MORE SOFTBALL STATE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

It's a good thing we didn't have to pick between Salinas players Monica Abbott (North Salinas) and Kim Reeder (Notre Dame). We've selected both for major individual statewide honors in different categories. Also honored are Anjelica Selden and Amanda Williams.

Large Schools: Monica Abbott (North Salinas, Salinas)

Headed to the University of Tennessee, Abbott led her team to its second straight CIF Central Coast Section Div. I championship and didn't allow an earned run all season. The highlight of her season was a 21-up, 21-strikeout perfect game against San Lorenzo Valley at the Circle of Champions tourney. She finished with a state-leading 407 strikeouts in 211 innings. Abbott also had five no-hitters in a row at one point of the season and had five perfect games overall. The only negative to the season is that Abbott's team was behind Notre Dame of Salinas in league standings. Outfielder Caitlin Lowe from Foothill of Pleasanton and junior pitcher Taryne Mowatt from Santiago of Corona also were stongly considered in this category.

Medium Schools: Lisa Dodd (University City, San Diego)

Dodd also is the overall Ms. Softball State Player of the Year and would therefore also be No. 1 among seniors. We would have really liked to get a player of the year honor for Garden Grove Pacifica's Jodie Legaspi, but Pacifica is in the same state rankings division as University City and Legaspi also is a senior. Dodd and Legaspi will be teammates next season at UCLA.

Juniors: Anjelica Selden (Vanden, Travis AFB)

They call her Jelly and her school is right next to the Jelly Belly Candy Factory. One thing's for certain and that is that Selden sure was sweet in the circle for Vanden. She pitched a no-hitter in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III championship game as Vanden blanked East Union of Manteca to put the wraps on a 22-3-1 campaign. Selden already has 30 no-hitters for her career and she's lost just twice in the last two seasons. This year, she also struck out 311 batters in 160 innings with a 0.04 ERA. After giving up her first earned run of the season in a playoff game against Rio Linda, Selden got a hit herself in the bottom half of the inning and then scored an equalizing run. Even with all that, we would be remiss if we didn't acknowledge that this was a close call between Selden and pitcher Taryne Mowatt from Santiago of Corona. Mowatt had 385 strikeouts in 217 innings and compiled a 0.16 ERA.

Sophomores & Small Schools:

Kim Reeder (Notre Dame, Salinas)

The San Jose Mercury-News had to choose between Reeder and Abbott for its overall player of the year honor and went with Reeder. Huh? A sophomore over a senior? But when you look at the numbers, a case for Reeder over Abbott is certainly plausable. We're just glad we didn't have to make that call because we considered the two Salinas girls in different categories and neither one would be ahead of Lisa Dodd as the overall state player of the year anyway. Reeder came into her own this season by pitching 25 shutouts (one of the top totals on the all-time state list) and had a 27-1 record. There were six no-hitters included and a 0.00 ERA. Both Reeder and Abbott had 0.00 ERAs this year. Reeder also was a top hitter for the Spirits. She had a team-leading 35 RBI and had a .423 batting average. Notre Dame finished 31-2, won its sixth straight CCS Div. III title and was No. 2 in the final state top 20 behind Pacifica. We try to avoid giving two separate honors to the same player, but since Notre Dame is technically a small school we had no choice.

Freshmen: Amanda Williams (Freedom, Oakley)

An 0-1 start to the season turned out to be a minor blemish for Williams. She pitched Freedom to the CIF North Coast Section East Bay Class 3A championship and to a top 10 state and top 25 national ranking. Williams was named the MVP of the Bay Valley Athletic League and pitched two shutouts on the same day against nationally-ranked Clovis. Williams had a two-hitter with 17 strikeouts and a one-hitter with 12 strikeouts in her last two NCS playoff games. Super-quick shortstop Nicole Kajitani, the San Bernardino Sun's Player of the Year from Cajon of San Bernardino, was the only other freshman who was seriously considered.


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