NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week are Lexi Webb of Oakdale and Zack Prajzner of San Marcos. Photos: James Burns/The Modesto Bee &

Collecting an MVP award from the Open Division in one of the state’s top baseball tournaments each year also gets SoCal Player of the Week recognition for San Marcos standout Zack Prajzner. He’s known for slick glove at shortstop and for hitting, but it was what he did on the mound in a rare start that really helped out the Knights. This week, the road also stops at San Rafael, Oakdale and Etiwanda for this week’s other honorees.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate someone by 12 noon on most Mondays, email

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Jack Cottrell
(San Rafael) Jr.

His team is only fair to middling, but when Jack takes the mound he’s more than had the Bulldogs’ backs, and last week he accomplished what every pitcher at every level dreams of accomplishing.

When Cottrell took the mound last week against Justin-Siena of Napa, every Braves’ batter fell, except one. Had Jack not walked a batter he would have had a perfect game. What the 6-foot-3, 185-pound right-hander did get was a no-hitter with 13 strikeouts and a day Cottrell will remember well for the rest of his life.

San Rafael is only 3-8-1 on the season but when Cottrell is on the hill the Bulldogs are .500 as he has two of the wins and is 2-2 with a very decent 1.27 ERA with 23 strikeouts and only 17 hits and five walks allowed in 22 innings pitched.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Softball Player of the Week

Lexi Webb
(Oakdale) Jr.

A huge part of why Oakdale is 10-0 and knocking on the door of the State Top 20 rankings is because of this Mustangs’ pitcher and slugger. She’s been rock solid all season but last week Lexi went crazy.

At the plate, she started the week going 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored in an 11-1 win over Manteca where she struck out nine in the circle with only two hits and no earned runs. But then she really started to heat up.

The 5-foot-8 solidly-built junior gave way to sophomore Mariyn Waterman in a 12-0 win over Lathrop but at the plate Webb was like a one-girl wrecking crew. She finished 5-for-5 with two home runs, a double, eight RBI and five runs scored – and she even stole her only base of the season.

So far this season, on a team with some heavy hitters, Webb is leading the team in several statistical categories. She’s second to senior teammate Grace Green in average, home runs and runs scored, batting .647 with five round-trippers and 17 runs scored. Webb is tied with Green for his with 22 but leads the team in triples and doubles with four apiece, and she’s the top Mustang with 21 runs batted in.

In the circle, Lexi is 8-0 with a 0.82 ERA and 51 strikeouts with only seven walks in 42.2 innings pitched.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Zack Prajzner
(San Marcos) Jr.

The reason Notre Dame offered Prajzner a scholarship that he accepted is because he plays a mean shortstop, and with bat in hand, Zack never misses getting in his hacks.

Prajzner did a lot of hitting and fielding in the 68th annual Lions tournament last week, but with the pitching staff depleted from the previous four games of the five-game tournament, Knights’ head coach Jeff Dufek made a decision to send Zack to the mound in the Open Division championship game against perennial CIF San Diego Section power Rancho Bernardo of San Diego, and Zack more than had his back.

Although he had been used as a closer, this was Prajzner’s first start since his freshman season. All Prajzner did was retire the first 14 batters he faced and he struck out 11 over 6.2 innings as San Marcos broke open a close game with six runs in the sixth inning to post a 10-2 victory over Rancho Bernardo.

Prajzner also had a pair of RBIs in the title game victory and was named the Open Division MVP. Now he gets to add a Southern California Baseball Player of the Week selection to last week’s honors.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Julia Jimenez
(Etiwanda) Jr.

We go to the Inland Empire for our SoCal softball winner to honor a junior shortstop who led the Eagles to a 4-1 finish and the consolation championship of the Las Vegas Spring Jamboree.

She had a hit and a run scored in a heartbreaking 7-6 loss to El Cajon Christian to open the tournament, but after that first game there was no fooling Julia when she stepped up to the plate.

From that point on, the University of Michigan commit was 12-for-14 with a home run, five doubles, 11 RBI and 10 runs scored. Her biggest game in the Jamboree and of the season as well was against Chaminade of West Hills when the junior shortstop was 4-for-4 with a home run, double, five RBI and two runs scored.

So far, in a 13-3 season that has the Eagles knocking on the door of the state rankings, Jimenez is hitting .638 on 37 hits with four home runs, 10 doubles, 22 RBI, 27 runs scored, and she’s only struck out once in 58 at-bats while posting a current 1.017 slugging percentage. Earlier in the season, Julia did some pitching and is 4-0 with a 0.93 ERA in four appearances.

Julia is the younger sister of 2017 Etiwanda grad and top catcher Chris Jimenez. Currently at Long Beach State, he was one of the top players and in fact led the Eagles in home runs last season with seven on a team that went 27-3, won the CIF Southern Section Division II championship and ended No. 2 overall in the final Cal-Hi Sports State Top 20.

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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