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Trio of former Gahr softball standouts to play in NCAA Women’s College World Series

By Loren Kopff

@LorenKopff on Twitter


They had success throughout their entire softball careers at Gahr High and now, three players will vie for a championship as the 2019 Women’s College World Series got underway on May 30 at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium-OGE Field in Oklahoma City. Sophomore infielder Malia Quarles (University of California, Los Angeles), freshman pitcher Vanessa Foreman (University of Arizona) and freshman outfielder Madison Huskey (University of Washington) were all stars at Gahr, and will now help their respective teams win as few as five more games before getting an chance to hoist a championship trophy.

Huskey had the most success of the three this past season as she batted .276 for the Huskies in 44 games with 27 hits, 22 runs scored 17 runs batted in. She belted five home runs, second most for Washington and her average and hits were eighth most on the team. In addition, Huskey was one of five players not to have an error. She was the Pac-12 Conference Freshman of the Week for Apr. 15 and she was named to the All-Regional Team at the conclusion of the regular season.

Huskey posted a career-high two hits six different times and scored a career-high two runs three times. She also drove in a career-high three runs vs. UCLA on Mar. 17 and again vs. Stanford University on May 9. In three Seattle Regional games, Huskey went four of eight with three runs and a double but went hitless in the Super Regionals vs. University of Kentucky.

Huskey was a first team member of the HMG-Community News All-Area Teams in 2015 and 2016 as a right fielder, 2017 as a catcher and last season as a centerfielder. She was also the HMG-CN Player of the Year in 2017.

Quarles started four of 36 games in 2019 and batted .333, which was the second highest among non-regular starters. Of her 11 hits, three left the yard and she also had 16 RBI. She had a career-high four RBI against the University of Oregon on Apr. 14. Quarles went hitless in two at-bats in the Los Angeles Regionals and hitless in one-at bat in the Super Regionals against James Madison University. In 25 games as a freshman, Quarles batted .192, had five hits with two of them doubles and drove in eight runs. She has not recorded a putout on defense thus far in her collegiate career.

Quarles was a first team member of the HNG-CN All-Area Teams from 2015-2017 as a third baseman.

Foreman appeared in four games for the Wildcats, pitching just over nine innings, allowing 10 hits and striking out half a dozen. She got the win against the University of Texas, EL Paso on Apr. 3, going four innings, giving up six hits, one run and striking out a pair. Foreman was a second team member of the HMG-CN All-Area Teams last season.

Huskey and Foreman faced each other in the first game of the WCWS on May 30 and the loser will have to win twice on Saturday and twice on Sunday to advance to the best two out three Championship Finals, which begins on Monday. Quarles and her team faced the University of Minnesota following the Arizona/Washington game. The Bruins are seeded second in the WCWS.

Four other area players helped their respective teams advance to the regionals two weekends ago. Former Valley Christian High senior infielder Emily Morrow wrapped up her career at Boston University and leaves as a career .285 hitter with 173 hits and 73 RBI in 217 games. This past season, she had a career-high four hits against the University of Connecticut on Feb. 15. As a sophomore, Morrow was the eighth toughest to strikeout amongst all NCAA players. Last season, Morrow was a member of the All-Patriot League’s All-Conference Second Team and was the 11thtoughest to strikeout.

Morrow, who played shortstop in high school, was a first team member of the HMG-CN All-Area Teams in 2013, second team in 2012, third team in 2014 and honorable mention in 2015.

Bethune-Cookman University junior pitcher Destiny Enriquez (John Glenn High) lost both games of the Tallahassee Regional, never getting out of the first inning in both games. This past season, Enriquez went 9-6 with an ERA of 3.09 in 36 games. She started 13 games, went the distance five times and had two saves. Enriquez has a career mark of 18-26.

Enriquez was a second team member of the HMG-CN All-Area Teams in 2015 and 2016 and a third team member in 2013.

Former Gahr standout Alyssa Kumiyama followed up her stellar freshman season with another great sophomore campaign for the University of South Carolina. Kumiyama, who is an infielder and designated player went hitless in six at-bats over two games against the University of South Florida in the Tallahassee Regional where the Gamecocks would go 2-2. But Kumiyama went three for three and drove in three runs and had a homerun against Bethune-Cookman University. One of those hits was off Enriquez. Kumiyama also drove in a run against Florida State University in a 7-6 loss.

In the regular season, Kumiyama batted .333 as she went 25 for 75 and drove in 30 runs. Her nine home runs in the regular season was tied for second and she was named to the All-Southeast Regional Third Team. She currently is tied for seventh in South Carolina history with 20 career home runs and needs 14 more in her final two seasons to become the school’s all-time leader. Her 10 home runs last season ranks tied for sixth in a single season.

Kumiyama was a first team member of the HMG-CN All-Area Teams as a catcher and Player of the Year in from 2014-2016 and was an Honorable Mention member in 2017.

Last season’s top pitcher for Gahr, Dani Martinez, made the most of her freshman season at California State University, Fullerton, picking up the Big West Conference’s Freshman Pitcher of the Year award, the third in CSUF history. Martinez was the ace of the pitching staff, leading the Titans in almost every category. She helped the Titans go 38-18 overall, 18-3 in the Big West Conference. Martinez went 17-8 and had two saves in 37 games, starting 23 of them and going the distance eight times. She had a 2.24 ERA in almost 160 innings with 146 strikeouts and 47 walks. Martinez was third in the Big West in strikeouts and fourth in ERA and victories. In conference play, Martinez went 9-2 with a 1.12 ERA.

She started the second game of the season against the University of Buffalo on Feb. 8 pitching into the fifth inning, allowing one hit and striking out eight, but also walked eight. Martinez lost both games of the Los Angeles Regional.

Martinez was a first team member of the HMG-CN All-Area Teams from 2016-2018.