As the Mayfield softball team prepares to host Covina in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 playoffs today at 3:15 p.m. at Brookside Park, one can’t help but wonder how this team’s confidence vastly differs from last season.
The biggest difference can be summed up in one word: depth.
The addition of two freshmen – Mireya Hernandez and Jessica Parada – has significantly bolstered the Cubs’ supporting cast and given standout pitcher Katie Clancy some serious talent behind her.
Mayfield (19-5), for good reason, has felt it has a shot at winning since Clancy’s arrival. This season alone, Clancy, a junior, is batting .329 with a team-leading 25 RBIs, but her forte is in the pitcher’s circle.
She’s 18-2 with a 0.83 ERA and a staggering 238 strikeouts. Clancy starts every game and has pitched a complete game in all but one to go along with eight shutouts.
ALL GAMES 3:15 P.M.
TODAY’S GAMES WITH PREDICTIONS
Costa Mesa at San Marino — San Marino
Temple City at West Covina — Temple City
Pasadena Poly at San Dimas — San Dimas
Village Christian at Duarte — Duarte
Keppel at Cerritos Valley Christian — Cerritos Valley Christian
Covina vs. Mayfield at Brookside Park — Mayfield
Sierra Vista at La Canada — La Canada
Gabrielino at Marymount — Marymount
Desert Christian at Alverno — Desert Christian
Twentynine Palms at Maranatha — Maranatha
San Gabriel Mission at Ramona Convent — San Gabriel Mission
Marshall at Boron — Boron
Baptist Christian vs. La Salle at LDS — La Salle
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“Yeah, I do feel we can win every time she’s pitching,” Mayfield coach Jennifer Moulden said. “But I feel that way, too, about a couple other girls we have on the team now.”
Hernandez, a talented shortstop who can play just about every position, is batting .481 with 22 RBIs and two home runs.
Parada, another versatile player, is batting .338 with 22 runs scored, 18 RBIs and four triples.
There are others just as dangerous including junior catcher Kaitlin Fitzpatrick (.333, five doubles, three triples) and Anneliese Luck, a senior who has persevered through knee injuries and pitched a complete game last week. She allowed only three hits and struck out 10 in a shutout victory over Chadwick to help the Cubs win three of the last four Prep League titles.
“We have a lot more depth in our lineup,” Moulden said. “Last year we had nine girls, and that was it. There wasn’t a lot of knowledge of the game, but here we have that one through nine and we have depth on the bench.”
Covina (17-7) is coming off a 13-0 wild-card win over Tahquitz of Hemet. The Colts are led by Molly Ross, who is batting .427 with 30 RBIs, seven home runs and four triples.
Also in Division 6
San Gabriel Mission at Ramona Convent
Ramona Convent (12-6) is armed with a true double threat in Yvette Hernandez. The sophomore first baseman/pitcher is batting .488 with two home runs and is 7-2 with a 0.71 ERA. San Gabriel Mission (17-2) features stout shortstop Nicole Holguin (.500, 26 RBIs, five home runs) and Priscilla Hernandez (.560, 20 RBIs, six doubles).
Twentynine Palms at Maranatha
The Minutemen (16-11) are coming off a 13-1 loss to La Salle, but for the most part cruised to another Alpha League championship with an unblemished record and played some stiff nonleague competition. Maranatha is led by Annie Sommers, who is batting .500 with 16 RBIs and three home runs. Twentynine Palms (11-11) is the third-place team out of the De Anza League.