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ALL-LEAGUE SOFTBALL:Area has 17 players honored

Four schools have their share of award winners after all qualified for CIF playoffs this past season.

June 02, 2007|By Jeff Tully

BURBANK — There was a great deal of success and some impressive accomplishments put together this past season by the four area high school softball teams.

For the first time in many years, all four programs — Burbank, Burroughs, Bellarmine-Jefferson and Providence — qualified for the CIF Southern Section playoffs. In addition, three of the four teams won postseason games.

With that success has come recognition, as 17 local players earned all-league honors from the four teams.

Leading the way was Bell-Jeff, which boasted six all-league recipients. The Guards (9-6, 4-4 for third in the Santa Cruz League) enjoyed a fine season after moving from the tough Sunshine League.

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"I'm thrilled to have as many all-league players as we got," Bell-Jeff Coach Patty Bertole said. "The girls were very excited when they found out … They deserved it.

"The great thing is that none of our all-league players are seniors."

Making the first team were sophomore pitcher Shelby Ingram, junior catcher Joelle Hajj, junior Yvonna Contreras and sophomore third baseman Sarah Salgado.

Sophomores Itria Licitra and Krystal DiRossa were second-team honorees.

Hajj has emerged as one of the school's finest all-around athletes. She also took part in basketball and cross-country and all three teams made the playoffs.

In addition, her Bell-Jeff basketball team advanced to the quarterfinals and her cross-country team won a league title and all advanced to the CIF finals.

The softball team advanced to the playoffs for the first time in 13 years and won its Division VII opener against North County Christian, 13-11. Unfortunately for the Guards, they fell in the second round to Granada Hills Hillcrest Christian, 16-3.

Finishing third in their first season in the Pacific League, the Bulldogs (15-11. 10-4) rolled to a fine finish behind co-champions Crescenta Valley and Arcadia.

Sophomore pitcher Kristin Peraza and freshman pitcher/utility Megan Schafer earned first-team honors.

Peraza, a fireballing right-hander, was a force in the circle for Burbank. She compiled a 14-7 record and had a 0.88 earned-run average with 245 strikeouts and 38 walks in 135 innings. She was even more overpowering in league, boasting a 0.31 ERA with 142 strikeouts.

Schafer batted .397 (29 for 73) with 14 runs batted in, 10 runs scored, three triples and a home run. In league, she hit .541.

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