PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Miranda Viramontes, Chino, Jr., Pitcher
Miranda Viramontes may have produced the same end result as last season, but rest assured, the path was entirely different.
It is a testament to the pitcher’s talent that she led her team through a playoff gauntlet to a CIF championship as an inexperienced sophomore in 2012. It was practically unfair for opponents this season.
Having not just a year under her belt, but a run through the playoffs chock-full of tense one-run games, Viramontes’ postseason performance in 2013 was off the charts. In the playoffs alone, the junior pitched a no-hitter and three one-hitters, one of which netted a 4-0 win over Lakewood in the CIF-SS Division 2 championship game on June 1.
The lone playoff game Viramontes allowed more than one hit was a nine-inning 2-1 victory.
“I don’t think this season could have ended up any better,” Viramontes said. “With my record and my numbers and where we ended up as a team, it was just unbelievable.”
Miranda Viramontes was destined for awards beyond the CIF-SS championship plaque she hoisted on June 1. The only playoff game that wasn’t a no-hitter or a one-hitter for the Chino pitcher was a 2-1 semifinal win. The junior’s shutout in the title game awarded Chino its second consecutive CIF championship to which Viramontes added a CIF-SS Division 2 Player of the Year award today. Chino coach Mike Smith was awarded Coach of the year in Division 2 after a 29-2 season that was unquestionably the best in school history.
To view all-CIF teams for baseball and softball, click the link below.
Chino’s dominance can’t be confined to Southern California. The juggernaut softball team that claimed its second consecutive CIF-SS Division 2 championship on Saturday, was named the Division 2 state softball team of the year by Cal-Hi Sports. Here is the photo gallery from the historic 4-0 win over Lakewood.
Chino finished fourth in the state rankings last season, but a season that included just two one-run losses vaulted the Cowgirls to the top. And they’re not done yet. Utah-bound pitcher Miranda Viramontes will return for her senior season along with four freshman who played prominent roles this season.
Mission Viejo, one of the two teams to which Chino lost during the regular season – Viramontes, however, didn’t pitch in the Cowgirls’ 7-6 loss March 9 – was the overall state No. 1 entering the playoffs. The No. 1 seed in Division 2 fell to Ayala. Coincidentally, Ayala was the last local team to end the season as Cal-Hi Sports’ overall No. 1 team in the state when a Jessica Hall-led squad won a CIF title.
There is a little bit of a gap seeing as the CIF-Southern Section is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and Mike Smith has been coaching for 26 years.
Regardless of the context, the Chino softball coach’s profession of his pitcher’s greatness is a bold one.
Miranda Viramontes hasn’t given anyone reason not to believe him, winning a CIF-SS championship in her first season as a starter and carrying the Cowgirls to the brink of another as a junior.
On the strength of two postseason one-hitters and a no-hitter preceding Tuesday’s 2-1 win in nine innings, Viramontes (pictured above) has pitched Chino within one win of a second straight CIF championship.
“I was telling them at the CIF meeting that I think this is the most dominant a pitcher has ever been in the history of CIF,” Smith said. “That’s the type of year she’s having.”
1. Bonita (24-3) Locked up Hacienda League title by beating Diamond Bar
2. Kaiser (22-3) Allowed an average of 1.2 runs the last nine games
3. Los Osos (19-5) Clinched Baseline title with no-hitter against Glendora
4. San Dimas (22-6) Two clutch wins over Northview won Valle Vista title
5. Carter (18-6) San Andreas League champs have won 10 of their last 11
6. Diamond Bar (19-5) Brahmas fell short against Bonita in bid for league title
7. Chino (16-9) Won last eight league games to share Mt. Baldy title
8. Montclair (18-6) Outright bid for Mt. Baldy title derailed by Chino
9. Don Lugo (20-6) Caught late breaks to finish with share of Mt. Baldy title
10. Claremont (12-11) Wolfpack holding on to second in wild Sierra race
Patricia Parks, the star pitcher for the defending CIF champion Chino Hills softball team, has returned to the team after leaving indefinitely two weeks ago.
Following the first two tournaments of the season, Parks, a junior committed to the University of Arizona, left the team of her own accord.
“Patricia decided she did not want to play anymore,” Chino Hills coach Mike Southworth said in an email. “She was not removed from our team. Nobody likes to lose a player of Patricia’s ability, but athletes have to want to be there and be there on the coach’s terms.”
Chino Hills junior Patricia Parks, the starting pitcher for the defending CIF-SS Division 3 softball champions, left the team last week, according to Huskies head coach Mike Southworth. Parks, who is verbally committed to Arizona, hit .479 and went 10-1 with a 1.07 ERA last season behind primary pitcher Nikki Innamorato. An everyday outfielder last year, Parks was the Huskies primary pitcher this season.
“Patricia decided she did not want to play anymore,” Southworth said in an email. “She was not removed from our team. Nobody likes to lose a player of Patricia’s ability, but athletes have to want to be there and be there on the coach’s terms.”
1. Bonita (5-1) Bearcats lost Garza, but pitching is now deeper.
2. Kaiser (5-2) A once young team is maturing this year.
3. San Dimas (6-2) Saints have lost only to Bonita, Chaparral.
4. Rialto (5-3) Three of Knights’ losses have been by one run.
5. Don Lugo (5-1) Conquistadores have scored 71 runs in first six games.
6. Ayala (5-2) Has lost a pair after best start in school history.
7. Los Osos (3-1) Hoping to bounce back after fourth-place finish in 2012.
8. Upland (6-0) Consistently quality program appears quality again this year.
9. Claremont (3-3) All three losses are to top-flight teams.
10. Damien (3-2) Two of the Spartans’ pitchers are committed to UCLA.