SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s honorees are Nick Forrest from Burroughs of Burbank (left) and Rose Malen from Marin Catholic of Kentfield. Photos: Tom Connolly / For OC Sports Zone & ExtraInningSoftball.com.


As we near the end of the baseball and softball Players of the Week features for the 2022 season, we waited until after Tuesday games this week to complete the selections. That’s not the only reason we are visiting Kentfield and Saratoga for the Northern California stops and in Southern California we head to La Verne and Burbank.

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Note: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate anyone, email markjtennis@gmail.com.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Nick Forrest (Burroughs, Burbank) Jr.

The search for the Southern California Baseball Player of the Week honor this time takes us to the San Fernando Valley and a city known as the “Media Capital of the World” due to the fact so many media and entertainment companies have a presence in Burbank, including the Disney Corporation.

We land around a mile north of Warner Bros. Studios and smack dab between I-5 and Highway 134 at Burroughs where we find a pitcher who helped his school do something it has never done before.

Burroughs had never advanced to a CIF Southern Section championship game in baseball but that changed on Tuesday afternoon this week when Forrest tossed a two-hitter with 12 strikeouts, including the first nine outs of the game, and the Bears were a 2-0 winner over host Tustin.

Second-seeded Burroughs will now play No. 1 seed Moreno Valley on Friday at Cal State-Fullerton for the Southern Section Division 5 championship.

Nick’s stats for the season were not available, but it was widely reported when he had a one-hitter with 14 strikeouts in a win over Burrroughs’ arch-rivals from Burbank High. He also started last year as a sophomore, reportedly carries a 4.0 GPA and as a sophomore he also batted .490.

Brooklyn Shroyer has been a destroyer in the pitching circle this season at Bonita of La Verne. Photo: James Escarcega / SGV Whittier Prep Sports Zone.


Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Brooklyn Shroyer (Bonita, La Verne) Jr.

To locate our Southern California Softball Player of the Week, we head 25 miles due east of Pasadena on the 210 Freeway to the San Gabriel Valley city of La Verne.

At Bonita, we find a junior pitcher who spun three dandies last week in the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs to lead her team into the championship game. With her winning the award, Shroyer now adds a statewide honor to being named one of the San Gabriel Valley Girls Athlete of the Week.

Brooklyn started the week in style by retiring all 21 batters in a perfect game with 12 strikeouts in a 5-0 victory over Kennedy of La Palma. She followed that up by tossing a 1-hitter with 12 strikeouts, a walk and an unearned run in a quarterfinal 2-1 win over Sunny Hills of Fullerton.

Things obviously get tougher the farther you go in the playoffs, and in the semifinals last Saturday, Shroyer gave up seven hits, a walk and an earned run, but the offense had her back in a 4-1 victory over Temescal Canyon of Lake Elsinore that sends top-seeded La Verne into the CIFSS D3 title game on Friday against Tesoro of Las Flores.

Heading into the title game, Brooklyn is 20-2 for the 26-5-1 Bearcats with a 1.00 ERA and 202 strikeouts and only 13 walks in 139.1 innings pitched. Batters are hitting for a paltry .121 batting average against Shroyer.

Of note is Brooklyn isn’t the only Shroyer who stars for the Bearcats, and because of that we know she would want to give a big shout out to her twin sister and the player that catches her, Bryce Shroyer. Not only is twin sis the backstop when Brooklyn is in the circle, Bryce is one of the team’s top hitters. She only had a single in that semifinal game, but in the perfect game she had two hits, including a two-run home run.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Softball Player of the Week

Rose Malen (Marin Catholic, Kentfield) Sr.

The Redwood Empire portion of the CIF North Coast Section around 10-miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard and in the shadows of majestic Mt. Tamalpais in Kentfield is where we land in search of our NorCal softball honoree.

At Marin Catholic we find a right-handed Chapman College-bound pitcher who is also a pretty solid hitter as well.

Malen has been mowing down batters all season, but recently she has been lights out from the circle, and the last three games are a perfect example.

Malen started last week by pitching a three-hitter with two walks, no earned runs and 14 strikeouts in a Marin County Athletic League playoff semifinal 9-inning 2-1 victory over a San Rafael team that had a win over a Larkspur Redwood team that had two previous wins against Marin.

That meant the Wildcats would face Redwood in the MCAL title game. This game took 10 innings but Malen’s pitching avoided the sweep and gave Marin Catholic the playoff title after Rose tossed a 1-hitter with two walks and 17 strikeouts in a 1-0 Wildcats victory.

The Player of the Week award is for last week’s performances but Malen continued her dominance in the opening round of the CIFNCS Division 2 playoffs in a 3-1 victory on Tuesday over Moreau Catholic of Hayward. Malen gave up an earned run on a 2-hitter but struck out 12 and walked none in a 3-1 victory.

With the victory, Marin Catholic will now meet Redwood for a fourth time on Friday in the NCS D2 quarterfinals. It will also be the fourth time Malen squares off with previous Northern California Softball Player of the Week Sadie Leonard. She was honored in late March. Rose brings a 15-3 record heading into that matchup with a 0.43 ERA on only eight earned runs with 246 strikeouts and a mere eight walks and only 42 hits in 129 innings pitched.

The 246 strikeouts are top 15 in the state and No. 3 in the NCS behind Leonard’s 293 batters fanned. Malen is now also only one strikeout away from tying the school record set last season by current Cal freshman Annabel Teperson. She also has a chance to break the school 0.53 ERA record also set last season by Teperson.

Rose doesn’t even hit on her very successful travel ball team but for the Wildcats Malen is one of the team’s better hitters. She carries a .365 average and her 22 RBI is tied for the team lead.

Two no-hitters in the last two weeks should make junior Lucas Dennis of Saratoga a pitcher to watch next season in Northern California. Photo: Twitter.com.


Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Lucas Dennis (Saratoga) Jr.

For our Northern California Baseball Player of the Week honoree, we head to the western part of the Santa Clara Valley or better known as Silicon Valley and around 15 miles from downtown San Jose to find him. At Saratoga, we find a right-handed pitcher who is also is a pretty decent hitter who recently has been instrumental in the Falcons’ drive toward the CIF Central Coast Section playoffs.

Last week, Dennis was certainly a menace for visiting Fremont of Sunnyvale after he tossed a complete game no-hitter with nine strikeouts (five walks) in an 8-0 victory that closed out the regular season for Saratoga with a 13-14 record overall and 9-6 in the El Camino Division of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League. Lucas also helped himself at the plate after going 2-for-4 with a run scored.

In his previous start two weeks ago against San Jose Lynbrook, Dennis had the first of two consecutive complete game no-hitters in a 4-0 victory in which he struck out four and walked two. In that game, he also had a two-run triple that drove in the only runs he needed in the win.

Dennis now completes the regular season 5-3 with a 1.32 ERA and 68 strikeouts and 25 walks, and only 10 earned runs in 53 innings pitched. As a batter, Lucas is hitting .338 with three triples, five doubles, 12 RBI and 12 runs scored.

Saratoga’s CCS playoff seeding unfortunately wasn’t available on Wednesday afternoon to add to Lucas’ writeup.

Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at marketingharoldabend@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend


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