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The Standard: Shults is 2009 All-SCV Player of the Year

Shults provided power in the Hart batting order and skill behind the plate

Posted: June 19, 2009 9:11 p.m.
Updated: June 20, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Jessica Shults drove in the only run in two of Hart's three 1-0 CIF-SS Div. I playoff wins. She finished the season with a .448 batting average and 10 home runs.

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It is said that imitation is the highest form of flattery.

Furthermore, to be the standard by which other players are measured solidifies the point of view.

Hart catcher Jessica Shults was just that — a measuring stick.

When talking about other players around the league, typically the conversation would turn back to Shults as a comparison for greatness and impact.

It comes as no surprise.

In 2009, Shults annihilated opposing pitchers to the tune of a .448 batting average, 27 RBIs, 26 runs scored and 10 home runs.

Her play wasn’t just a standard for the rest of the Foothill League, but also for her team.

Her ability to come through in the clutch commonly tipped the scales in Hart’s favor during the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs.

On May 21 in the first round of the postseason, Shults delivered. Her solo home run was all teammate Destiny Rodino would need to secure the 1-0 win over Trabuco Hills.

Then on May 28, Shults’ RBI double against Esperanza proved to be the difference in the quarterfinal matchup as the Indians again won 1-0.

Four days later, Hart met up with Norco for the fourth straight year in the postseason. Down 2-0 in the seventh inning, Shults recorded the Indians’ first hit of the game against Cougars starting pitcher Teagan Gerhart.

Though Hart was unable to break through in the semifinals against Norco, Shults demonstrated her true gift – leadership.

Throughout the playoffs, she hit .363 with three extra-base hits.

Her play at the plate and behind it created a cohesion that was essential to Hart’s success.

So when one coach says that their player has the best swing in the Foothill League – well, aside from Jessica Shults – you know to take notice.

As such, Shults is the 2009 All-Santa Clarita Valley Softball Player of the Year.

pputignano@the-signal.com

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