SOFTBALL: Castro, Lester get first team; five other Mustangs honored

Gilroy's Adrianna Ortega slides in safe at second during their game Tuesday against Alvarez.

With their Tri-County Athletic League first team selections, senior Casey Lester and freshman Lauren Castro top a list of seven Gilroy High softball players to receive year-end awards.

Juniors Amber Gamboa and Kaylana Mah were presented second team accolades, senior Vanessa Tellez and sophomore Holly Lam made Honorable Mention and junior Adrianna Ortega was awarded the Richard Chamberlin Sportsmanship Award for a Mustangs squad that went 14-12 this season and made it to the Central Coast Section Division II semifinals.

Early in the season, Castro stepped into the role of the Mustangs’ No. 1 pitcher for manager Julie Berggren. She finished with five league victories. In the postseason, Castro went 2-1 in the circle, including a complete game shutout of Los Altos in the quarterfinals. In her eight league starts, Castro posted a 2.86 earned run average and struck out 37 in 49 innings pitched. At the plate, the standout underclassman hit .294.

Lester held down the leadoff spot in the Mustangs’ lineup throughout the season. The first team honor is the La Salle-bound center fielder’s third straight. Despite missing a pair of league tilts with an ankle injury, Lester tied for second on the team with 12 hits in TCAL play.

Mah, who started every game at shortstop paced the team with 16 hits, including eight doubles. Tellez clubbed a .391 average in 10 TCAL contests and Gamboa collected a .294 average and seven RBIs. Lam batted .267 in 35 plate appearances and also recorded a pair of wins in the circle. Ortega, often called upon to pinch hit in clutch situations, hit .280 and drove in four runs for the Mustangs.

Gamboa, Mah, Lam, Castro and Ortega will all be back next season. The Mustangs will lose just four players from the 2012 roster.

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