Top sports moments: Maxwell softball wins 4th title in five years
The Maxwell High softball team finished its most impressive season in recent memory with a dominant 14-0 victory against Hayfork in the Northern Section Division VI championship game on May 19 in Maxwell.
For the third consecutive season, and for the fourth time in five years, the Panthers won the section title but never before were they as dominant.
The Panthers went 21-1 and outscored opponents 243-46. Their only loss came at the hands of Lindhurst High (18-9-1), which plays in Sac-Joaquin Section Division V.
Aggressive offense, solid defense and an ace pitcher combined to create a juggernaut that won 14 games by 10 runs or more.
Junior pitcher Allison Costa was named Five-Star League Most Valuable Player. She struck out 130 batters in 115 innings pitched and tossed five shutouts.
With just two seniors on the roster - first baseman Alexz Miller and catcher Andi Robledo - the Panthers starting lineup consisted of three juniors and four sophomores.
For Miller, the scoring machine who sported a .583 batting average and scored 40 runs, the season had a special meaning. It was her final chance to play in the blue and gold for her father, Five-Star League Coach of the Year Shawn Miller.
"We came out on this field at our first practice and all made the decision that we would be here, at this championship game, and we are. And we won. As a senior, and also to play with my dad, with this team...it means so much to me," Miller said.
Robledo led the team with 36 stolen bases and frustrated corner infielders with her .562 batting average, all while playing excellent defense at catcher.
Costa, Miller and Robledo earned All-League honors along with Ashley Azevedo, Jessie Otterson and Shelen Boyes. Azevedo tied with Jenna Powell for the team lead in RBIs with 33, Otterson led the team with a .591 batting average and Boyes hit .544 with 34 runs scored and 18 stolen bases.