Jun 26, 2017 10:03PM
● By Elena Hutslar
Lady Bulldogs (pictured L to R) Back row: Morgan Azevedo, Regan Silva, Maci Shepherd and Miranda Nilson; Front row: Bri Perez, Kimiko Zapanta and Karlee Sparacino
After three straight NCS Division II titles, the Alhambra Lady Bulldogs finally lost a playoff game, falling 11-7 to defending Division I champion Freedom High School. As you may or may not know, AHS was required to play up a division this season after the three-peat and, therefore, had to compete against the largest populated schools in the area. After edging Granada 3-2 in the first round, they experienced the heartbreaking walk-off road loss to the Falcons in the second round. It was an extremely emotional ending for some.
Joining the team as freshmen back in 2014, Bri Perez, Karlee Sparacino and Miranda Nilson have helped the team accumulate an unbelievable 94 wins over a four-year period. They were joined in 2015 by Morgan Azevedo, Regan Silva, and Maci Shepherd, and then Kimiko Zapanta in 2016.
Two time league MVP, Perez had a career .569 batting average, 169 hits, 75 extra base hits, an incredible 185 runs scored, and 31 homeruns, not to mention 94 stolen bases in 96 chances. Sparacino also earned a league MVP award and slugged .522 with 175 hits, 58 extra base hits, 141 runs scored, and 14 dingers over the same period of time. Most impressively though, she drove in a whopping 170 runs. Nilson’s biggest season was her junior year, when she hit .408. She had 29 hits, with nearly half of them going for extra bases. This included 3 round-trippers and none bigger than her two-run blast against Newark Memorial in the NCS championship game at St. Mary’s College.
For Azevedo, her sophomore and junior years were highly productive as she totaled a .383 average with 56 hits and 36 runs scored. First baseman Silva’s three-year totals were a healthy .353 average, with 79 hits, 73 RBIs, and 26 extra base hits, including 8 four-baggers. Catcher Shepherd went out with a bang, slamming three bombs her senior year to go along with her .308 batting average.
And last but certainly not least, is leadoff hitting sensation, Zapanta. Over a two-year span, she slapped around 79 hits and scored 76 runs along with her lofty .485 batting average. And how about 57 stolen bases without ever being caught? Unbelievable!
Uniforms have been turned in and these young ladies have walked on the field at AHS for the very last time. They have made major contributions to the softball program and without question, are a huge reason for its success. They are going to be dearly missed.