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Five years ago, Amanda Peek led Crescenta Valley's Apgar...

July 14, 2004

Five years ago, Amanda Peek led Crescenta Valley's Apgar Optical to

the Little League District 16 Tri-Cities Major Baseball championship.

That same summer, Peek also earned all-tournament honors at the

United States Specialty Sports Assn. Major Division World Series in

Kansas as a member of the Sun Valley Park Bums. And she teamed with

CV standout Trevor Bell on a Glendale Knights squad that won the

Cooperstown Dreams Park Tournament in New York, hitting a

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tournament-record 15 home runs in 12 games.

So, what is a player with such an impressive baseball resume doing

these days?

Well, the 17-year-old can still be found spending the majority of

her time on the diamond.

The recent CV graduate has matured into a legitimate Division I

college prospect. Her arm is still one of her most impressive

physical assets. And her swing is even more remarkable now than it

was in 1999.

But instead of pitching a little white ball with tiny red

stitching, Peek is now catching a larger fluorescent yellow sphere

with bigger stitching.

And no longer is she hitting overhand curveballs out of parks

across the country. Now, it's windmilled screwballs and drop balls

over fences throughout the state.

For Peek, baseball was her past. But during the summer of 2002,

she decided to make a change that would help shape her future by

taking up softball.

"I [had] played baseball every day since I was 8. It became my

life," said Peek, who competed for a La Crescenta Babe Ruth

15-year-old squad one day and attended her first CV varsity softball

practice the next.

"I chose [softball] for my future. Baseball made me very

competitive. And who knows, if I never played baseball, maybe I

wouldn't have the same intensity or be as competitive."

It's scary to think what Peek could have accomplished had she

started playing softball as a freshman, but the numbers she posted

during her two seasons -- .480 average, .881 slugging percentage, 84

runs batted in, 23 doubles, eight triples and 11 home runs -- were

still better than the four-year totals of most of her peers.

So, when it came time for the writers and editors of the Burbank

Leader and News-Press to choose the All-Area Player of the Year, Peek

was the unanimous choice, becoming the first catcher to be selected

since former Crescenta Valley star Deneil Dover was honored in 1987.

"I think she brought some chemistry to the team," said Crescenta

Valley Coach Dan Berry, who was voted All-Area Coach of the Year for

the second straight season.

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