YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

The Los Angeles Times 1997 ALL-VENTURA Softball Team

Sharron: Deceiving Dominator


THOUSAND OAKS — To look at Jennifer Sharron of Thousand Oaks High, one is not easily intimidated by her appearance.

The slender 5-foot-8 strawberry blonde is not built like a power pitcher and appears fun-loving enough to make the opponent think she's a pushover.

But make no mistake.

Inside the pitching circle, 40 feet from the plate, Sharron is downright dominating. And if you don't believe it, step into the batter's box and get a closer look.

"She is very, very competitive. Hates to lose.... sometimes to her detriment," Thousand Oaks softball Coach Gary Walin said.

"She doesn't want to give in. She wants to challenge you all the time."

Sharron, The Times' Ventura County pitcher of the year, challenged all-comers this season and rarely lost the battle.

The left-hander whose riseball was as devastating to hitters as was her wicked screwball and deceiving outside curve, allowed an average of just 2 1/2 hits a game.

She struck out 287 in 182 innings, leading the pitching-rich Marmonte League in strikeouts for the second consecutive year. Most impressive was her 16-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Sharron also added another facet to her game, stepping into the batter's box with more regularity this season. She batted .387 with 11 runs batted in.

On her arm, Thousand Oaks became The Times' top-ranked team in the region, won the league title, advanced to the Southern Section Division I semifinals and finished 26-4.

Sharron (22-4), who signed a letter of intent with Notre Dame after recruiting trips to California and Iowa, finished her three-year varsity career with a 52-16 record and a 0.42 earned-run average.

In 517 1/3 innings, she struck out 707 and walked 64.

This season, Sharron had a 0.35 ERA and became a 20-game winner for the second consecutive year.

Despite her dominating pitching performances, Sharron, the Marmonte League's player of the year, is quick to credit those who played behind her.

"I have such great respect for everyone on this team," Sharron said. "I wanted to win and I wanted to win with these girls."

This year, Sharron got what she wanted.

Los Angeles Times Articles