By John Honell, Correspondent
Thirty-nine high school seniors played their final softball game before moving on to the college level in Monday’s North-South San Gabriel Valley All-Star game at Mt. SAC. The North got outstanding pitching from a pair of Valle Vista League stars to down the South 9-2. San Dimas’ Kortnie Clark started for the North, went five innings and held the South scoreless while giving up three hits and striking out eight. She also singled off longtime rival Chloe Wurst of Bonita in her first at-bat. “It’s really good to get a hit off Chloe,” Clark said. “She’s really good. It’s a real honor to be here but it’s bittersweet. It’s good to move on and do other things, but it’s kind of sad to leave after all this time.” (To continue click thread)
Below: South’s Kim Hernandez of Bishop Amat slides safe back into third base with North’s Brianna Dworak of Glendora Monday’s San Gabriel Valley all-star softball game.
Wurst, who pitched the Bearcats into the CIF-SS Division 3 semifinals, started strong but ran into some problems in the fifth inning. She singled and doubled and finished with 13 strikeouts.
“That’s a great team over there,” Wurst said. “They’re great hitters. I started missing my spots and that’s what happens in an all-star game.”
Brianna Dworak of Glendora, who was expected to sit out the season following an automobile accident, doubled in the second inning for the game’s first hit.
“I had a sprain in my back,” Dworak said. “They told me I was out for the season but I just love this game too much and wanted to play.”
The North scored first in the fourth inning. Glendora’s Kristen Peterson was hit by a pitch to lead off. She went to second on a passed ball and scored on a single by Temple City’s Danielle Rodriguez.
“I was really nervous,” Rodriguez said. “The pitch was right down the middle.”
The North broke the game open in the fifth. Shaynne Ramirez of Charter Oak singled and Emily McQuaid of Arcadia walked, Northview’s Makaila Garcia sacrificed and Natalie Hernandez of Glendora drove in both runners.
Ramirez had two hits in the game and Sam Miller of Arcadia doubled and singled to lead the North.
Chrissy McPhail of Northview, who has battled Clark in some epic Valle Vista League matchups, came in to pitch the last four innings.
“I was very impressed with Kortnie,” North coach Reese Mitchell said. “She’s very competitive, kind of a bulldog. She battled her way out of trouble a couple of times. Then Chrissy did a good job when she came in the Valle Vista League pitchers were very good tonight.”
The South finally pushed across a pair of runs in the eighth inning.
Maria Ramos of Wilson walked to lead off the inning. West Covina’s Andrea Gutierrez singled and teammate Yvette Cano followed with a double, but Gutierrez was thrown out at the plate by Peterson. Desiree Zaragoza of Walnut reached base on an error to score Cano. Naomi Rogers of Nogales singled, but McPhail got out of the inning and that was it for the South.
“This has been a great experience,” South coach Dean Bunting of South El Monte said. “I’ve read about all these kids in the paper, so it’s nice to put a face with a name.”