Sacramento area high school softball teams display power at plate

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 5:04 AM

The Sheldon Huskies are led by Sarah Fukushima, a slugger who bats in the No. three spot but delivers love a clean-up hitter. The senior outfielder has five residence runs, six doubles and sixteen RBIs to go with her gaudy .593 batting average.

Sacramento area high school softball teams display power at plate

There’s nothing love an emphatic display of power to fire up softball emotions.

The Sheldon Huskies are led by Sarah Fukushima, a slugger who bats in the No. three spot but delivers love a clean-up hitter. The senior outfielder has five residence runs, six doubles and sixteen RBIs to go with her gaudy .593 batting average. She leads the Sac-Joaquin Portion with a one.444 slugging percentage.

And she’s keep up those numbers despite one of the area’s most daunting schedules for the defending Div I champions.

“What’s kind about Sarah,” Sheldon softball coach Mary Jo Truesdale said, “is she’s so unselfish. She can keep down a bunt with the best of them, and she'd get that bunt sign without a flinch, do her work and walk back to the dugout knowing she did her job.”

But that power swing?

“Oh, absolutely, that’s so fun to watch,” Truesdale said. “When Sarah hits one out, it goes. And she hustles around the bases. Doesn’t create a large deal out of it, doesn’t indicate off. But she’s smiling, and I’m smiling.”

Other area softball players are putting up large numbers, too.

Placer’s Kaitlyn Rubio has five residence runs and is hitting .419, and Casa Roble’s Bailynn Meek has four homers, fifteen RBIs and is hitting .438. Meek also has struck out eighteen batters in two hundred seventy-first/three innings as a pitcher.

Amanda Metzger of Oakmont, Reyna Cota of River City, Olivia Moore of Del Oro, Gabriella Jimenez of McClatchy, Madison Anderson of Ponderosa, Taylor Quijada of El Dorado and Naomi Kubo of W Campus each have three homers to lead their teams.

– In softball, a dominating pitcher is key.

The top pitchers in the area comprise Rocklin’s Carli Cutler (9-1), Woodcreek’s Jacy Boles (9-1, 0.seventieth ERA), Marysville’s Cassidy Clavelle (10-2, two no-hitters), Rio Linda’s Brianna Leavell (7-0, two no-hitters), Del Campo’s Brooke Larsen (6-1), Bear River’s Nerissa Eason (0.32 ERA) and Whitney’s Maddie Mitchell (0.80 ERA).

Unlike baseball, softball pitchers have a natural motion, so their arms generally don’t wear out. They seemingly can toss by the hour, remaining sharp as they reach the late innings.

Breanna Swint of Lindhurst has struck out one hundred thirty-one batters in nine hundred sixty-second/three innings over fifteen games. Karissa Mejia of Foothill has one hundred twenty-seven strikeouts in 70 innings, and Amaryssa Medina of River City has struck out one hundred three in seventy-first innings.

– Sheldon’s Truesdale has a ordinary motto, shared by many area coaches, when it comes to scheduling during the nonleague season: Test yourself.

“Tough scheduling keeps you sharp,” said Truesdale, whose team has wins over ranked teams in Cosumnes Oaks, Del Oro and Franklin and losses against Del Campo, The Bee’s No. 1 team, in additional innings and Amador Valley (Pleasanton), the state’s top-ranked team. Sheldon also is playing in the Livermore Stampede on Thursday through Saturday.

“Tough scheduling gets you prepared for the playoffs because you’ve got to play tough teams if you’re going to be a tough team,” Truesdale said.

– The section’s toughest and deepest leagues comprise the Delta (Sheldon 8-2; Pleasant Grove 2-2; Elk Grove 3-6 despite a brutal schedule), Capital Valley (Del Campo 6-1; Cosumnes Oaks 5-4; Roseville 7-5-1) and Sierra Foothill (Rocklin 11-1; Del Oro 6-4-1).

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