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Spartans earn top league honors

Softball: La Cañada senior standouts O'Leary and Edwards paced team to league and CIF titles.

June 16, 2011|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
(File photo )

It was impossible for Anna Edwards and Lauren O'Leary to surprise their La Cañada High Coach, KC Mathews, this season.

Mathews was never shocked with the performances of the two seniors. It didn't matter if Edwards went four for four with two homers, or O'Leary pitched a perfect game or a no-hitter, or both put their team on their backs in the CIF Southern Section Division V finals to lead the Spartans to their first CIF Division championship since 1995. Mathews always expected them to accomplish great things.

"Players like Anna and Lauren O'Leary, they play at such a high level all the time, there are no peaks and valleys with them. They are just consistently outstanding," Mathews said.

There's no doubt La Cañada wouldn't have captured its second softball championship without the services of Edwards and O'Leary. The players' performances during the regular season earned them the title of Most Valuable Player and Pitcher, respectively, in Rio Hondo League.

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Edwards was named the league's Most Valuable Player after finished the season with team highs in batting average (.471, 41 for 87), on-base percentage (.569), slugging percentage (1.011), home runs (12), RBI (31) and stolen bases (10). Defensively, she anchored La Cañada's infield at shortstop as well.

It wasn't rare to see her completely take over a game offensively, either. She had three two-homer games this season, including one in the second round of the playoffs against Hemet.

If Edwards or other players brought the offense, O'Leary usually hand-wrapped the win in the circle. She finished the season with a 25-2 record and started all but two games for the Spartans. She had 23 complete games, 16 shutouts and 237 strikeouts while issuing just 27 walks. Batters facing O'Leary could only manage to put up a 0.39 earned-run average, a .137 batting average and a .187 one-base percentage.

Plenty of other Spartans helped La Cañada realize its championship dreams as well this year, and seven other players were selected to Rio Hondo League's first and second teams. Catherine Horner, Aubri Thompson, Jessica Ogden and Shirley Drange were all named to Rio Hondo League's first team.

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