April 13, 2012 > Women's Softball: MVAL Softball Preview
Women's Softball: MVAL Softball Preview
By John Suza, Photo by Mike Heightchew
James Logan is still the team to beat as they came very close to winning their second straight North Coast Sectionals title last season, losing to Amador Valley in the championship game. The Colts have already shown what they can do against Castro Valley and Alameda this season.
Junior Raeann Garza is back from making her MVAL debut on first team last season. Senior Jazmine Reed was the league's player of the year, hitting the cover off the ball with .395 average and 11 extra base hits. Seniors Alexis Martinez and Marissa Perez were also first team MVAL, and Martinez hit .494 with 15 extra base hits, including two home runs and 24 runs batted in.
Coming up right behind Logan are the Newark Cougars. Their team features junior pitcher Marissa Chapa (first team) and senior infielder Erica Contreras. The Cougars were 22-4 last season and made it to the Division I semifinals. Washington High School has junior pitcher Angelina Lombardi, while Irvington High School boasts sophomore catcher Shannon Rodriguez and junior Ashley Martorella. American High School juniors Christine Thompson and Alexandria Gibson could be poised for big years after making it to the MVAL second team last season. John F. Kennedy and Mission San Jose are considered doubtful as contenders this year.
On April 3, the Irvington Vikings met cross-town rivals Kennedy. Irvington Softball Coach Kim Martin was pleased to get the team off to a good start and a win against Kennedy. The Vikings' young players were hitting the ball with power and beat the Kennedy Titans, 14-4 in seven innings. Titans pitching broke down early and set the tone for the rest of the game. Irvington also benefitted from good infield defensive plays. It was a game of power hitting - a real slam fest. Not to be outdone by the Titans, Kennedy showed a little power of their own by scoring four runs and preventing a shutout. However, the Vikings just seemed to get hits at just the right time with effective pitching able to get them out of a couple of tight spots.
If the other teams in the MVAL turn out to put up as much of a fight as Kennedy and Irvington, then softball is sure to keep spectators on the edge of their seats this year.