East County Sports

Monarchs fall to Grabowski’s Sharks



By Nick Pellegrino
ECS staff writer

CHULA VISTA — No one can accuse the Monte Vista High softball team of ducking quality competition.

On Tuesday (Apr. 5), the Monarchs were hanging tight with the Bayfront Charter Sharks. a ball club with the second-best record among CIF-San Diego Section Division IV programs.

Monte Vista swung the bats and was trailing only by just a run at 8-7 entering the middle innings. But when the Sharks erupted for a 10-run inning, it was enough to secure an 18-8 Gold & Silver Slugger Tournament win in a contest held on the artificial surface at Mueller Charter School.

Editor’s note: The Sharks went on to capture the tournament, 7-2, over La Jolla on Apr. 10. Freshman pitcher Karizma Garcia was selected tournament MVP after batting .677 in the event, then firing a 5-hitter with 11 strikeouts against the Vikings in the title game. (Updated Apr. 10).

Still, the Bayfront Charter coaching staff was impressed with the Monarchs since easily defeating them in the season opener.

“Monte Vista has a couple of girls who are excellent players,” said Sharks coach Mary Grabowski, the 2011 East County softball player of the year out of Christian High. “They tore it up with the bats, especially the first baseman.”

That player for the tournament host Monarchs is sophomore Malea Raimey, who paced the offense by batting 2-for-4 and driving in four runs.

Monte Vista scored three times in the first and second innings for a 6-5 lead, then added three additional markers in the fourth.

Sparking the rallies was leadoff hitter Jazilyn Vargas, a corner infielder, who scored on all three of her at-bats following a basehit and a pair of walks. Meanwhile, left-handed Madison James batted 2-for-3 with a walk, scoring twice.

Bayfront Charter also displayed prowess with the bats.

One of the Sharks’ nine freshmen includes Livette Vargas, another corner infielder who played third base in this ballgame. She batted 3-for-4 and was in the middle of all of the Bayfront rallies.

“Livette comes from our feeder middle school and has played for me for four years,” noted Grabowski, a two-time all-West Coast Conference catcher at USD. “She brought along a bunch of her friends — players I wasn’t expecting — so we’re off to a great start this season. I am super proud of my girls.”

The Sharks are now 6-1 overall, second only to the unbeaten Holtville Vikings (4-0) in the division. The schools are followed by Morse, which is also in the tournament. The Sharks and Tigers meet this Saturday.

The leader for Bayfront is junior center fielder Lanika Padilla, who went 4-for-4, making her 7-for-8 in two games this week.

Like Monte Vista, the Sharks hope to make some damage when the CIF playoffs come around.

“Our goal is to win Division IV,” she added. “Some of the freshmen parents think by the time their girls are seniors, we’ll be in Division I — I have to slow them down a little bit.”

Meanwhile, Monte Vista (0-6) should be able to climb back into the race for a postseason berth when its schedule softens in ensuing weeks. They also expect additional players from the Lady Monarchs basketball team (7-1 record) after their season concludes.

Bayfront Charter is sated to return to East County to meet Summit League opponent Liberty Charter of Lemon Grove next month. However, several coaches have indicated that the Lions are having trouble piecing together a roster.


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