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Bell-Jeff softball's Monique Landini named CIF MVP

Softball: Guards trio, Burbank's Brooks earn All-CIF softball accolades.

June 11, 2013|By Jeff Tully,
(File Photo )

BURBANK — Monique Landini was focused on one thing this season: Helping her Bellarmine-Jefferson High softball team capture the CIF Southern Section Division VI championship.

The senior shortstop saw that wish come to fruition June 1 when the Guards defeated Mary Star of the Sea, 8-4, to secure the title at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine. Landini contributed mightily to the win, hitting two home runs — one a three-run shot — to power Bell-Jeff to the victory.

With her focus on the ultimate team goal, Landini said she wasn't even thinking about individual accolades. But with the championship long since secured, Landini was able to enjoy a personal accomplishment Tuesday when the All-CIF lists were released.

Landini earned the division's top award, as she was named the Division VI Player of the Year.

Joining Landini in Division VI was junior catcher Samantha Casarez, who was a first-team honoree.

Burbank had a first-team selection in sophomore pitcher Caitlyn Brooks. It is the second straight year Brooks has been an All-CIF recipient.


"I didn't expect it at all," Landini said of the honor. "I just always try and work as hard as I can and when something like this comes, it's like a reward for me. It just shows that hard work pays off.

"We set a goal as a team going into the season that we wanted to win a CIF championship and we were able to do that. It was a great season."

Landini batted .410 (41 for 100) for the Guards. In addition, she drove in 25 runs, scored 31 runs and had six doubles, seven triples, four home runs and a .730 slugging percentage. She was also honored as the Santa Cruz League Player of the Year.

"I'm so happy that Monique was able to win it, especially her being a senior," said Bell-Jeff Coach Florencio Galindo, who was named the division's coach of the year. "I told the girls I'm not really big on individual awards, but we just worked good as a team, and sometimes those things just iron themselves out."

Casarez was a steady contributor for the Guards this season. She finished with a .412 batting average (42 for 102) and had 15 RBI and 31 runs scored.

"Sam was able to fill in when we were missing some players and she played a lot of different positions for us," Galindo said. "And when she was catching she was a real leader behind the plate for us. She worked real hard for us this season."

In addition to the CIF title, Bell-Jeff went 23-10 and captured its fourth straight Santa Cruz League championship.

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