This one was one of the closest selections ever, but what happened in the last game and local consensus is the difference as Payton Tidd of San Marcos earns the state’s longest-running individual softball honor. There were five outstanding finalists this year but it basically came down to two from the CIF San Diego Section. We go into all of the details between Tidd and Cathedral Catholic of San Diego’s Megan Faraimo. Payton is the first Ms. Softball from San Diego since 2003.
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In team rankings, the head-to-head result is a huge part of the criteria. It’s not as important for individual accolades, but for this year’s Ms. Softball State Player of the Year honor it was a major reason why Payton Tidd of San Marcos High in the San Diego area has been selected as the winner for the 2018 season.
“Thanks so much, this show how much hard work can pay off,” Tidd said on Saturday afternoon when she was informed that she was going to win the honor. “This is big for the school, big for the team, just big.”
Both Tidd and local rival Megan Faraimo from Cathedral Catholic of San Diego have strong hitting statistics to back up their pitching, but the UCLA-bound Faraimo has been one of the most dominating pitchers in California in the last 10 years and had 405 strikeouts just this season.
When their teams met for the CIF San Diego Section Open Division championship, it wasn’t just a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup of state-ranked teams. Player of the year implications also were obviously at play. Cathedral Catholic was in the No. 1 position and it would have been an easy call for Faraimo to be Ms. Softball if the Dons had won that game and she was the one pitching the shutout. Instead, it was San Marcos that won and it was Tidd who got the shutout. She didn’t strike out as many batters as Faraimo and gave up more hits (four to three), but a three-run homer by freshman teammate Cydney Sanders (who also is receiving a state player of the year honor for this season) and an RBI double by sophomore Maddie Helms resulted in San Marcos posting a 4-0 victory.
Shortly after that game, Faraimo was selected as the Gatorade National Player of the Year. When the more local group of San Diego prep writers and broadcasters met to choose the All-San Diego Section teams, however, Tidd was selected as the Player of the Year.
“This is just amazing,” San Marcos head coach Steve Tidd said on Saturday afternoon upon learning his daughter was going to be Ms. Softball 2018. “She’s worked very hard. If I had to say one thing that stands out about her is that it’s always about the team first. She’s a total team player. She’s been in a lot of big games and doesn’t back down.”
This marks the second time in three seasons that local consensus has helped sway the Ms. Softball State Player of the Year in California in a different direction than the Gatorade National Player of the Year. That other time was in 2016 when Nicole “Sis” Bates of Ceres was the Modesto Bee Player of the Year over Madilyn “Bubba” Nickles of Merced and it was Bates who edged Nickles for Ms. Softball.
In addition to Tidd and Faraimo, the other three finalists for Ms. Softball State POY this year were Kinzie Hansen of Norco, Danielle Lung of Clovis and Danielle Williams from Amador Valley of Pleasanton.
Tidd, who will play next at Notre Dame, becomes just the fourth Ms. Softball honoree for California from the CIF San Diego Section. The first on the list is Karen Andrews from Patrick Henry High for 1977. She has been followed by Mary Lou Ramm from Chula Vista of Hilltop for 1979 and the most recent one before Tidd, Lisa Dodd of San Diego Madison for 2003.
Tidd’s hitting was as much a major factor for San Marcos (28-2) gaining State Team of the Year (Cal-Hi Sports) and FAB 50 National Team of the Year (FloSoftball) honors as her pitching. She was the second leading hitter for average (.453), led the team in doubles with 14 and was second in RBI with 31. Payton also had seven home runs.
“This was her best year ever hitting-wise,” Steve Tidd said. “She hit first in the order for us because she was our best hitter. She was nails in the clutch and came up with a lot of big hits when we needed them.”
In the circle, Tidd had outstanding outings against the top teams. In addition to the shutout vs. Cathedral Catholic, she had 10 strikeouts in a 2-1 loss to Norco and had a three-hitter with eight strikeouts in the 3-2 win over Norco. Tidd ended the season with a 25-2 record with a 0.47 ERA. She also had 180 strikeouts in 133 innings.
“It felt great to be out there with this team,” Payton added. “We pretty much had the defense and the hitting and we had a lot of great players.”
For her career, Tidd’s totals included a .398 batting average with 17 homers and 118 RBI plus a 79-10 pitching mark with a 1.14 ERA and 533 strikeouts.
Faraimo had well over 1,000 career strikeouts and a 0.60 career ERA. If she had gone into that last game with a perfect record and that was just the only game she lost, we probably would have still gone with her as the ultimate Ms. Softball choice. We also contacted four prep writers who cover softball for their vote and it was 2-2 so even now there is strong support that Faraimo should be the choice. But she did give up big hits in two other losses (1-0 to Huntington Beach and 1-0 to Eastlake of Chula Vista). Then when the final game result and the vote of the local media members was all added up, it’s still close but Tidd was tabulated with a slight edge.
“It’s just been an honor to be considered with her,” Payton said of Faraimo. “I’ve seen her since we were both little and she’s grown into this great pitcher. I can’t wait to see her succeed at UCLA.”
After celebrating the news of being Ms. Softball on Saturday night, Tidd and her father were going to pack up for a trip to Colorado on Sunday to play with their travel ball team at a tournament throughout the upcoming week. She reports to South Bend on August 15.
“They have a pretty rich tradition and a great atmosphere,” Payton said of Notre Dame. “The coaches are awesome and I’m excited to go there.”
ALL-TIME LIST CAL-HI SPORTS
MS. SOFTBALL STATE PLAYERS
OF THE YEAR
2018 – Payton Tidd, San Marcos P-OF
2017 – Taylor Dockins, Norco P-DH
2016 – Nicole Bates, Ceres INF
2015 – Taylor McQuillin, Mission Viejo P
2014 – Johanna Grauer, Pleasanton Amador Valley
2013 – Kylie Reed, Norco INF
2012 – Emily Lockman, Norco P
2011 – Lauren Sweet, Corona Santiago C
2010 – Jessica Hall, Chino Hills Ayala P
2009 – Keilani Ricketts, San Jose Archbishop Mitty P-DH
2008 – Jessica Spigner, Valencia P-SS
2007 – Jordan Taylor, Valencia P
2006 – Amanda Williams, Oakley Freedom P
2005 – Katie Cotta, Linden P-DH
2004 – Anjelica Selden, Travis AFB Vanden P
2003 – Lisa Dodd, San Diego University City P-DH
2002 – Alicia Hollowell, Fairfield P
2001 – Marissa Marzan, Fresno Bullard P
2000 – Jamie Southern, Clovis, P-INF
1999 – Andrea Vidlund, Orangevale Casa Roble, P
1998 – Amanda Freed, Garden Grove Pacifica, P
1997 – Amanda Freed, Garden Grove Pacifica, P
1996 – Amanda Scott, Clovis P
1995 – Courtney Dale, Fresno Bullard P (Jr.)
1994 – Sara Griffin, Simi Valley P
1993 – Sara Griffin, Simi Valley P
1992 – Leah O’Brien, Chino Don Lugo P
1991 – Jennifer Brundage, Irvine P
1990 – Karen Jackson, Roseville P
1989 – Lisa Fernandez, Lakewood St. Joseph P
1988 – Michele Granger, Placentia Valencia P
1987 – Michele Granger, Placentia Valencia P
1986 – Michele Granger, Placentia Valencia P
1985 – Jackie Oakley, Huntington Beach Ocean View P
1984 – Samantha Ford, Newhall Hart P
1983 – Shawn Andaya, Lodi P
1982 – Kandy Foust, Santa Maria Righetti P
1981 – Tracy Compton, Santa Maria Righetti P
1980 – Tracy Compton, Santa Maria Righetti P
1979 – Mary Lou Ramm, Chula Vista Hilltop P
1978 – Teri Young, El Segundo P
1977 – Karen Andrews, San Diego Henry P
1976 – Jan Jeffers, Lompoc P
1975 – Barbara Reinalda, Cerritos Valley Christian P
1974 – Barbara Reinalda, Cerritos Valley Christian P