SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of our first four NorCal/SoCal Players of the Week in softball & baseball this spring are Madison Finnerty (left) of Moorpark and Andrew Parker from Foothill of Tustin. Photos: @MoorparkHigh_SB / Twitter &

Despite the fact it’s the most important week in high school basketball in California, we have traditionally switched from the hardwood to the baseball and softball fields this week since the available players to choose becomes so few. We also more importantly want to start looking for some players in baseball and softball who we want to shine the light on for some statewide attention. Our stops are in Kentfield and Tulare in Northern California and in Southern California we visit Santa Ana and Moorpark.

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Notes: For these honors, we consider CIF Central Section players for Northern California. To nominate anyone, email

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Andrew Parker (Foothill, Santa Ana) Sr.

To find our Southern California Baseball Player of the Week honoree, we head to the heart of Orange County and land in Santa Ana. It’s at Foothill High that we find Parker, a pitcher and occasional shortstop who the Knights’ faithful wish could take the mound every game.

Since this is the first week of honoring baseball and softball players, we took into account the overall body of work for Parker so far and that included a season-opening 2-0 shutout of nationally-ranked Harvard-Westlake of Studio City in which he tossed a three-hitter with no walks and four strikeouts. Last week he went five innings of an 8-3 win over Anaheim Esperanza and gave up one hit, no walks, and struck out five.

On the surface, and so far this season, Andrew doesn’t appear to be an overpowering pitcher, but the 5-foot-11, 175-pound right-hander makes the kind of smart pitches that gets batters to make outs, and that’s what counts.

So far this season for the 4-3 Knights, who have played one of the toughest schedules in the state, Parker is 1-0 with a save in four appearances, he has a 0.00 ERA and he has fanned 15 in 19.1 innings pitched, and he’s only walked one of the 78 batters he’s faced.

Cal-State Northridge is where Parker committed to last summer. It sure looks like the Matadors are getting an impressive player.

Carl Schmidt of Marin Catholic has participated and has done well in many showcase events over the past two summers. Photo: Prep Baseball Report.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Carl Schmidt (Marin Catholic, Kentfield) Sr.

For our Northern California Baseball Player of the Week stop, we head to the Redwood Empire portion of the CIF North Coast Section and land around 10-miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Kentfield, where the baseball field at Marin Catholic has a view of majestic Mt. Tamalpais over the right field fence.

At Marin Catholic, we find Schmidt, a shortstop and pitcher who is off to a fast start for a Wildcats’ team that was 5-0 to begin the season. The team was showing a game on its schedule for early this week vs Branson.

Last week in an away and home series with Novato was a perfect example. On the road and in a 16-10 slugfest victory, Schmidt was 2-for-2 with a double and four bases on balls, two stolen bases and three runs scored.

Three days later at home in a 12-4 victory, Schmidt was 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, a stolen base, four RBI and a run scored. Carl also pitched four innings and gave up two hits and two walks with a strikeout.

So far this season, the Texas A&M-committed Schmidt was batting .692 with two triples, three doubles, nine walks, six RBI, nine runs scored, three stolen bases, and he’d only struck out twice in 22 plate appearances. Carl also has an .818 on-base percentage, and an astronomical 1.230 slugging percentage and 2.049 OPS percentage.

On the mound, he began this week at 0-0 with two saves in three appearances and six innings pitched, with a 0.00 ERA with four strikeouts and four walks, and he’d only given up three hits with none for extra bases.

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Madison Finnerty (Moorpark) Jr.

The eastern portion of Ventura County is where we go to honor this week’s Southern California Softball Player of the Week, and it’s at Moorpark High not far from where Highways 23 and 118 intersect that we find our honoree.

Moorpark was only on the bubble of Cal-Hi Sports preseason softball rankings, but is going to change this week (new rankings out on Wednesday) after the Musketeers were off to a 7-0 start and Finnerty has played a big role in the early season success.

Last week, in a 7-0 win over nearby Oak Park, Finnerty was anything but finicky after the junior hurler and slugger not only pitched a shutout, but also went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, two RBI and three runs scored.

So far this season, and heading into a Tuesday game with neighboring Simi Valley, Finnerty was 4-0 in five appearances in the circle with a 1.70 ERA, and she had 32 strikeouts with only 17 hits and nine walks in 24.2 innings pitched.

With bat in hand, Madison was hitting for a whopping .632 batting average with a triple, two doubles, five RBI and eight runs scored. Finnerty had only drawn one base on balls, but she had zero strikeouts in 22 plate appearances.

Tulare’s Maris Pinheiro was obviously very happy when she announced where she would be attending college. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Softball Player of the Week

Maris Pinheiro (Tulare Union, Tulare) Sr.

The search for the Northern California Softball Player of the Week award winner takes us to “The Valley” as the locals like to call the CIF Central Section, and whenever we visit The Valley we like to remind readers that for all our Player of the Week features in all sports, girls and boys, the Central Section is considered Northern California.

Our destination is just south of Visalia in Tulare, and not far from where Highways 99 and 137 intersect.

It’s at Tulare Union where we find Pinheiro, a member of The Tribe and a left-handed slap-hitter, catcher and outfielder who has the same first name as the last name of one of the greatest baseball sluggers of all time, Roger Maris.

The Tribe lost its first game, a 7-6 heartbreaker to Porterville Monache, but last week they won their next four in a tournament in The Valley where Pinheiro did some hitting in the final three games.

In a 14-0 whitewash of Sanger West of Fresno on Thursday, Pinheiro was 2-for-3 with two runs scored. In the first game on Saturday, a 6-0 blanking of Le Grand, Maris was 3-for-3 with a double, a base on balls, four stolen bases, an RBI and two runs scored. In the second game on Saturday, and for the championship, Pinheiro was 2-for-2 with a walk, two stolen bases and a run scored. Tulare won in that game 3-1 over Sierra Pacific of Hanford.

So far this season Maris, who is committed to Willamette University in Oregon, was hitting .692 before any games this week. She also had eight stolen bases and a 1.000 fielding percentage. For her four-year varsity career Pinheiro has a .406 batting average, she’s stolen 52 bases in 64 games played, and she’d only made five errors in 152 total chances for a .967 fielding percentage.

We’re sure Maris would like to give a shout out to her The Tribe pitching staff, seniors Hailee Watson and Taylor Hastin, and junior Mason Hatton. For the four tournament games last week the trio gave up a combined four hits and one run.

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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