SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

One of this week’s honorees, Katlyn Gifford of Riverside Ramona, has gained an entry into the all-time state records by hitting four home runs in a game. Photo: Ramona softball /

With basketball season coming to an end this weekend, our tradition over the years is to make the switch this week from the hard court to the diamond and begin our Southern and Northern California Players of the Week honors for baseball & softball. We remind readers that the purpose of the feature is not only to uncover some hidden talent that doesn’t always get props, but also to track records for the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book and this week we have an entry. Our stops are in Mission Hills and Riverside in the south and in the north it’s San Francisco and Modesto.

We hope you enjoy this free story on Cal-Hi For our state rankings packages in baseball & softball plus State Stat Stars of the Week, state record updates and special features, please check out our Gold Club membership today. If you’re not a member, CLICK HERE.

Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. We also remind readers that for all of our Player of the Week features in all sports, girls and boys, we use it to uncover hidden talent that doesn’t always make the limelight, and for tracking entries into the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book. To nominate anyone, email

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Katlyn Gifford (Ramona, Riverside) Jr.

We head to the Inland Empire and the city of Riverside to honor our Southern California Softball Player of the Week. At Ramona, we find a slugging senior first base girl who gives us our record book entry, and it’s a big one.

In the history of Major League Baseball, 17 players have hit four home runs in a game, including Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Lou Gehrig.

According to the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book, prior to last week, just six girls had hit four home runs in a game in the history of softball in California.

Now, after Gifford blasted four long taters last Thursday in a 21-9 victory over crosstown Norte Vista, Katlyn has joined them and etches her name on the Most Home Runs (Game) list in the record book with a tie for the state record. It was actually tied just last spring by Brooke Riggins from Mt. Whitney of Visalia, but hadn’t been tied before that in 20 years. Katlyn also is the fifth to do it in CIF Southern Section history.

For the game, Gifford was 4-for-5 with nine RBI and five runs scored since she also scored when she reached on an error. Earlier in the week, she went 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and two runs scored in a 9-4 victory over Patriot of neighboring Jurupa Valley. Already this week, Katlyn hit her eighth home of the season and finished 2-for-2 with four RBI and a run scored. That’s six home runs and 15 RBI in three consecutive games

So far in a 10-3 start for the Rams, besides the eight home runs, Gifford was hitting .595 with 35 RBI, two triples, three doubles and 21 runs scored.

The eight home runs is the No. 2 reported mark in the state and the CIF Southern Section, and the 35 RBI leads the CIFSS and the state by five knocked in. Gifford, who has signed with Humboldt State, also makes the top 10 in the state in runs as 21 are tied for sixth.

Peter Michael from Chaminade of West Hills signs his letter of intent with the University of San Diego. Photo: Chaminade athletics /

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Peter Michael (Chaminade, Mission Hills) Sr.

For our Southern California Baseball Player of the Week honor, we head to the San Fernando Valley and land in Mission Hills.

At Chaminade we find Michael, and while the Eagles have been struggling with a 3-5 record after a loss on Tuesday, the 6-foot-3 University of San Diego-bound right-handed pitcher has given fans some bright spots.

Last week was a prime example after Michael, who tops out at 90 miles-per-hour on his fastball and hits 78 on his slider and 76 on his curve, fanned 17 batters, and the only thing that kept him from pitching a perfect game in a 1-0 victory over St. Francis of La Canada was a walk since he pitched a no-hitter.

In three appearances this season, Michael has 25 strikeouts in 16 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting a paltry 1.77 against him.

Michael also enjoyed a surge in his recruitment over the last summer. He has signed a letter of intent with the University of San Diego

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Colin Spear (Sacred Heart Cathedral, San Francisco) Sr.

To find our Northern California Baseball Player of the Week, we head to San Francisco and land just west of the downtown and financial district. At Sacred Heart Cathedral, we find a 6-foot-2 senior first baseman who’s been a big part of the reason the Fighting Irish are 4-0-1 to start this season.

With things just getting started for baseball in Northern California, we looked at the first four games for Spear when we selected him prior to a Tuesday game with Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton. In those four games, Colin was 7-for-11 with five doubles and eight RBI.

Naturally, Spear kept things going in a 14-0 rout of Sacred Heart Prep. In a mercy-shortened contest, he was 2-for-2 with another double, two RBI and a run scored.

So far this season (after Tuesday) Colin was 9-for-13 and that translates to a whopping .692 batting average. He had six doubles, eight RBI and four runs scored. His slugging percentage is off the charts at 1.153 and his OPS of 1.919 is astronomical as well.

For his four-year varsity career, the Nevada-signed Spear has a .419 batting average.

Randi Roelling pitches for Central Catholic during a game from last spring. Photo: Andrew Alfaro / Modesto Bee.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Softball Player of the Week

Randi Roelling (Central Catholic, Modesto) Jr.

The search for the Northern California Softball Player of the Week takes us to Modesto and a school that’s made its athletic mark mostly in football.

At Central Catholic, we find a pitcher named Roelling, and when she’s in the circle the Raiders are usually rolling to victory.

Roelling, a left-handed junior, also pitches for the prestigious Orange County Batbusters and is committed to Cal.

Last week, Randi was her usual dandy self. She started off with a no-hitter that included 12 strikeouts in four innings of a 10-0 victory over Sonora. Two walks prevented her from pitching a perfect game.

Two days later, Roelling rolled to a no-hitter when she fanned 16 in a 3-0 victory over crosstown Modesto. On Saturday, and in the first of two games, Randi only pitched an inning of a 3-3 tie with Merced Golden Valley, but she struck out all three batters she faced and hit her only home run of the season. In the second game, she tossed a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts in a 3-0 victory over a Lincoln (Stockton) team that has a win over state-ranked Sheldon of Sacramento.

On Tuesday of this week, Randi gave up two hits and a walk in a 7-0 victory over Lodi, but all the outs in the seven inning game were recorded by strikeouts after Roelling fanned 21 batters.

In the only game the 6-1-1 Raiders have lost, Roelling had 18 strikeouts but Central Catholic couldn’t give her any offensive support in a 1-0 loss to Escalon. It’s the only earned run she’s given up so far this season

For the season, and after the Tuesday win, Roelling was 4-1 with a 0.18 ERA. Opposing batters were hitting a measly .068 against her and Randi had a whopping 98 strikeouts in 40 innings pitched. Do the math and that’s an average of 2.45 strikeouts an inning.

What’s even more amazing is that Randi has the fourth highest reported strikeout mark in the state, and the player ahead of her with 99 fanned has pitched 18.2 more innings. The state leader with 111 has pitched 20.1 more innings.

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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