Cal grad’s stellar sophomore season earns her MVP honors

PANTAGESCal High graduate Christina Pantages has had herself quite a season at Saddleback College, which is one of only eight Southern California teams still competing.
Pantages, a 2012 Cal grad, was selected as MVP of the ultra-competitive Orange Empire Conference
after hitting .522 in conference play and driving in 29 runs. She was also an All-State selection following a sophomore season in which she hit .477 overall with six home runs and 43 RBIs.
With a year of college under her belt, and spurred by what she considered a mediocre freshman campaign, Pantages improved her leadership and work habits in the off-season. She became a more patient hitter and improved her pitch selection, and she didn’t allow herself to be intimidated by the talented pitchers throughout the OEC.
“Last year, I had some trouble, just getting used to a different environment, the college life,” Pantages said. “I’ve bee working harder (as a sophomore), trying to become better at everything I was doing.”
She led the Gauchos in most offensive categories as a sophomore and was a solid defender at first base as well.
“She basically did it all for us this year,” said Saddleback coach Nick Trani, who called the OEC “the toughest (JC) conference in the country.” “She really came on this year.”
Saddleback is 27-14 and will play Cypress in Friday’s opening game of the four-team, double-elimination Super Regionals. Last week, the Gauchos swept East L.A. in a best-of-3 opening series.

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