NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s honorees are Mark Hu from Harker Academy (San Jose) and Allie Fryklund from San Marcos (Santa Barbara). Photos: &

For this week’s softball and baseball honorees, we hit the Gold Coast city of Santa Barbara and the Coachella Valley community of Indio for our Southern California winners. In Northern California, we make a stop in a Salinas Valley that author John Steinbeck made famous, and then we know the way to San Jose.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate anyone, email We are picking the winners on Monday nights for the rest of the spring season.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Allie Fryklund
(San Marco, Santa Barbara) Sr.

For our Southern California Softball Player of the Week choice, we head to a region known as the Gold Coast of California. There we honor a senior pitcher and slugger who has been handcuffing opposing batters from the circle while smacking the yellow ball around with bat in hand.

Last week, the Arizona Christian University-committed Fryklund spun some beauties while doing some damage at the plate as well.

Allie started the week with a four-hitter and gave up a run but struck out a season-high 18 batters in a 9-1 victory over Santa Ynez. She was also 3 for 4 with two runs batted in.

Two days later, Fryklund achieved the ultimate for a pitcher after she pitched a perfect game with 15 strikeouts in a 2-0 Channel League victory over Cabrillo of Lompoc. At the plate, Allie had an RBI double that gave her the only run she needed in the perfecto.

Finally, on Friday of last week, Fryklund didn’t pitch a no-no or a perfecto, but she tossed a 1-hitter with 14 strikeouts in a 7-0 win over Cabrillo. Plus, you guessed it, Allie had two hits and two RBI and scored the only run she needed in the shutout.

The Royals had a Wednesday afternoon match-up with Lompoc, but so far in a 13-4 season Fryklund was 11-3 with a 1.41 ERA and 150 strikeouts with only 19 walks in 99.1 innings pitched. The 150 strikeouts is the No. 5 reported mark in the CIF Southern Section and No. 13 in the state (according to MaxPreps)

As a batter, she was leading the team with a .554 average and was second to freshman Caitlyn Early in home runs, doubles, RBI and runs scored with two, five, 19 and 15, respectively.

Pitching-hitting standout Freddy Lopez led Indio to 13 wins in its first 15 games of this spring. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Freddy Lopez
(Indio) Sr.

The Coachella Valley and the greater Palm Springs area is where we land in search of our Southern California Baseball Player of the Week. There we find a pitcher and slugger who plays the middle infield when not on the mound.

It’s been reported that Rajahs’ head coach Mark Brenner is retiring after 13 seasons at the Indio helm, and Lopez has been doing his best to deliver for his coach in his final season.

Last week, Freddy was more than ready. He upped his record to 6-0 by tossing a 1-hitter with nine strikeouts and only one walk in a 5-1 victory over Coachella Valley of Thermal. At the plate, Lopez was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.

Lopez has already pitched this week and although he got touched up a bit he still got the win to go to 7-0 after he had a 5-hitter and gave up three earned runs, but struck out 11 in an 8-5 win over Banning. In that game, he also had an RBI double, walked two times and scored twice.

With the baseball season like all other high school sports seasons affected by the pandemic, Lopez is being honored in some respects for his entire body of work this season.

Besides being 7-0 in eight starts with a respectable 2.49 ERA considering he had one bad outing, Lopez had struck out 69 batters with only 13 walks in 39.1 innings pitched, and opposing batters were hitting a paltry .216 against him.

With bat in hand, Freddy was hitting .480 with six doubles, 19 RBI and a team-leading 28 runs scored. The 5-foot-10, 155-pound senior might not be a big-time slugger, but he is the epitome of a contact hitter as he’s only struck out once in 66 plate appearances. Lopez also must be pretty quick because he’s stolen 25 bases so far this season.

Samantha Rey is one of several sophomores and juniors at Notre Dame (Salinas) who are getting D1 college attention. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Softball Player of the Week

Samantha Rey
(Notre Dame, Salinas) Soph.

The Salinas Valley around 60 miles south of San Jose on Highway 101 is where we land in our search for the Northern California Softball Player of the Week.

No small school in California has a greater softball tradition or has turned out more college level players than Notre Dame of Salinas, and Rey is the latest in a long line of Spirits’ stars. The good news for the Notre Dame faithful is she’s only a sophomore.

Before we tell you why Samantha is being honored, we’re going to take the opportunity of writing up Rey’s accomplishments by telling you we are thinking about Carlos Arias, the pre-eminent authority on California girls softball for with his national Hot 100 lists and an occasional softball contributor to Cal-Hi Sports. Carlos was reported with no brain activity earlier this week at a Fresno hospital after suffering a stroke. In fact, Rey was on the last Hot 100 list Arias published before this happened.

Last week, and just like the entire season, Rey has been red hot. She started last week by going 3 for 3 with a home run, RBI and three runs scored in a 14-0 shutout of Stevenson of Pebble Beach. She only had one hit against Carmel, but she walked twice in three at-bats and Rey made the Padres pay after she scored all three times on bases in a 12-0 Notre Dame victory.

The Spirits had a game on Tuesday, a 16-4 win over North Monterey County of nearby Castroville. In that one, Rey had an RBI triple, a walk, and she scored a run in three at-bats.

On a team that was 12-2 and No. 35 in the latest Cal-Hi Sports state rankings, Rey led the way by hitting .610 on 25 hits with two home runs, a triple and double, eight RBI and a team-leading 21 runs scored.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Mark Hu
(Harker Academy, San Jose) Jr.

For our Northern California Baseball Player of the Week honor, we land around five miles west of downtown San Jose on Highway 280 and right near the Saratoga Avenue exit.

There we honor Hu, a junior slugger and right-handed pitcher who plays some infield when he’s not on the mound.

Last week, and in the first game of a home and away series with Priory of Portola Valley, Mark made history and also some headlines in the San Jose Mercury News, and in doing so he had the visiting Panthers trying to figure out what to do about Hu.

In a 15-0 win over Priory, Hu pitched a perfect game and in so doing he tied the CIF Central Coast Section record for strikeouts in a perfect game/no-hitter by fanning 18 batters. Hu wasn’t bad with bat in hand, either. He had three hits including a home run and a triple, with two RBI and three runs scored.

Hu was done pitching for the week, but in the away game at Priory, Mark still made his presence felt with two doubles and a walk, and he drove in three and scored twice in a 12-2 Harker victory.

So far this season for the 12-4 Eagles, Hu as 5-1 with a 1.22 ERA and 44 strikeouts and nine walks in 28.2 innings pitched. Opposing hitters were hitting an abysmal .147 against him.

As a batter, Hu was third on the team with a .522 batting average, led the team in home runs and triples with three each, and runs scored with 25, plus he had five doubles and 19 runs batted in.

Who’s on first? No one because Mark Hu is pitching.

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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