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Foothill League Softball Team

Posted: June 1, 2014 9:51 p.m.
Updated: June 1, 2014 9:51 p.m.

(Top left) Saugus sophomore Mariah Lopez was voted the Foothill League Pitcher of the Year by the league's coaches. (Bottom left) Saugus senior Alyssa Rodriguez was picked as the Foothill League co-Player of the Year, sharing the honor with West Ranch pitcher Brandi Burgin (right).

When the Foothill League softball coaches met to vote on the 2014 Pitcher of the Year, there wasn’t much surprise in who came out on top.

Saugus sophomore pitcher Mariah Lopez was named the Foothill League’s Pitcher of the Year this week, an award voted on by the six Foothill League coaches.

In addition to the Pitcher of the Year award, the league handed out co-Player of the Year honors to one player from each of the two league champions, West Ranch and Saugus.

Those awards, given by the respective teams to one of their players, went to senior pitcher Brandi Burgin of West Ranch and senior Alyssa Rodriguez of Saugus.

Overall, West Ranch and Saugus each had three players on the first team, with Valencia earning two and Canyon and Golden Valley having one each.

Lopez was 9-1 during league play, posting a 0.547 ERA in 64 innings pitched.

She had 114 strikeouts to 10 walks.

“Mariah is a phenomenal pitcher. Her speed overpowers batters, but even more troublesome, her variety of pitches keeps batters guessing,” said Saugus head coach Julie Watson-Archer. “This season, Mariah stepped up as a leader and proved to be a top caliber pitcher. Most athletes her age, with that level of success, would have an ego. but my favorite thing about Mariah is how humble and hardworking she is on and off the field.”

Burgin, who was not eligible to play until April 7 due to CIF transfer rules, was strong in the circle during the Foothill League season.

The senior appeared in 12 games in 2014, posting six wins and three losses.

In 61 2/3 innings, she had a 2.95 ERA and picked up an impressive 2-1 win on April 22 over Saugus.

Burgin entered the season expected to be a backup behind returning junior Lexi Sorenson.

But when Sorenson was injured early in league play, Burgin was forced to take on a starting role.

“If we took one kid out of the mix, what player would have been the player that would have been the most difficult to replace?” said West Ranch head coach Bob Shults. “And we felt that our pitcher, mainly because Lexi Sorenson was hurt, we didn’t have another pitcher. (Burgin) came in and she pitched us to a 2-1 victory over Saugus, and then she lost 1-0. We felt that Brandi was, without her, we wouldn’t have got to the place we did.”

For Saugus, Rodriguez has been a four-year starter and consistent offensive threat.

During the Foothill League season, Rodriguez hit .500 with 13 RBIs, two home runs and 15 runs scored.

“She is the ultimate team player,” Watson-Archer said. “In her career, she has played four positions, left field, first base, third base and second base. Alyssa always put the needs of the team before herself. Offensively, she is one of the best hitters her age. With her ability to get clutch hits or hit the long ball, her presence in the box always concerns other teams. By prioritizing the team, Alyssa became a respected leader that her teammates looked to for direction and inspiration. She will be greatly missed.”

On the All Foothill League First team, West Ranch’s Lauren Lindvall, Mollie Sorenson and Julie Lombardi made the list, with Cayla Kessinger, Lindsay Clare and Cassidy Fitzgerald listed for Saugus.

Dominique Salgado and Emma Stanley of Valencia eared first-team honors, as did Kaelie Doyle of Canyon and Miranda Escalera of Golden Valley.


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