SOFTBALL: Four first-team selections lead class of nine Cougar honorees

Christopher's Mackenzie Holt makes a sliding catch in right field to end the inning during their game Tuesday against Monterey.

Over the years, Christopher High softball seniors Aly Olvera and Mariah Martinez have played a lot of catch together. Without including Little League and travel ball, the duo has logged countless hours of pitch and catch as the starting battery for the Cougars.

The high school pitcher (Olvera in the circle)-catcher (Martinez in the squat) relationship began sophomore year – the inaugural season for CHS athletics. It blossomed over the last two varsity seasons – two straight playoff appearances – and culminated with a Monterey Bay League championship earlier this month.

The pairing can celebrate one final achievement together, too.

Olvera and Martinez, along with fellow senior Kayla Medrano, who was around for just as many hours, and freshman Mackenzie Holt, were named to the Monterey Bay League first-team list, announced last week.

The four first-teamers lead a group of nine Cougars who have been distinguished with year-end awards. Kristen Dennis, Kaslin Ettema and Brittany Souza – all returning next season – were selected for the second team. Johnna Blank and Arianna Vasquez were recipients of the Sportsmanship Award.

Martinez, a fiery left-hander, was behind the plate for all 14 wins and 136 strikeouts Olvera piled up this season. And to that, Martinez, who tied with Medrano for second on the team in hits (26), did not miss one start in 2012.

Holt, the Cougars’ spark plug as leadoff hitter had 25 hits, Ettema was fifth with 21 and Olvera had a team-high 28. Holt and Olvera, who was also named the MBL’s Player of the Year, shared the team-lead in six doubles.

Medrano and Olvera are two-time first-team honorees, and this season finished one-two in RBI totals, with 19 and 18,respectively. Dennis was third for CHS in that category with 14.

The Cougars finished the year 19-8 overall, including a stellar 11-1 league mark. They shared the MBL crown with Monterey. Christopher’s playoff run was short-lived however, losing to Pioneer at home 10-1. Pioneer went on to the semifinals, where it lost to Leigh 5-4.

More all-league award winners will be published throughout the week.

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