By Eric Terrazas, Staff Writer
After posting a 12-0 record in the Suburban League and advancing to the third round of last season’s CIF-Southern Section Division 2 softball playoffs, La Mirada High School hopes to take the next step.
The Matadores, who finished 23-8 last season, lost key contributors such as pitchers Amber Hickman and Jenevie Rivas, catcher Lisa Perez, first baseman Rochelle Sablay and outfielder Mylee Macahilig to graduation, but they have plenty of returning talent.
That group includes senior third baseman Lindsey Cole, senior shortstop Mercedes Gasparovic and senior outfielder Christiana Viayra.
Cole, who batted .380 and drove in eight runs last season, will look to play a bigger role in 2013. Gasparovic hit .291 with two home runs and 18 RBIs. Viayra will seek to improve on her junior numbers, which included a .206 average in 45 at-bats.
Junior catcher-outfielder Annie Dipillo (.370, three home runs, 23 RBIs) also figures to play a vital offensive role.
With Hickman and Rivas gone, sophomore Valerie Alvarado and junior Stephanie Baro are in line to take over primary pitching duties. Alvarado posted a 4-1 record, 1.10 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 44 2/3 innings. Baro was 4-1 with a 1.58 ERA.
“We’re going to make a run at it this year,” La Mirada coach Rich Trujillo said. “We have a lot of confidence. We’re a little bit young. We had seven seniors last year, but we have juniors who are stepping right in.