Ms. Softball State POY Finalists

With RaeAnn Garza in a starring role, the James Logan of Union City girls have gone 52-2 in the last two season with two straight NCS titles. Photo: Harold Abend.

With RaeAnn Garza in a starring role, the James Logan of Union City girls have gone 52-2 in the last two season with two straight NCS titles. Photo: Harold Abend.

Three super sophomores just did too much and are all among this year’s final group of possible State Players of the Year. One will be named no later than Tuesday, June 25.

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One of eight standout California high school softball players will be chosen as the 2013 Cal-Hi Sports Ms. Softball State Player of the Year. The following group of eight players was selected after all games were played during the 2013 season. Previous Ms. Softball State Players of the Year since 1974 have included legendary players such as Lisa Fernandez, Michele Granger and in 2009 Keilani Ricketts from Archbishop Mitty of San Jose, who was just named Most Outstanding Player for the University of Oklahoma at the College Softball World Series.

Here are the eight finalists for this year’s honor (listed in alphabetical order):

Rachel Garcia (Highland, Palmdale) Soph.
Often, when we name a sophomore as one of our Ms. Softball State POY finalists, it’s more than a clue as to who is going to be State Sophomore POY. Not this year. California’s softball sophomores are an incredible bunch and three of them crack the list of this year’s finalists. Garcia already has been chosen as the Gatorade State Player of the Year and has the phenomenal numbers to back up that selection. She finished the season as a pitcher 22-2 with a 0.50 ERA and had 302 strikeouts in 139 innings. Garcia also was prolific as a batter with a .709 average, including 13 homers, 12 doubles, 42 RBIs and a 1.380 slugging percentage. In her 79 official plate appearances, the UCLA-commit had more extra base hits than outs.

Raeann Garza (James Logan, Union City) Sr.
The 5-foot-2 but surprisingly strong senior that amazingly does not have a Division I college offer was a terror from the circle as well as at the plate. Besides being the winning pitcher in this year’s CIF North Coast Section Division I championship game, and in three of the last four CIF North Coast Section Division I title games, she’s handled the stick pretty well, particularly this past season. From the circle, Garza finished 21-1 with a 0.85 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 140 innings pitched. She had one no-hitter and four one-hitters. At the plate, she hit .412 with a home run, two triples, six doubles and 23 RBIs.

Johanna Grauer (Amador Valley, Pleasanton) Jr.
Before she stepped in a gopher hole shagging fly balls prior to the CIF North Coast Section Division I quarterfinals, the Arizona State-committed Grauer was pitching her best, finishing the regular season with a perfect game. She ended up 22-2 with a 0.08 ERA and only two earned runs given up and 39 hits allowed in 152 innings pitched that saw her strike out 274 batters. Besides pitching the one perfect game this season, Grauer pitched three no-hitters and eight one-hitters. As a batter, after struggling with a BA below .200 until midway through league, she ended up at .328 on the season. She was the 2012 State Sophomore of the Year.

Rebecca Lee (Pacifica, Garden Grove) Sr.
The senior leader and first-base girl on a team with a load of stars and nine Division I committed players, the Ohio State-bound Lee led the team in most offensive categories and was tied or near the top in all the others. Her .495 average, nine home runs and 43 RBIs all led the team, and her 36 runs scored tied Florida-committed junior Nicole Dewitt (who got consideration as a finalist) for the team lead. Lee also had 11 doubles and a .903 slugging percentage. She was also 9-for-9 in stolen base attempts. In the field, Lee only made two errors in 192 chances for a .990 fielding percentage.

Amanda Lorenz (Moorpark) Soph.
“Easiest choice I’ve had in all my years doing this,” Rhiannon Potkey of the Ventura County Star emailed about her choice of Lorenz as the Ventura County Player of the Year. Last year’s State Freshman of the Year and one of three sophomore Ms. Softball finalists also vying for State Sophomore of the Year, Lorenz led the state in home runs most of the season until a dry spell in five of the final six games. She hit No. 17 in 2-1 loss to Oaks Christian that ended the season, and finished tied for third in the state. The 17 home runs make the Cal-Hi Sports State record book. Overall, the Florida commit hit .636 with nine doubles, 39 RBIs, 44 runs scored, and she had an astronomical 1.377 slugging percentage. In 96 plate appearances, she only struck out once and walked 18 times, and she also stole 14 bases. As a centerfielder, she was errorless.

Alyssa Palomino (Mission Viejo) Soph.
The powerfully-built granddaughter of Los Angeles area boxing legend Carlos Palomino and early Arizona commit had some knockouts of her own when it came to hitting the yellow ball. Her 18 home runs, which tied for the state lead this season, and will get her a place in the Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book, came against some of the state’s toughest competition. Besides the 18 long flies, the third sophomore finalist looking for both Ms. Softball and State Sophomore of the Year honors, hit .522 with nine doubles, two triples, 33 RBIs and 50 runs scored. She also stole a base on all eight attempts.

Kylie Reed (Norco) Sr.
Her numbers are not as astronomical as some big-time sluggers, but after tying for the state lead with 72 hits this season (63 singles), the Cal-bound shortstop makes the most hits list for a season in the Cal-Hi Sports state record book, plus her 210 career hits also makes the record book for a career. The single season and career marks are also the most in Inland Empire history. In 128 leadoff at-bats this season, Reed hit .563, scored 40 runs and only struck out three times. She had five walks and eight steals. She sparkled in the field in a league and playoffs where there are heavy hitters, fielding at a .935 percentage with only three errors in 124 chances. No, she doesn’t pitch but for being a leadoff hitter there have been fewer better in state history.

Erica Romero (Santiago, Corona) Sr.
The leading candidate and top player from the State Team of the Year is a legitimate candidate but is hampered to become Ms. Softball by the fact she only pitches. Even so, this past season the San Diego State-bound senior was 30-5 with a 0.79 ERA, and pitched the team to the CIF Southern Section Division I title, the nation’s toughest playoffs to capture. It also was her second CIFSS title game win, matching the feat she accomplished as a sophomore. In the 221.1 innings she pitched, and out of the 926 batters she faced, Romero struck out 274 and only yielded 55 walks.

Note: Mark Tennis contributed to this report.

Harold Abend is the associate editor of and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend

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  1. pesports
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Reed’s average should be .563 (72 for 128)

    • Alexandra
      Posted June 12, 2013 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      Johanna Grauer should win! Amazing stats, speed, experience, and only a junior! This one should be a “no hitter”!

  2. Posted June 12, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Who do you think should be Ms. Softball State Player of the Year?…this year is one of the toughest choices in over 10 years…thanks to the PESports of the IE Kylie Reed added 30 pts to her BA…is it Norco girl two-straight years??

  3. Teresa Borchard
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    With a .08 ERA dispite the difficult schedule that she faced all season, I have to go with Johanna Grauer. She had an unfortunate injury right before NCS but she proved herself all season. She has also been selected to play for the Swiss National Softball team this summer and will be the youngest one competing. Not only is she dominating on the field she is an amazing role model off the field. She is also an absolute pleasure to coach!

  4. Karen
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I think Johanna Grauer is one of the best pitcher I have ever seen. She not only throws hard but moves the ball, hitting her spots consistently. She has a big future ahead of her in college..

  5. Annette
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Johanna Grauer- best pitching I have ever watched

  6. Lilly
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    No doubt Johanna Grauer! Her dedication to the sport is admirable and she is the hardest worker I know when it comes to softball. She dominates on the mound and at the plate and immediately impresses anyone who sees her play. She is the obvious choice.

  7. Brian
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Why was Rachel Garcia the only one that didn’t have the college- bound one?? Garza doesn’t have a Div 1 offer, but wrote about it, but because Garcia picked UCLA last vsummer before her super Soph year, nothing? The Gatorade Cal winner, and nothing……guess if it was Cal/Stanford, or ANY other one, it would have been in the first words.

    • Posted June 13, 2013 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      It had nothing to do with her verballing to UCLA and not Cal, etc…it got by us…but thanks to a Bruin fan like you and the power of the internet…check the blurb out now… :)) Harold Abend Girls Sports Associate Editor

  8. Adrian Twomey
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    If you have ever seen Johanna Grauer pitch you would have no questions as to who should be named state player of the year. Not only is Johanna a leader on the mound but she controls the whole field. She is a determined young athlete that is going to have a bright future just because of the fact she wants it more then anyone else. Her excellent work ethic definitely shows for the fact she is one of the best and is only getting better. Her speed, technique, abundance of spin and her ability to control the ball and hit her spots makes her one of the top pitchers in the nation. Off the field i know how hard this girl works to be the best player she can be but I also know the type of oerson she is through it all. She is a humble role model on and off the field. Not only does Johanna Grauer deserve this honor for being such a talented softball player nationally but she deserves it for the journey she has traveled to make her mark.

  9. pat cooter
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Why do they always pick a pitcher for POY what about the other girls that score the runs and make the plays in the field it seems like they should be rewarded at some point?????

    • A
      Posted June 12, 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Pitchers are a huge part of a team. Though I agree a team is only as great as all it’s parts. As a travel ball player and next year division 1 softball player I understand the impact a great pitcher can have on a team.
      A catcher

    • jerilee436
      Posted June 12, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      A pitcher is only as good as her defense!!! Sometimes pitchers are made to look much better than they are because of their defense. I believe ANY POY should contribute BOTH defensively AND offensively!!

    • Posted June 13, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Most often it is a pitcher that wins Ms. Softball but rarely is it a pitcher that doesn’t also hit…usually, the pitcher that wins the award is also the team’s best hitter, and frankly, in 30 years of covering softball, on most teams but not all, the pitcher is the best player on the team period…this year has more variables…and there certainly is no Lisa Fernandez or Keilani Ricketts in this year’s field

  10. Michelle
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Becca lee is the best !!! Go becca !!!

    • jerilee436
      Posted June 12, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      I love you mamasnuggs!

  11. jerilee436
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Rebecca Lee gets my vote!!! She had a stellar season against some very tough competition! She has hit close to .500 two consecutive years and makes difficult plays at 1st base look easy & routine. Very proud of this kid!

  12. KitaWright
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    I think Rebecca Lee should win !!!! That girl is a natural!!! And still worked her butt off to be ALL she can be…raw talent !!!! Had a great season !!! RockStar!!! GO BECCA !!!! You ROCK!!!!

  13. Dannielle
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

    Rebecca Lee has my vote!!!

  14. clinae marquez
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Rebecca Lee has my vote !!! She’s an awesome pitcher 🙂

  15. Pranav
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Johanna is an incredible role model on and off the field. She definitely deserves this reward.

  16. Theman
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Lorenz by far. She put up astonishing numbers in a very difficult division and was pitched around the whole season yet still made the best out of every opportunity.

  17. Ken Verdon
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    REBECCA’S the bomb….BECCA LEE gets my vote

  18. Leah
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Johanna Grauer is the best athlete I’ve seen in a while. With her determination, hard work, and passion, she only continues to get better. She had my vote hands down.

  19. Kathleen Carlson
    Posted June 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

    Southern California is by far the most difficult area to consistently put up big numbers, especially in Div I. Some of these players didn’t compete in large tournaments or against top competition, so it’s not apples to apples. (Look at Amador Valley in the Carew Classic) It’s easy to strike out tons of batters and rack up a huge batting average when not facing top teams. So, in my opinion it has to be Alyssa Palomino, Amanda Lorenz or Rebecca Lee — all three faced top pitching all season, competed in tough tournaments and came out ahead of the game, setting records and leading their teams to steller seasons..

    • Posted June 13, 2013 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      those three are great players but none could get a section title…and Kylie Reed is chopped liver?…at least her team made it to the D1 title game…or Erica Romero…”She pitched Santiago to 3 straight D1 finals winning 2 and had 30-win season and pitched in the Big VIII League, easily toughest in state.” and that’s an email quote from a very respected SoCal sports writer who’s not from the IE…

    Posted June 12, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    I vote for Becca Lee. Not only for the fantastic season but for all her deciation
    and love of the game

  21. Kim
    Posted June 13, 2013 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    I vote for Rebecca Lee. She is an outstanding player!

  22. Heather Van Riper
    Posted June 13, 2013 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Rebecca is a outstanding all around girl !!! She is going places……

  23. Posted June 13, 2013 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    im voting for ReBECCA Lee,,,,besides having 3 great years at PHS,,,and leading the team in offense,she’s a super 1st base fielder,and my fav 18y.o. grand daughter

  24. Hillary
    Posted June 13, 2013 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Johanna Grauer undoubtedly deserves Ms. Softball POY. Not only is she a fierce competitor, she elevates teammates through her constant support, desire for success, and wholehearted performances. She is an amazing role model to softball generations to come. Joanna has been an absolute pleasure to coach.

  25. Posted June 13, 2013 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Great to see so many comments…got a nice email from mom of Rachel Garcia thanking Cal-Hi Sports for her daughter’s nomination, one of three from the Corona Angels along with Kylie Reed and Rebecca Lee…this field has a ton of qualified candidates but no Keilani Ricketts…its still up in the air who gets this year’s Ms. Softball title…Harold Abend – Girls Sports Associate Editor

  26. Kara Magaro
    Posted June 13, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Without a doubt, my vote goes to Johanna Grauer. She is amazing to watch and a true leader on the field. It’s obvious how much her teammates respect her as well!

  27. Maryann
    Posted June 13, 2013 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    I vote for Rebecca Lee. She was a leader for the team with her extremely powerful bat and stolen bases on offense and great defense at first base. It was amazing to watch her hit 3 home runs in one game, one of which was a grand slam! She was also impressively quick and flexible at first base (she can definitely dig out the ball and do the splits to make sure she makes the catch).

  28. Sftbalnut
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Rachel Garcia by a longshot…..nevermind the stellar pitching creds, look at those offensive numbers!! i’ve been lucky to have watched rachel pitch/hit these past couple years and believe 2015 will be the year UCLA gets back to the World Series!!!!!

    • Posted June 15, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      granted…she is a long shot but a deserving nominee…Harold Abend – Softball Editor

  29. Tony
    Posted June 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    RaeAnn Garza definitely deserves to consideration. Her senior year was her best season. She had never been known as a strikeout pitcher but did rack up some impressive strikeout numbers in their toughest games with her frame. Her hitting has been very overlooked.

  30. Posted June 21, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    The countdown is coming on Ms. Softball…today’s the day!!!…other winners as well in class and division

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