By James Escarcega
The unique aspect of the San Gabriel Valley All Star Softball game is that it allows underclassmen to showcase their skills. Area fans got a front row look at the next superstar in Los Altos junior pitcher Savannah Diederich.
And she showed why she has committed verbally to the University of Mississippi.
Diederich pitched a solid three innings, striking out four of the nine hitters she faced to help lead the South to a 10-6 win over the North on Sunday evening at Citrus College.
“I definitely wanted to perform well tonight and show my skills,” Diederich said. “With my Los Altos team, it’s a little bit more competitive, but we wanted to come out tonight, have some fun and get the win.”
Another underclassman that performed at a high level was Wilson’s Janelle Meono. The sophomore, who has given a verbal commitment to the University of Arizona, had two hits with an RBI.
For her efforts, she was named the game’s Most Outstanding Player.
“Her speed in her greatest asset,” said South coach Brent Tuttle, who is also the coach at La Mirada High. “I was about ready to stop her at second and the next thing you know, she’s on third. Arizona is getting a good one.”
“This is pretty awesome,” Meono said. “It’s so cool because there were a lot of great players on both teams and all I wanted to do was put Wilson on the map.”
The South scoring barrage started in the first inning when Bishop Amat’s Madeline Ramirez singled to score teammate Gabby Bracamonte for a 1-0 lead. Los Altos senior Andrea Wood, who will be attending Cal State San Marcos, promptly banged a line-drive double that scored Ramirez for a 2-0 lead.
The South added four runs in the fifth inning. The key play of the inning was a line-drive double by Los Altos’ Melissa Felix off Charter Oak pitcher Emma Rae Flores that scored two runs.
Charter Oak’s Bri Rubalcava got the North on the scoreboard in the seventh inning when she brought in Arroyo’s Shania Torres with a single. Torres also brought in two more runs in the eighth inning on a double to cut the South lead to 10-4.
The North made the game very interesting in the ninth inning. It started when Glendora sophomore Chloe Bahruth connected on a two-run homer off West Covina pitcher Trinity Garcia to cut the South lead to 10-6.
The North loaded the bases with two outs. Garcia then secured the win by striking out San Dimas’ Brooke Fuss.
“This was a great atmosphere tonight,” Tuttle said. “The players were awesome and the fans were great. One thing it proved, we have a lot of great softball talent in the area.”
By James Escarcega