Softball: The Herald’s All-County team

Here’s a look at who turned out to be the top high school softball players in the county. The Monterey Herald’s All-County softball team:

Addison Amaral, Notre Dame >> Amaral stung the ball, hitting .425, ripping seven homers and driving in 22 runs. Having already 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 out of necessity, all the freshman did was hurl the Eagles to the program’s first-ever Central Coast Section Division I title. Amendola sported a 1.66 earned run average, going 14-0 before the Northern California Division II playoffs, posting three shutouts, with 130 strikeouts in 72 innings of work.

Iris Bejarano, Salinas >> No one was more clutch at the plate for the Cowboys than Bejarano, who hit .422 with a team-high five homers and 22 runs batted in. 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 >> Bound for St. Mary’s on a softball scholarship, Castillo hit a team-high .571 with a .635 on-base percentage. The slick-fielding shortstop also led the Mission Division and CCS Division I champions in hits with 38 and homers with five. Castillo drove in 21 runs and scored 30, helping Alvarez set a school record for wins.

Ella Lee, Pacific Grove >> There’s a promising future at Pacific Grove as Lee led the program in hitting, while pitching them into the postseason with 15 wins in the circle. The freshman slugger sprayed the ball around the field, 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 in the program, Myers hurled the Toreadores to their first-ever CCS and Northern California titles, as she did not allow an earned run in the section tournament. The freshman was just as imposing at the plate, leading Monterey with homers (12), runs batted in (39), runs scored (34), batting average (.434) and on-base percentage (.510). Her 12 homers led the state for freshmen.

Marley Panziera, Salinas >> The junior hurler hit over .400 for the Central Coast Section Division III runner-ups, scoring 27 runs in 28 games. She also hit two homers and stole a team-high 15 bases. In the circle, Panziera became the ace of the staff during its playoff run, finishing with a 2.83 earned run average, with 68 strikeouts in 59 innings.

Samantha Rey, Notre Dame >> Bound for Central Florida in two years, the Gabilan Division Player of the Year was the triple crown winner for the Spirits. Rey flirted with hitting .600 before finishing with a .578 average. She also led the team in home runs with eight, and runs batted in with 28, compiling 53 hits, scoring 36 runs and stealing 15 bases.

Victoria Rey, Notre Dame >> Headed for Weber State in the fall, the senior quietly hit .400 near the top of the order for the Gabilan Division champions. Rey led the Spirits in doubles and finished second to her sister Samantha in hits with 34. She also hit two homers and drove in 21 runs.

Samantha Rocha, Notre Dame >> A four-year starter in the circle for the Spirits, Rocha recorded a 1.53 earned run average, which included a perfect game. Rocha struck out 165 hitters in 106 innings for Notre Dame, which reached the Northern California Division II semifinals, fanning 17 in one game, and 16 in two others. She also hit .286 with a homer.

Gia Roth, Monterey >> The only player to not commit an error, Roth stung the ball at the plate, leading the Toreadores in hits with 40 and doubles with 14. Roth hit .428 for Monterey, while driving in 21 runs. The junior outfielder also finished with a .472 on-base percentage and scored 25 runs in 32 games.

Lisa Villanueva, King City >> Having rewritten the single-season home run record in the county with 14, Villanueva is just a sophomore for the Cypress Division champions. The right-handed slugger hit moon shots and line drives that left the yard at rapid speed. Villanueva also hit .538 and drove in 55 runs in 28 games. Of her 42 hits, 29 went for extra bases.

Deja Visesio, North County >> The senior catcher was the Condors triple crown winner, hitting a team-high .578 with five homers and 32 runs batted in. Of her team-high 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 spot in the Northern California playoffs. Alvarez set a school record for wins with 24, including a school-record 16 straight in capturing a Mission Division title.

Michael Royster, Monterey coach >> The Toreadores closed the season with a 10-game winning streak, winning their first-ever CCS Division II title, then adding a Northern California Division IV title to their resume.

Honorable mention >> Marie Martorella, Salinas; Victoria Cervantes, Notre Dame; 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, Alvarez softball; 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.

Contributed by local news sources

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