East County Sports


Granite Hills junior Staci Chambers



By Nick Pellegrino
East County Sports staff writer

EL CAJON (5-30-2019) – Within the pitching circle, there wasn’t much of a difference in the results produced by Staci Chambers of Granite Hills and Samaria Roope of Grossmont.

Both ranked near the top in the “big three” pitching categories — victories, strikeouts and earned-run average — while both also produced with the bat.

Chambers was given the edge as the Eagles were champions of the Grossmont Hills League. Thus, Chambers has been selected as the Pitcher of the Year to highlight the 2019 All-East County Softball Team.



Don’t worry about Roope, who was tabbed the Player of the Year thanks to a superior batting average and equal power numbers, plus her defensive prowess.

Roope edged out Steele Canyon shortstop Jessica “J.J.” Venzor, who was named the GHL Player of the Year in voting by the coaches.

Among the other major awards on the All-East County team, Monte Vista shortstop Dessire Corona was tabbed with the Unsung Hero Award, while the Newcomers Award was shared by Patrick Henry freshmen teammates Kaiah Altmeyer and Olivia Giganti.

Although Corona was edged off the All-East County team, her contributions were intense. Basically, whenever the Monarchs needed a big inning, Corona provided a series of keys hits throughout the season as Monte Vista posted one of its best records since the program was a San Diego Section power in the 1980s. Corona was also helpful as the ballclub;s No. 2 pitcher.

Altmeyer, the younger sister of former East County Player of the Year Sierra Altmeyer (who now plays for UC Santa Barbara), the shortstop may prove to be even better than her decorated sibling.

At 5-foot-10, Altmeyer displays the speed, defensive skill and hitting ability not seen at the position since West Hills frosh Jennifer LaRussa was an All-CIF selection in 1997.

Giganti, like Roope and Chambers, did her damage in both the pitching circle while listed among the San Diego Section’s home run leaders. Her injury over the final few weeks may have prevented her from claiming the award outright, but the Patriots pair were both well-deceiving.

In regards to the Coach of the Year, traditionally the award to a CIF team champion skipper. However, without a team champion, we actually needed to select an honoree.

That coach is veteran mentor Joe Cota of El Capitan. The Vaqueros entered the season rated dead-last in their division legacy (seasonal placement) ratings according to the CIF preseason rank.

Not only did Cota’s troops rise to near the top of the division, they also captured the Grossmont Valley League crown.

Conversely, almost every other East County program fell before their preseason numbers, making Cota standout even more.

Among those under consideration for Player of the Year, the shortlist also included Katalina “Kati” Contreras of Grossmont, Audrey Bagge of Steele Canyon, and Alexa Williams of El Capitan.

Contreras, the Foothillers’ junior third baseman, led all GHL hitters in batting average at .511, including a near .600 mark over the second-half of the season — when league and CIF playoffs contests were held.

Bagge, the Cougars’ senior catcher, set a school-record with 11 home runs. Bagge also batted, .367 despite being a regular choice — along with Chambers and Roope — as a victim of intentional walks.

Williams, a junior pitcher for the Vaqueros, was among her division’s leaders in victories and strikeouts, as El Capitan recorded a rare unbeaten record to capture the Grossmont Valley League.

Other first-team honorees include:
– Aly Allmann, Grossmont (C, 11)
– Brooke Bertussi, Granite Hills (SS, 11)
– Amaya Esparza, Granite Hills (C, 11)
– Samantha Green, Valhalla (C, 12)
– Madison Mendez, Santana (P, 12)
– Lauren Nett, Patrick Henry (3B/C, 11)
– Dezianna “Dezi” Patmon, Patrick Henry (C/3B, 10)
– Carly Robbins, Foothills Christian (C, 9)
– Audrey Shebloski, Christian (SS, 11)
– Bailey Wallace, Granite Hils (CF, 11)

The All-Freshmen Team was expanded to 14
honorees — including Altmeyer, Giganti and
Robbins, due to the extensive use of
underclassmen who all made an impact on their
respective varsity squads.



Pitcher of the Year: Staci Chambers (GH)
Player of the Year: Samaria Roope (GRO)
Unsung Hero Award: Dessire Corona (MV)
Newcomer of the Year: Kaiah Altmeyer (PH),
  and Olivia Giganti (PH)
Coach of the Year: Joe Cota (EC)


Staci Chambers, GH          P/1B 11 .390
Samaria Roope, GRO          P/3B 12 .379
Aly Allmann, GRO              C  11 .429
Kaiah Altmeyer, PH           SS   9 .462
Audrey Bagge, SC              C  12 .367
Brooke Bertussi, GH          2B  11 .333
Kati Contreras, GRO          UTL 11 .511
Amaya Esparza, GH             C  11 .324
Olivia Giganti, PH          P/1B  9 .333
Samantha Green, VAL           C  12 .468
Madison Mendez, SAN           P  12 .423
Lauren Nett, PH             3B/C 11 .471
Dezianna “Dezi” Patmon, PH  C/3B 10 .429
Carly Robbins, FC             C   9 .608
Audrey Shebloski, CHR        SS  11 .500
Jessica “J.J.” Venzor, SC    SS  12 .482
Bailey Wallace, GH           CF  11 .379
Alexa Williams EC             P  11 .568


Lakaila Aquiningoc-David, SAN 3B 11 .377
Sabrina Brown, WH            3B  10 .333
Catie Dobbs, GH             P/1B 12 .316
Star Gaylord, WH              P  12 .301
Jade Hill, VAL               SS  11 .342
Abigail Johnston, MV       P/INF 10 .431
Haley Johnson,  GH           UTL 11 .369
Morgan Kelly,  GH            OF  12 .339
Bailey Olaveson, EC          1B  12 .375
Zoe Kuhlken, HEL            UTL  11 .329
Bianca Morales, SC           3B  11 .368
Kelly Olson, VAL           OF/3B 12 .410
Rylee Omahen, GH             UTL 11 .313
Katie Peet, LIB              CF  10 .451
Ionna Upham, MV               C  12 .397
Faith Via, LIB               SS  12 .488
Allyson VonYokes, EC         LF  12 .294
Carissa Wolford, FC       P/INF  11 .480
Kaiah Altmeyer, PH           SS  9 .456
Olivia Giganti, PH         P/1B  9 .333
Carly Robbins, FC             C  9 .608
Abby Curran, MTNE           P/C  9 .622
Natalie Emery, GRO           CF  9 .309
Kaylee Guler, FC             SS  9 .438
Jordan Hanssen, MTNE         1B  9 .375
Brooke Horn, EC               P  9 5-1
Maryn Jordan, VAL            CF  9 .344
Shannon Kim, WH              OF  9 .269
Kate Manes, CHR              3B  9 .265
Sophia Ramunom HEL           1B  9 .324
Alexis Schneider, MM       C/3B  9  n/a
Amber Young, HEL                 9 .323


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