to St. Mary’s on a softball scholarship, Castillo hit a team-high .571 with a .635 on-base percentage. The smooth-fielding shortstop also led the Mission Division and Division I CCS champions with 38 hits and five homers. Castillo had 21 points and scored 30, helping Alvarez set a school winning record.
Ella Lee, Pacific Grove >> There’s a bright future at Pacific Grove as Lee led the program in hitting, while launching them into the playoffs with 15 wins in the circle. The freshman hitter sprayed the ball downfield, hitting .500 for the Breakers, recording 48 hits, while scoring 38 runs in 27 games for the Cypress Division champions.
Ella Myers, Monterey >> Making an immediate impact in her first season on the program, Myers propelled the Toreadores to their first-ever CCS and Northern California titles as she failed to allow a deserved run in the sectional tournament . The rookie was equally imposing at the plate, leading Monterey in home runs (12), runs scored (39), runs scored (34), batting average (.434) and on-base percentage (.510). His 12 home runs led the state for freshmen.
Marley Panziera, Salinas >> The junior pitcher hit over .400 for the Central Coast Section Division III finalists, scoring 27 runs in 28 games. She also hit two home runs and stole a team-high 15 bases. In the circle, Panziera became the staff ace in his postseason, finishing with a 2.83 ERA, with 68 strikeouts in 59 innings.
Samantha Rey, Notre Dame >> Heading to Central Florida in two years, the Gabilan Division Player of the Year won the Triple Crown for the Spirits. Rey flirted with .600 before finishing with a .578 average. She also led the team in homers with eight and runs batted with 28, comping 53 hits, scoring 36 runs and stealing 15 bases.
Victoria Rey, Notre Dame >> Headed to Weber State in the fall, the senior quietly hit .400 near the top of the command for the Gabilan Division champions. Rey led the Spirits in doubles and was second to her sister Samantha in hits with 34. She also hit two home runs and drove in 21 runs.
Samantha Rocha, Notre Dame >> A four-year starter with the Spirits, Rocha posted a 1.53 ERA, including a perfect game. Rocha struck out 165 in 106 innings for Notre Dame, which reached the Northern California Division II semifinals, whipping 17 in one game and 16 in two others. She also hit .286 with a home run.
Gia Roth, Monterey >> The only player not to make an error, Roth stole the ball to home plate, leading the Toreadores in hits with 40 and in doubles with 14. Roth hit .428 for Monterey, while driving in 21 points. The junior outfielder also finished with a .472 on-base percentage and scored 25 points in 32 games.
Lisa Villanueva, King City >> After rewriting the county’s single-season home run record with 14, Villanueva is just a sophomore for the Cypress Division champions. The right-handed hitter hit moonshots and line drives that left the court at rapid speed. Villanueva also hit .538 and drove in 55 runs in 28 games. Of his 42 hits, 29 went for extra bases.
Deja Visesio, North County >> The senior catcher won the Condors’ triple crown, hitting a team-high .578 with five homers and 32 runs scored. Of his 48 hits, nearly half went for extra bases as Visesio led the team with 16 doubles. She also compiled a .980 fielding percentage for North County, which won 19 games.
Andy Meza, Alvarez coach >> It was a historic season for the Eagles as Meza guided the program to its first CCS Division I title and a berth in the Northern California playoffs. Alvarez set a school-record win streak with 24, including a school-record 16-game winning streak while winning a Mission Division title.
Michael Royster, Monterey coach >> The Toreadores closed out the season with a 10-game winning streak, capturing their first-ever CCS Division II title and then adding a Northern California Division IV title to their resume.
Honorable Mention >> Marie Martorella, Salinas; Victoria Cervantes, Our Lady; Lundyn Santos, Salinas; Mia Henson, Monterey, Ivana Reynolds, Pacific Grove; Gabriela Goana, Pacific Grove; Alex Guerrero, Gonzales; Celeste Camarena, Gonzales; Sage Flores, King City; Jordan Smith, Alisal; Emily Rodgers, softball Alvarez; Julie Birruente, Alvarez; Leslie Ruiz, North County; Ame Visesio, North County; Gabriela Holmes, North County; Linda Ornelas, Greenfield; Kaimi Tulua, seaside; Abigail Hostetter, Marina; Ashylnn Valdez, Carmel; Sydney Clymo, Stevenson; Gabby Perez, Stevenson, Sabrina Harden, Stevenson; Shanae Figueroa, Alvarez; Katarina Manuofetoa, Monterey; Mikayla Sanchez, Greenfield.