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Published April 10th, 2024
Individual and team success for Lamorinda softball
Esa Orman (22) being met by her teammates after hitting a home run against Las Lomas Photo Jon Kingdon

Miramonte has shown a major improvement over last season, when they started out 0-11 and were outscored 213-28. After 11 games this season, the 8-3 Matadors have outscored their opponents 133-57. Miramonte has also had two shutouts -their first since 2013.
With a roster of ten freshman and sophomores and only four juniors and seniors, it's still a team that knows how to play the game. "We have five returners from last season and a number of our new players have softball experience with club teams, and that's a huge difference," said head coach O.C. Schott.
The offense has been led by freshmen Gianna Granzella, Maddie McKim, Talia Kardon, sophomore Abby Warren, Junior Julie Quinn-Ferguson, and senior Madilyn Roesner. "I call our offense a "pinball offense," putting the ball in play and forcing the defense to make plays," Schott said. "Gianna, Maddie, and Abby are very good hitters, Julie is a great athlete, Talia came in late due to her playing on the soccer team, Madilyn does a good job putting the ball in play, and Alexis Sandstrom and Antonio Lawrence have both been good returning players."
The character of the team has been just as important to the team's success. "Our players are playing for the name on the front of their jerseys," Schott said. "They have embraced it even when they are not playing their normal positions. Madilyn Roesner and Antonio Lawrence, our co-captains, have been great leaders on the team."
The pitching staff is set with Abby Warren, Penelope Hagan, and Gianna Granzella, and all are pitching fine.
The team is also playing solid defense with Granzella at short, Sandstrom at second, Hagan at third, and Lawrence at first. Kardon has been solid at catcher even though she is new to the position and McKim, Roesner, and Quinn Ferguson are showing up well in the outfield.
Schott is looking for the team to keep improving. "We're always striving to play our best," Schott said. "Our players are putting in the work and are preparing for the games properly, and we've been getting the good results. We're going to maximize what we have and play the best we can and hopefully the results will be there."
With five freshmen, six seniors and juniors, and a couple of sophomores, Acalanes has a young team with a 7-4 record. "We have some other freshman that are really pushing the upperclassmen," Head Coach Victor Silva said. "Just about all of our players compete all year round and they really want to be here. They're working hard and I'm really proud of our team."
The Don's offense has shown steady improvement, with the team now batting a combined .289. The leading batters are co-captain Emme Young, (.516), co-captain Esa Orman (.441), Ella Greenfield (.429), Santana Tamayo (.310) and Lauren Foster (.333). "We're still looking for more depth in our batting order," Silva said. "Lauren has recently come back from an injury and has been learning to be a slap hitter."
The pitching staff relies on two pitchers: sophomore Maya Shoenhair and senior Lana Cerejo. "They have both been pitching well but we need to cut down on the walks," Silva said. "Esa is our catcher and is backed up by Ella and Santana if necessary."
The infield is led Riley Zirkel at short, Avery Robb at second, Tamaya at third, and Nicole Parlett at first. "They've all been doing a great job and have shown the ability to convert the double play," Silva said. "Our defense has been there every game and that's something we've really been able to hang our hat on."
The outfield is led by Young in center, co-captain Lulu Levy in right along with freshman Vanesse Choi, and sophomore Lauren Foster. "They have all been doing a good job," Silva said.
Silva has a lot of confidence in the team going into the second half of the season: "We're working our butts off in practice and we're going to be okay. I'm excited about this team and for the future as well with so many young players."
With only one senior on the roster, the Campolindo softball team is a work in progress. "We're a relatively young team," Head Coach Saul Tallarico said. "We do have nine juniors and a strong freshman group with our starting battery both freshmen, so we've had some growing pains."
It's been feast or famine with the team's batting. Freshman Paige Williams (.562), senior Kylie Dowdall (.462), juniors Lucy Wilson (.389) and Clara Hwang (.308), and sophomore Cassidy Mintz (.278) have been leading the offense with a number of other batters still looking to elevate their averages.
"Our bats have been a little quiet at the start of the year, but I'm confident that it will be turned around," Tallarico said. "Paige has been doing a great job in batting in the three-hole. Clara was a top hitter last year and has missed some time with an injury. Kylie is an aggressive hitter, batting cleanup and playing a great first base and she is the vocal leader on the team."
Tallarico's plan to improve the team's batting is simple: "It's just a matter of repetition with live pitching and the pitching machine. We've had some better at bats where we hit the ball that turned into outs and I'm counting on our bats coming around for sure."
The defense has been setback a bit due to various injuries. "We have a number of players in new positions that are becoming more familiar with their positions, and seeing it becoming second nature to where they're playing," Tallarico said. "Once we can get a constant lineup out there, the flow will be much more positive.
The infield is set with Dowdell at first base, Wilson at short, Maya Hammerman at second, and Cassidy Mintz at third. Williams and Wilson are the team's pitches, and freshman Nikki Sturtz is the team's catcher.
"Nicki had never played catcher and she's learning on the fly and doing a great job," Tallarico said. "The outfield is in good hands with Hwang in centerfield, covering a lot of ground with a strong arm, and Peyton Tallarico is playing a solid right field for us.
Dowdell, Wilson, Hwang, and Williams are the team's co-captains. "They've all been doing a great job and even though Paige is only a freshman, she has been great, leading by example, diving for balls, clapping and getting on everybody."

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