Two big-time sluggers grab the top honors among juniors and sophomores while a pitching ace who got a win over the No. 1 team in the state earns the same honor among freshmen. We also are proud to announce our state medium schools and state small schools players of the year.
For more on Ms. Softball State Player of the Year Jayla Castro, CLICK HERE.
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Congratulations to the following five players also who also have been selected this week as Cal-Hi Sports State Player of the Year.
Jessica Oakland (St. Francis, Mountain View)
One of the highest ranked teams in the state prior to the 2020 season was at St. Francis and while some other top-ranked teams played 10 games or more the Lancers only got in one game before the season was shut down by the Coronavirus pandemic. They and their leading player, Oakland, more than made up for it.
Due to hitting a state-best 19 homers with a .612 batting average and 55 RBI, Jessica has now been named the State Junior Player of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports.
Oakland, the daughter of St. Francis head coach Mike Oakland, also had impressive totals of 50 runs scored and 52 hits.
As a team, St. Francis rolled to the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division title with a 26-0 record and ended No. 4 in the final Cal-Hi Sports state rankings. Not having any games outside of the CCS and playing many of its opponents three or four times prevented a higher state ranking.
A University of Minnesota commit, Oakland has already gathered a slew of other postseason honors, including San Francisco Chronicle Metro Player of the Year and Bay Area News Group Player of the Year.
The last few games for Oakland were especially impressive as she hit seven homers in her las six games. She had two homers and four RBI in a CCS playoff win vs. Hillsdale of San Mateo and had one each in the semifinals and finals.
Oakland is just the fourth State Junior of the Year from the CCS. The last one was Kim Reeder from Notre Dame of Salinas in 2004. The only other two was Whitney Floyd from Lynbrook of San Jose for 1992 and Maureen Brady from Hillsdale for 1990 (Tom Brady’s older sister).
Recent State Juniors of the Year: 2020 – No selection (pandemic); 2019 – Nicole May (Pleasanton Foothill); 2018 – Kinzie Hansen (Norco); 2017 – Megan Faraimo (San Diego Cathedral Catholic); 2016 – Camryn Ybarra (Mission Viejo); 2015 – Mia Camuso (Redding Shasta); 2014 – Taylor McQuillin (Mission Viejo); 2013 – Johanna Grauer (Pleasanton Amador Valley); 2012 – Gabrielle Maurice (Modesto Beyer); 2011 – Melissa Taukieaho (Etiwanda); 2010 – Lauren Chamberlain (Lake Forest El Toro); 2009 – Taylor Edwards (Murrieta Vista Murrieta)
Mya Perez (Norco)
If Norco had gone all the way and ended as State Team of the Year instead of losing to Esperanza of Anaheim in the CIFSS D1 semifinals, Perez would have gotten stronger consideration to be Ms. Softball. Regardless, she was a more easy choice as State Sophomore of the Year.
An impressive hitter for power and average, Perez was the Riverside Press-Enterprise Player of the Year for the 27-2 Cougars.
After missing a lot of time in 2020 not just because of the shutdown but also with a hand injury, Perez blasted free with a .543 average (3rd highest in school history), 11 homers and 54 RBI (a school record). Mya also only struck out four times all season. The Press-Enterprise also reported she became the first player in Norco history to have 50 hits or more and 50 RBI or more for one season.
In the team’s four CIFSS playoff games, Perez didn’t cool off but heated up even more as the highly regarded Class of 2023 national recruit went 11 for 12 and knocked in 11 runs.
Norco has obviously had a high number of state players of the year so Perez joins a list of recent Cougars as tops in the state for sophomores with Sara Willis (2018) and Kinzie Hansen (2017). Those are the only three from Norco since the honor began in the early 1980s (and going back to 1975 for extra years based on research). Those also are the only three since 1975 from the Inland Empire.
Recent State Sophomores of the Year: 2020 – No selection (pandemic); 2019 – Savannah Pola (Santa Ana Godinez); 2018 – Sarah Willis (Norco); 2017 – Kinzie Hansen (Norco); 2016 – Vanessa Strong (Oakley Freedom); 2015 – Holly Azevedo (San Jose Pioneer); 2014 – Katie Kibby (Vacaville); 2013 – Alyssa Palomino (Mission Viejo); 2012 – Johanna Grauer (Pleasanton Amador Valley); 2011 – Gabrielle Maurice (Modesto Beyer); 2010 – Nancy Bowling (Simi Valley Royal); 2009 – Ally Carda (Elk Grove Pleasant Grove).
Brynne Nally (Pacifica, Garden Grove)
Sometimes, especially for an honor like this one for state freshmen, one game can make a gigantic difference. For Nally, it was a game she pitched against Esperanza of Anaheim.
If you didn’t follow this past season, Esperanza ended as the No. 1 team in California with a 22-2 record (not counting forfeits). One of those two losses was to Pacifica with its freshman in the circle. Nally scattered six hits but got the shutout of the Aztecs with a 3-0 victory.
There was more than just that one game that helped Nally gain this honor. We can say that two others who were considered were pitcher-hitter Cambria Salmon of Beaumont and slugging catcher Sofia Mujica from Granite Hills of El Cajon.
For the season, Brynne brought the heat as a pitcher with a 16-3 record and 1.03 ERA facing elite, highest level competition. She struck out 107 in 122 innings. She also was in the batting order for most games and contributed a .326 batting average.
Some of Nally’s other top outings included a three-hitter with six strikeouts in a 3-2 win by Pacifica over Los Alamitos, a three-hitter with nine strikeouts in a 3-0 win over Lakewood and a no-hitter with 10 strikeouts in a 3-0 win over Valencia of Placentia.
The last State Freshman of the Year from Orange County was Tera Blanco from Marina of Huntington Beach in 2011. Pacifica has one before, too. That was in 1994 when Toni Mascarenas of the Mariners got the nod.
Recent State Freshmen of the Year: 2020 – No selection (pandemic); 2019 – Ramsey Suarez (Temecula Great Oak); 2018 – Cydney Sanders (San Marcos); 2017 – Nicole May (Pleasanton Foothill); 2016 – Kinzie Hansen (Norco); 2015 – Danielle Williams (Pleasanton Amador Valley); 2014 – Taylon Snow (Chino Hills); 2013 – Zoe Marrott (Moraga Campolindo); 2012 – Amanda Lorenz (Moorpark); 2011 – Tera Blanco (Huntington Beach Marina); 2010 – Ali Aguilar (Orangevale Casa Roble); 2009 – Nancy Bowling (Simi Valley Royal); 2008 – Dani Gilmore (Woodland Hills El Camino Real).
(Whittier Christian, La Habra) Jr.
A standout since her freshman season, Carreon had such an outstanding season in the circle and at the plate that she was both the CIF Southern Section D3 and the Whittier/San Gabriel Valley Player of the Year even though her team lost in the playoffs.
Showing that in some cases one tough loss doesn’t erase everything, Brooklyn makes it a trifecta of honors as she adds the statewide medium schools honor to the other two.
It’s also a factor for medium schools that Brooklyn is a major college prospect, which is shown by her commitment to Utah of the Pac-12 Conference. Plus, she did have some outings in Whittier Christian’s 22-3 season against teams from the CIFSS’s top division.
For the season, the “Brooklynator” (as she is called) was the dominator indeed with an 8-1 record and 0.69 ERA. She struck out 269 batters (among the state reported leaders), including two games in which she struck out 16. As a batter, Carreon carried the day with a .518 batting average to go with four homers and 38 RBI.
Whittier Christian has never had a state softball player of the year (medium or small). The last medium schools winner from Orange County was Natalie Golda from Rosary of Fullerton in 2000 while the last from the San Gabriel Valley was Lindsay Parker of La Canada in 1995.
Recent Medium Schools State Players of the Year: 2020 – No selection (pandemic); 2019 – Lexi Webb (Oakdale); 2018 – Maile Newman (Torrance West); 2017 – Brooke Yanez (Ventura Buena); 2016 – Nicole Bates (Ceres); 2015 – Rachel Garcia (Palmdale Highland); 2014 – Kylee Perez (Martinez Alhambra); 2013 – Rachel Garcia (Palmdale Highland); 2012 – Nisa Ontiveros (Bakersfield Ridgeview); 2011 – Cheyenne Cordes (Fairfield Rodriguez); 2010 – Courtney Ceo (Lake of the Pines Bear River); 2009 – Jenna Rich (El Segundo); 2008 – Erin Arevalo (Manteca East Union).
Annabel Teperson (Marin Catholic, Kentfield) Sr.
This was a close call between Teperson and unbeaten Sutter’s leading player, Riley Wickum, and one indication of how close is Teperson’s reported batting average of .571 compared to Wickum’s at .570.
There were other reasons than that, of course, that tipped the scales for Teperson. Wickum can come back next year to try again because she still has her senior season remaining. This was Teperson’s last shot at it as she’s a senior. Plus, she was the highest rated senior pitcher in Northern California regardless of school size with a scholarship to Cal.
As a prep pitcher over four years, Teperson racked up a 53-8 record with a 1.05 ERA and 569 strikeouts in 386 1/3 innings. This season she went 11-1 with a 0.40 ERA.
Offensively, Annabel batted .425 in her career with 11 homers and 86 RBI. She hit .571 this season with five homers and 30 RBI.
Marin Catholic ended 14-1 in its spring season with no section playoffs (avenging its only loss to Redwood of Larkspur later on) and was No. 2 in the final D4 state rankings behind 24-0 Sutter. The Huskies already grabbed a small school honor last week as Stefanie Danna was coach of the year.
This is Marin Catholic’s first-ever state player of the year honor in softball. The last and only other small schools winner from Marin County was Erin Downey of San Rafael in 2004.
Recent Small Schools State Players of the Year: 2020 – No selection (pandemic); 2019 – Sydney Kuma (Easton Washington); 2018 – Lindsey Walljasper (Manteca Sierra); 2017 – Livy Schiele (La Jolla Bishop’s); 2016 – Kailia Searcy (Lancaster Paraclete); 2015 – Zoe Casas (San Bernardino Aquinas); 2014 – Grayce Majam (Pine Valley Mountain Empire); 2013 – Zoe Casas (San Bernardino Aquinas); 2012 – Cheridan Hawkins (Anderson); 2011 – Elizabeth Caporuscio (Lake Arrowhead Rim of the World); 2010 – Sammy Albanese (Palo Alto Castilleja); 2009 – Jessica Moore (Sutter).