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2018 HMG-CN SPRING ALL-AREA TEAMS: Gahr baseball, softball teams enjoy near championship seasons

 

By Loren Kopff
@LorenKopff on Twitter

After several disappointing exits in the California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section playoffs, the Gahr High softball team finally broke through. The 2018 season will be a memorable one for the Lady Gladiators, who had the best team pitching in recent school history. Cerritos High, in its final season as Suburban League members, captured yet another league title while a late season surge put Valley Christian High in the postseason. On the baseball diamond, Gahr excelled once again with another 20-plus win season while Norwalk High made strides and competed for a playoff berth in the final week of the season. Here are the recipients of the 2018 HMG-Community News Spring All-Area Teams.

BASEBALL

FIRST TEAM

P-Humberto Chiquito (John Glenn)

P-Jason Dressel (Gahr)

C-Alexis Martinez (John Glenn)

1B-Jayden Cruz (Gahr)

2B-Joseph Figueroa (John Glenn)

3B-Delvan Gomez (Gahr)

SS-Michael Perez (Gahr)

LF-David Urzua (Norwalk)

CF-Damone Hale (John Glenn)

RF-Matthew Polk (Gahr)

DH-Julian Mungarro (Gahr)

SECOND TEAM

P-Anthony Diaz (Gahr)

P-Evan Vazquez (Cerritos)

C-James Stirton (Valley Christian)

1B-Bernie DeLeon (Cerritos)

2B-Tyrese Turner (Gahr)

3B-Nick Hill (Cerritos)

SS-Brett Garcia (Valley Christian)

LF-Xavier Estrada (Gahr)

CF-Brandon Shiota (Gahr)

RF-Jose Llamas (John Glenn)

DH-Jacob Guzman (Cerritos)

THIRD TEAM

P-Joseph Angulo (John Glenn)

P-Matthew Pinal (Cerritos)

C-Jonathan O’Neill (Cerritos)

1B-Rafael DeAvila (John Glenn)

2B-Adrian Perez (Norwalk)

3B-Pete Tagle (Valley Christian)

SS-Kevin Ramirez (Norwalk)

LF-Matthew Aguinaga (Cerritos)

CF-Raul Garcia (Cerritos)

RF-Richard Lozano (Norwalk)

DH-Sergio Burgos (John Glenn)

HONORABLE MENTION

P-Anthony Gonzalez (Norwalk)

P-Joel Martinez (Gahr)

C-Kaiser Lin (Whitney)

1B-Allen Castro (Artesia)

2B-Alex Manibusan (Cerritos)

3B-Alex Alcaraz (John Glenn)

SS-Jason Shin (Whitney)

LF-Ryan Lasiter (Valley Christian)

CF-Gonzalo Sosa (Norwalk)

RF-Xavier Medina (Cerritos)

DH-Brandon Azzato (Artesia)

Player of the Year:It’s no surprise that Gahr High can punch out talent after talent every year. That’s the recipe for success and the Gladiators have been good at it for a very long time. In 2018, Gahr was paced by senior shortstop Michael Perez, whose next stop will be UCLA. Perez led the Gladiators with a .447 batting average and 38 hits. He scored 25 runs, drew a team-high 16 walks and was hit by a pitch eight times. Perez also led Gahr with 19 stolen bases.

Pitcher of the Year:Like most of the Suburban League this past season, John Glenn High’s pitching staff was deep and senior Humberto Chiquito was a huge part of the team’s success. Chiquito went 7-3 with an earned run average of 1.14. He had a decision in all but one start and went the distance five times. Chiquito also had two shutouts and in two other games that he started, the Eagles did not allow a run.

Coach of the Year:For the past three seasons, Norwalk High had finished in sixth place in the Suburban League, going a combined 5-31 in league action. But the Lancers began to put the pieces together with a solid senior class and head coach William Wenrick saw his team bolt out to an 8-4 start. Why is that record significant? Last season, Norwalk went 9-13. The Lancers finished 2013 at 10-13, the most wins the program has had since 2013, and the team was in contention for a playoff spot on the last day of the regular season. The Lancers also lost three league games by one run.

 

SOFTBALL

FIRST TEAM

P-Danielle Martinez (Gahr)

P-Jennifer Morinishi (Cerritos)

C-Estefania Perez (Norwalk)

1B-Kiarra Crockett-Pope (Cerritos)

2B-Giselle Tapia (Gahr)

3B-Brenda Duran (Artesia)

SS-Dejaenae Davis (Gahr)

LF-Jazmine Hill (Gahr)

CF-Madison Huskey (Gahr)

RF-Isabel Navarro (Artesia)

DP-Samiya Jones (Cerritos)

SECOND TEAM

P-Vanessa Foreman (Gahr)

P-Breanna Vasquez (Norwalk)

C-Alyanna Hernandez (Cerritos)

1B-Jade Wittman (Gahr)

2B-Natalie Luna (Artesia)

3B-Taylor Stephens (Gahr)

SS-Brianna Nunez (Norwalk)

LF-Elise Gibbs (Cerritos)

CF-Camryn Thompson (Artesia)

RF-Sydni Jones (Gahr)

DP-Johanna Rodriguez (Gahr)

THIRD TEAM

P-Caitlyn Azevedo (Valley Christian)

P-Taylor Genera (Whitney)

C-Grace Rivera (Gahr)

1B-Moriah Easley (Valley Christian)

2B-Lauren Lejano (Cerritos)

3B-Kyla Nunez-O’Leary (Valley Christian)

SS-Niki Ibarra (Cerritos)

LF-Angie Pool (Valley Christian)

CF-Katie Morewood (Valley Christian)

RF-Kristina Mendez (Cerritos)

DP-Leilani Pati (Artesia)

HONORABLE MENTION

P-Shelby Hile (Artesia)

P-Valerie Joaquin (Artesia)

C-Quinn Livesay (Valley Christian)

1B-Charlene Fregoso (Artesia)

2B-Zoey Williams (Artesia)

3B-Destiny Ochoa (Norwalk)

SS-Dalia Morones (John Glenn)

LF-Anela Kramer (John Glenn)

CF-Essence Gibbs (Cerritos)

RF-Christina Shryock (John Glenn)

DP-Allison Conrad (Norwalk)

Player of the Year:No one wanted to face Cerritos High first baseman Kiarra Crockett-Pope, especially the Suburban League pitchers. Despite leading the Lady Dons in batting this season, including an astonishing .739 in league, opposing pitchers intentionally put the California State University, Northridge signee on base 19 times in a dozen league contests. When she wasn’t walked, she hit four home runs in league action and drove in 13 runs while scoring 15 times.

Pitcher of the Year:Cerritos senior Jennifer Morinishi made the most of her last season of high school ball by being the ultimate workhorse. The future Biola University hurler got a decision in all but three games in 2018 (one of those was a forfeit victory) and pitched in every inning of every Suburban League game. Morinishi, who won this award last season, went 17-5 overall, had 65 strikeouts in 12 league games and had a league earned run average of 1.37.

Non-pitcher of the Year: Kiarra Crockett-Pope

Coach of the Year:The playoff jinx is over for Gahr High head coach Shawn Quarles, who guided the Lady Gladiators to its second ever trip to the CIF-Southern Section divisional championship game. Gahr went 24-6 this past season, the fourth straight season that the program had won over 20 games. In six seasons at the helm of the Lady Gladiators, Quarles is now 126-46-2. Gahr posted 13 shutouts and allowed more than five runs four times.

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You obviously have you favorites. You name a pitcher that only won 1 league game 2nd team all area, while a pitcher that threw 3 complete game shutouts and only lost 1 start all season 3rd team all area.