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THE TIMES ORANGE COUNTY PLAYERS OF THE YEAR

The Times 1998 All-county Softball Team

June 09, 1998

PITCHER: Tia Bollinger, Mater Dei So.

Bollinger is on the first team for the second time. A right-hander with excellent control, she established herself as one of the county's four top pitchers. She also performed well in big games, pitching in Mater Dei's Division I championship victory over Chino Hills Ayala. She gave up four hits and struck out 10. She had three no-hitters.

1998 pitching record

*--*

IP W-L SO BB ERA 122 17-1 136 7 0.23

*--*

PITCHER: Amanda Freed, Pacifica Sr.

A two-time player of the year and four-time first team selection, UCLA-bound Freed pitched three consecutive no-hitters in the playoffs before beating Glendora St. Lucy's for the second consecutive year in the finals. She had 10 no-hitters and finished her career with 25. Her batting was also critical, as she hit .400, scored 19 runs and drove in 26.

1998 pitching record

*--*

IP W-L SO BB ERA 127 1/3 17-2 254 18 0.33

*--*

PITCHER: Christy Robitaille, Woodbridge Sr.

No county pitcher won more games than Robitaille (86-16), who ended her career with three more victories than Kennedy's Cheryl Longeway. Robitaille, like Longeway, will play at Cal State Fullerton. A two-time all-county first-team selection, Robitaille pitched Woodbridge into the semifinals after winning twice in three consecutive visits.

1998 pitching record

*--*

IP W-L SO BB ERA 178 1/3 20-4 223 35 0.24

*--*

PITCHER: Marissa Young, Mater Dei Jr.

Young, the player of the year in 1996, made last year's team as the designated hitter. Her return as a pitcher came while helping the top-ranked Monarchs win the Southern Section Division I title with playoff victories over Los Alamitos and fourth-seeded Camarillo. She gave up only three runs, and didn't give up an earned run until her 98th inning.

1998 pitching record

*--*

IP W-L SO BB ERA 99 13-2 144 22 0.07

*--*

CATCHER: Jenny Topping, La Habra Sr.

Topping, training with the U.S. national team, will play at Washington. A third-timer on the first team, she is among the county's most feared power hitters. Her .559 average led the county's large schools for the third consecutive year; she batted .539 over four years. Though left-handed, she was the county's best defensive catcher.

1998 batting record

*--*

AB H HR RBI BA 68 38 2 22 .559

*--*

FIRST BASEMAN: Monica Lucatero, Mater Dei Sr.

Lucatero, replaced Woodbridge's Ashley Boone as the county's dominant first baseman, and upheld that reputation. Lucatero, a clutch performer who helped Mater Dei reach the No. 1 ranking in Orange County and win the section title, batted cleanup, scored 22 runs and drove in 22 runs. She will attend Cal State Fullerton next fall.

1998 batting record

*--*

AB H HR RBI BA 86 26 5 22 .302

*--*

INFIELDER: Kelsey Kollen, Mater Dei Sr.

Kollen, a second-teamer as a freshman and junior, is on the first team for a second time. The Southern Section's all-time hit leader (241), she will attend Michigan this fall. A sure-handed second baseman who has great bat control, Kollen used her speed and quickness to bat .509 with 26 stolen bases and 31 runs.

1998 batting record

*--*

AB H HR RBI BA 114 58 0 9 .509

*--*

INFIELDER: Kristen Morley, Santa Margarita Sr.

One of the county's most athletic performers, Morley played shortstop with aplomb and verve, and had a .966 fielding average. The spark atop the Eagles' lineup, she stole 25 bases and scored 22 runs. Her performance kept the Eagles (16-10) in the county's top 10 (ranked ninth) throughout the season. She will attend California.

1998 batting record

*--*

AB H HR RBI BA 74 35 0 7 .473

*--*

INFIELDER: Natasha Watley, Woodbridge Jr.

One of the smoothest-fielding shortstops in the section, Watley was just as impressive at the plate. She possessed great speed, which helped her steal 24 bases, and combined with her bat-handling made her one of the county's most dangerous leadoff hitters. She batted .464 and was among the top five county leaders with 38 runs.

1998 batting record

*--*

AB H HR RBI BA 121 57 0 11 .471

*--*

OUTFIELDER: Brett Nakabayashi, Irvine Sr.

Nakabayashi is a junior left-handed slap hitter who excelled from the No. 2 spot in the lineup (and No. 1 for the playoffs). She had a very good on-base average of .495, stole 14 bases, scored 29 runs. A good right fielder with exceptional speed and quickness, Nakabayashi has a good arm and has contributed four assists.

1998 batting record

*--*

AB H HR RBI BA 100 37 1 7 .370

*--*

OUTFIELDER: Geney Orris, Brea Olinda Sr.

Orris, a second-team selection last year, played outfield when she wasn't pitching Brea's big games. But no matter where she was in the field, Nevada Las Vegas-bound Orris hit a ton, driving in a county-high 41 runs and setting a section record with 30 career home runs. She also scored 26 runs. In the circle, she was 12-3 with a 0.57 ERA.

1998 batting record

*--*

AB H HR RBI BA 75 39 6 41 .520

*--*

OUTFIELDER: Lisa Watanabe, Woodbridge Sr.

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