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CIF title in softball leads Bell-Jeff list of accomplishments

Guards also boasted All-CIF players in football, boys' basketball, girls' volleyball, as well as, softball during 2012-13 campaign.

August 20, 2013|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(File Photo )

This is the first in a four-part series looking back on the sports accomplishments of the four local high schools during the 2012-13 year. This installment is Bellarmine-Jefferson High:

As was the case the previous two seasons, it was again the Bellarmine-Jefferson High softball team that stood out at the school during the year.

There was no doubt that the Guards were dominant in the Santa Cruz League this past season. Bell-Jeff captured its fourth straight league championship, going undefeated with an 8-0 record. The closest game the Guards experienced in league play was a 5-1 victory over St. Matthias.

That success carried over into the playoffs. The Guards capped their season June 1 by defeating Mary Star of the Sea, 8-4, in the CIF Southern Section Division VI championship at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine, giving the program its first title.

The Guards were able to win a title after losing the Division VII championship game the previous two years.

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It was the first championship at the school in four years across all sports. It was also only the third crown in school history (the previous two were in girls' basketball).

With that kind of success, it's not surprising that Bell-Jeff cleaned up when the All-Santa Cruz League awards were handed out. In fact, seven Guards earned all-league accolades.

Leading the way was senior shortstop Monique Landini, who was named the league's player of the year. In addition, Landini was named the Division VI Player of the Year,

Landini batted .410 (41 for 100) for the Guards, drove in 25 runs, scored 31 runs and had six doubles, seven triples, four home runs and a .730 slugging percentage.

The senior carried her league success over into the playoffs. In the Division VI championship game, Landini belted two home runs to pace the Guards to victory.

The team also had a standout in junior pitcher Mia Acosta. She compiled a 16-3 record with 102 strikeouts and had a 1.68 earned-run average in 116 2/3 innings. Opponents hit just .192 off her. Acosta was also accomplished at the plate, hitting .446 (37 for 83) with 38 RBI, 24 runs, six doubles, four triples and five home runs.

Another tradition for Guards teams occurred in the fall, as the girls' volleyball team put together another outstanding campaign behind senior outside hitter Taryn Nelson.

Nelson was selected to the All-CIF Southern Section Division IV-A first team and was named the Santa Cruz League Player of the Year.

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