Cal-Hi Sports Southern California
Softball Player of the Week
Caitlyn Early (San Marcos, Santa Barbara) Jr.
An area known as the Gold Coast is our landing spot in the search for the Southern California Softball Player of the Week, and it’s in Santa Barbara off Highway 1 at San Marcos High that we locate our winner. San Marcos actually also isn’t far from our NorCal baseball player of the week winner in Arroyo Grande. It’s just that one is in the CIF Southern Section while the other in the CIF Central Section.
Last week was a big one for the Notre Dame-committed shortstop but it didn’t come in Channel League action. Instead, it was at the Best of the West Tournament, and against some pretty tough competition.
In the five games combined last week against Atascadero, Chaminade of West Hills, Bakersfield Stockdale, Sutter and Lompoc, the Royals’ junior bopper went 7-for-15 with four home runs, a double, a walk, eight RBI, six runs scored and a stolen base. Against Stockdale, and in an 8-8 tie, Early got on pitches early and blasted two round-trippers.
Already this week on Monday Caitlyn had a two RBI double in a league loss to Ventura, and then on Tuesday in a blowout of cross-town Santa Barbara she hit another home run and also had a double with five RBI and two runs scored.
So far this season, and heading into a Friday re-match with Santa Barbara, Early leads the team hitting at .447, home runs with 12, RBI with 33, plus she has five doubles, 27 runs scored, only seven strikeouts in 86 plate appearances, five stolen bases and a .966 fielding percentage at shortstop with only three errors in 89 total chances.
The 12 home runs by Early also are tied for the No. 3 reported mark in the state and the CIF Southern Section.
Harold Abend is the associate editor of CalHiSports.com and the vice president of the California Prep Sportswriters Association. He can be reached at [email protected]. Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter: @HaroldAbend