PHOTO GALLERY: Mount Shasta wins softball title with 13-1 record

Steve Gerace
Makenzie Hanna takes a throw at third base as a Bulldog runner dives toward the bag during a Shasta Cascade League doubleheader against Fall River April 28 at Shastice Park in Mount Shasta.

The reasons for Mount Shasta High School’s rise to the top of the Shasta Cascade League softball standings are many, including a dominating freshman pitcher and an offense that improved its home run production from none a year ago to 11 in 2009.

Little things helped too, as the Bears put the finishing touches on a 13-1 SCL?championship season with a sweep on Friday at Tulelake.

Kayla Spini was dominating, pitching two one-hitters as the Bears swept the Honkers, 10-0 and 12-1. She struck out 13 batters in each game.

Spini hit a home run in the first game and sophomore catcher Tori Weatherford went yard in game two, a blow that was “absolutely crushed and cleared the fence by 40 to 50 feet,”?according to head coach Greg Eastman.

Other than a scheduled scrimmage with Etna this Thursday, the Bears are in a holding pattern, waiting for the May 9 seeding committee meeting that will determine who and where they play in the first round of the Northern Section Division IV playoffs. First round games are scheduled for next Tuesday.

Times and places will be posted at when they become available.

Eastman said this is the first Mount Shasta softball title since the late 1990s and the Bears’ 24-6 overall record is the most games they’ve won.

“We have 13 very dedicated girls and very focused girls who are friends on and off the field,” Eastman said. “We have without question the best pitcher in the section, but every week some one different steps up and comes through.”

As an example of the way the Bears’ play, Eastman pointed to recent at-bat by senior Emma Taylor. He said she was planning to bunt with a runner at third base, but then the opposing third base player began to charge. When Eastman yelled, “We’re out, we’re out,” Taylor heard the message, swung away and hit a run-scoring double.”

Many Bears came up big at the plate against Tulelake:

In game one, Emma Taylor was 3-for-3 with a double and RBI, Kayla Emerson was 2-for-3, Weatherford was 2-for-4 with 2 triples and 4 RBI, Makenzie Hanna and Sammy Reed were both was 3 for 3, Natalie Hough doubled, and Spini homered and drove in 2.

In game two, Emma Taylor had 2 hits and 1 RBI, Kayla Emerson was 2-for-4 with 2 runs scored, Weatherford was 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs, Makenzie Hanna singled and drove in 2, Sammy Reed singled, scored twice and drove in 2, Jaycee Sarti singled and drove in one, and Natalie Hough, Kismet Prosper and Spini all had singles.

A happy Mount Shasta High School softball team on their way to the 2009 league championship.