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New approach for La Cañada High softball in 2013

Spartans have plenty to draw upon in hopes of more league, CIF success; Tologs, Rebels look to move back up.

March 05, 2013|By Andrew Shortall and Grant Gordon
  • La Canada's Annie Monroe throws the ball to first base during a scrimmage Burroughs at La Canada High School on Thursday, February 21, 2013.
La Canada's Annie Monroe throws the ball to first… (Cheryl A. Guerrero…)

Pitching had paved the way to the La Cañada High softball team winning the past two CIF Southern Section Division V championships.

Things will look a lot different this year without the benefit of a proverbial ace, like the Spartans enjoyed over the past three-plus years with Lauren O’Leary and Lauren Cox, and in a move up to Division IV.

“I do think we have some pieces that are going to fit into place, step in and do a job for us,” La Cañada Coach KC Mathews said of the changes in 2013, including the loss of All-Area catcher Catherine Horner to graduation. “You won’t hear me say, ‘Woe is me.’”

Returning seven starters from last year’s CIF championship game, a 7-3 La Cañada win over Beaumont, there’s no reason to. As the Spartans flashed in their four-run win over Beaumont, it’s going to be at the plate, not the circle, that they’ll need to win games after losing Cox, who posted a 0.62 earned-run average last season and was the All-Area Softball Player of the Year.

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“The bottom line is we’re going to have put up a couple more runs than we did in certain situations last year,” said Mathews, whose seen his team score 21 runs and surrender 13 en route to a 2-0 start this year.

Experience and veteran leadership should serve the Spartans, who boast five seniors and four-year varsity players and return all but two players from last year, well.

Those seniors are Selina Mohr in center field and in the circle, Kelsey Drange at first base, Jessica Ogden in right field, Annie Monroe at shortstop and Aubri Thompson at third base and catcher.

Sharing time in the circle with Mohr will be juniors Maddy MacKenzie and Alyssa Stolmack. Returning sophomore Olivia Lam and Thompson may share duties behind the plate.

“We aren’t going to replace a Lauren Cox or a Catherine Horner, we’re going to need a number of girls to pick it up and contribute,” Mathews said. “If everybody does their job, I think we’re going to be just fine this year.”

Katy Lee returns to second base and the No. 2 spot in the lineup, behind utility player and leadoff hitter early in the year Olivia Leyva. In left field, Lee and Leyva’s fellow junior Brenna Gay rounds out a strong La Cañada outfield.

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