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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | The Los Angeles Times
1998 All-County Softball Team

Player Of The Year

She Raised the Mendoza Line

June 18, 1998|PAIGE A. LEECH

CAMARILLO — Jessica Mendoza of Camarillo High has grown accustomed to playing in pain in the last two years.

After suffering a season-ending knee injury playing catcher last year, Mendoza moved to shortstop and hurt her shoulder midway through this season.

But Mendoza, a competitive four-year varsity starter and The Times' Ventura County player of the year, refused to take herself out of the lineup.

Mendoza continued to bat leadoff, missing only two games defensively, and finished with a .477 batting average and 42 hits against mostly Southern Section Division I competition.

Mendoza, who passed on a scholarship offer from NCAA runner-up Arizona to accept one from up-and-coming Stanford, is as talented as she is bright.

She possesses excellent speed and packs a punch as a left-handed hitter. She led Camarillo with a .659 slugging percentage.

Her defensive skills are beyond reproach. In 86 chances, Mendoza made only two errors--both while playing injured--and was selected Marmonte League co-defensive player of the year with Thousand Oaks shortstop Kristin Combe.

Mendoza, who played for three coaches in four years at Camarillo, has played every position but pitcher in her high school career.

She improved her batting average every season, finishing with a .383 career average and scoring 68 runs.

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