SoCal/NorCal Players of the Week

Two of this week’s honorees are Savannah Vanderpool from Sultana of Hesperia and Carson Gonzales of Turlock. Photos: Jose Huerta / Victor Valley Daily Press & Courtesy Modesto Bee.

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. Many of the basketball players still going are going to eventually receive all-state recognition. We don’t have any state record book entries this week but certainly have some honorees who are now getting more than just local recognition. With some teams in Southern California playing double-digit numbers of games and some in Northern California playing as few as one game, we still got the job done. Our stops are in Goleta and Hesperia in SoCal and our NorCal stops are in Turlock and Petaluma.

We hope you enjoy this free story on Cal-Hi For our state rankings packages in baseball and softball after the first free week 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.

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

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Savannah Vanderpool (Sultana, Hesperia) Jr.

To find the Southern California Softball Player of the Week, we head to the high desert around 35 miles north of San Bernardino and couple of miles east of the I-15 in Hesperia, and it’s at Sultana where we find this week’s honoree.

What we do know is Vanderpool is a junior right-handed pitcher who was the Mojave River League Pitcher of the Year last year after helping get the Sultans a second-place finish in league with 158 strikeouts.

What we don’t know if Savannah is 16 years old, or approaching or past the Sweet 16 milestone, but another thing we do know is Vanderpool was sweet 16 last week in the circle twice.

It started with a 9-0 shutout of visiting Fontana Kaiser where Vanderpool had, you guessed it, even though it was on leap year day, 16 strikeouts to go with a 2-hitter and no walks. Savannah even stroked a single with bat in hand.

Two days later in a 5-0 blanking of host Norwalk, she fanned, hint…hint, 16 again in another 2-hitter. This time Vanderpool did walk four but more than made up for that by driving in two runs from the batter’s box.

Two weeks ago on the road at Glenn of Norwalk, and in a 6-1 victory, Savannah tossed a no-hitter with 20 strikeouts and four walks.

So far this season for 7-2 Sultana and heading into a Tuesday afternoon match-up with visiting nearby Silverado, Vanderpool was reported at 7-1 with a 0.91 ERA with 90 strikeouts and 25 walks in 46 innings pitched. A game that the Sultans won on Saturday was not reported yet. At this pace, Savannah is well on her way to besting the 158 strikeouts of her sophomore season.

Jesse Di Maggio also has been named player of the week by the Santa Barbara Athletic Roundtable and will be honored at a luncheon next week. Photo:

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Jesse Di Maggio (Dos Pueblos, Goleta) Sr.

The search for the first Southern California Baseball Player of the Week this season takes us to the Gold Coast north of Santa Barbara and not far from the UC Santa Barbara Isla Vista campus in Goleta, and it’s at Dos Pueblos where we find our award winner.

Di Maggio has a long, long ways to go to be even mentioned in the same breath as the “Yankee Clipper” whose last name Jesse bears, the legendary Joe DiMaggio, but the way the high school Di has started the season he’s got opponents to take notice.

Despite only hitting one home run as a junior last year when he batted .402, Di surpassed that mark in his third game this season when he hit round-tripper number two in a 5-2 win over Oaks Christian of Westlake Village.

Last week, and the exploits of Jesse in the two games the Chargers won that earned him this statewide honor, he showed his power. In a 5-0 blanking of St. Bonaventure of Ventura, Di provided all the offense needed with a solo home run. He also walked twice and scored a run.

The next day, in a Channel League opener with Pacifica of Oxnard, Di had the big bat again in a 9-1 victory. This time Jesse was 3-for-3 with a grand slam, a walk, four RBI and three runs scored.

Two days later in the home and away rematch Pacifica downed Dos Pueblos 2-1 in Oxnard but no stats have been reported.

Even so, in the two games combined Di was 4-for-4 with two walks, five RBI and four runs scored.

So far this season for a 4-4 Chargers’ team that’s played some tough competition, (and with a loss not reported) Di Maggio was hitting for a .450 average on nine hits with four home runs in seven games, four walks and a hit-by-pitch, a double, eight RBI, and nine runs scored.

Jesse also gets it done in the classroom with a 4.57 GPA.

Cal-Hi Sports Northern California
Baseball Player of the Week

Carson Gonzales (Turlock) Sr.

We venture to the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section and end up just about halfway between Modesto and Merced, and it’s around two miles east of Highway 99 and just east of downtown Turlock at Turlock High where we find this week’s Northern California Baseball Player of the Week.

Turlock has only played three games so far this season, but has won them all and Gonzales has a hand in all three wins. One of the games was two weeks ago but in this first week of baseball and softball awards we generally look all the way back to the beginning of the season.

In a season opening 8-6 win on the road at Atwater, Gonzales was 1-for-1 with two walks and he drove in two runs. He pitched in that game and went four innings with 10 strikeouts, one hit and two walks, and he didn’t give up any of the runs.

In an 8-inning 5-4 victory over visiting El Capitan of Merced, Carson had a 2-run triple and a stolen base.

The next day, and in a 7-0 victory versus host Buhach Colony of Atwater, Gonzales was 2-for-3 with an RBI double. He pitched in this game again and went five innings without a hit. He did walk three but had 11 strikeouts.

It’s only two appearances on the mound but the 5-foot-11, 185-pound senior hurler had 21 strikeouts and only one hit with five walks in nine innings pitched. With bat in hand, he was hitting .571 with a triple, double and five RBI in the three games.

Lila Partridge helped Casa Grande to a 25-5 record in softball last season. Photo: Casa Grande HS /

Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week

Lila Partridge
(Casa Grande, Petaluma) Jr.

Do you know the way to Petaluma? We do, and to find the Northern California Softball Player of the West all we had to do was head across town from this writer’s home and over Highway 101 to the east side of Petaluma to locate this week’s honoree.

The defending CIF North Coast Section Division II champions have only played two games, but the Santa Rosa Press Democrat Pitcher of the Year from 2023 has made her presence known both in the circle and in the batter’s box.

The first game last week was an ouch. In a season-opening mercy-shortened 22-1 victory over visiting Justin-Siena of Napa, Lila went 5-for-5 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored. She only went two innings in the circle but struck out four and gave up one hit and a walk.

The next day against visiting Cardinal Newman, and in a game that went six innings before it was a mercy-ruled 11-1 victory over Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa, Partridge was certainly not perched in a pear tree but was doing her thing in the circle and with bat in hand.

She pitched five innings and she did give up a run, five hits and three walks, but she fanned 10 batters. As a batter, was Lila was perfect again after going 4-for-4 with a double, three RBI and a run scored.

The nine consecutive hits is a ways from the 16 it takes to make the Most Consecutive Hits (Official At-Bats) list in the Cal-Hi Sports Online Record Book, but who knows.

On a side note it’s been a while since a Redwood Empire team has been invited to the prestigious Livermore Stampede, the top high school softball tournament in Northern California, but this year’s edition of the Gauchos has been invited, and we’re anxious to see how Casa Grande measures up to some of NorCal’s top programs.

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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