2014 Prep Softball Preview: POLA Is Out For More History

Every year the Port Of Los Angeles High softball team has reached the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Small Schools Division playoffs, they have taken home the championship. The 2013 season was a magical year as they not only won their third straight title, they dominated that division to the point where they basically outgrew the division.

So the 2014 Polar Bears have decided to step out and challenge themselves even more.

Scheduling tough tournaments and nonleague games have been the norm for fifth-year coach Melissa Bugarin-Espinoza but in perhaps the boldest move of all, POLA has decided to move up into the Division I realm of the playoffs where perennial powers Carson (the defending Division I champion), El Camino Real of Woodland Hills, Banning of Wilmington, Kennedy of Granada Hills and yes, even in-city neighbor San Pedro, all reside in.

"I know it will be no walk in the park," says Bugarin-Espinoza on the strength of Division I in the City Section. "We are fully aware we are going to have to bust our butt to even make playoffs since we do not have a strong league."

That league being the Crosstown League, where POLA hasn't even been challenged in three years, let alone been defeated. Even though Harbor Teacher Prep of Wilmington has added five freshmen, including a pitcher, it likely won't be enough to challenge the experienced, and dangerous Polar Bear team.

POLA returns the reigning City Section Small Schools Pitcher Of The year in junior pitcher Nicolle Miranda, and the reigning Player Of The Year in senior first baseman Allison Bayer, who both are expected to have tremendous seasons. Bayer is going for a fourth straight ring along with fellow All-City Small Schools selections senior shortstop Kelsea Short and senior outfielder Sarah Maldonado.

Both Miranda and Bayer were also Cal-Hi Sports All-State Small Schools selections last season.

Bugarin-Espinoza returns ten players to her 16-player team this year, nine of which were All-City Small Schools selections.

Junior infielders Rosemary Garcia and Savana Ramirez are both solid defensively, and carries a mean stick. Junior outfielder Adriana Vargas and junior infielder Tiffany Mercado also provide solid experience, and sophomore outfielder Emily Ibarra is excellent as a designated player. Junior infielder Briana Valencia can start on any other school, and is another dangerous hitter for POLA, who went 28-8 last season.

Senior catcher Stephanie Ramirez returns to varsity after playing two years on the junior varsity team. Ramirez drove in a run in the 2011 City Section championship game against Northridge Academy during her freshman season.

A strong freshman class comes in to boost POLA, and the crown jewel is freshman pitcher Analise De La Roca, who verbally committed to Arizona State in late January. De La Roca can throw up to nine different pitches, and also is dangerous with the bat, giving Bugarin-Espinoza another option besides Miranda to throw in the circle as they compete in the Redondo, Torrance TNT, Las Vegas Spring Jamboree and El Segundo Tournaments.

Freshmen outfielders Shelby Younkin, Robyn Grayson and infielder Celeste Maldonado, Sarah's younger sister, along with Torrance transfer Kristi Gutierrez, a junior outfielder, round out the rest of the team.

POLA has nonleague games against West Torrance, Narbonne of Harbor City, and a high profile neighboring showdown with San Pedro on April 24 at the Pistol Range Complex and will begin their season on Monday at the Redondo Tournament with pool play games against West and Downey.

It just might be a season to remember for these Polar Bears.

Views: 259

Tags: 2014, Angeles, High, Los, Of, Port, School, Softball

Comment

You need to be a member of San Pedro News Pilot to add comments!

Join San Pedro News Pilot

Call (323) 200-9052 to learn more or click here to send an email.

San Pedro Weather

San Pedro News Pilot by email - sign up!

Delivered by FeedBurner

What is the SanPedroNewsPilot.com?

The SanPedroNewsPilot.com is the social network and information outlet for San Pedro.

Want to keep up with the news in San Pedro, become a member.


 

Membership has its privileges!

• Got news you think everyone should know? Blog it.
• Have a show or attending a benefit? Put it on the calendar.
• Got video of the big game? Embed it.
• Photos of the new storefront or the school play? Upload them.

Latest Activity

John posted a blog post

AltaSea CEO Rachel Etherington joins Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

AltaSea CEO joins Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Board of DirectorsRachel Etherington Connects with Business Leadership to Promote Economic Potential of Sustainability San Pedro, CA, January 29, 2015 – Rachel Etherington, CEO of AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, will be appointed tonight as a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Southern California’s largest nonprofit…See More
yesterday

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street shared their blog post on Facebook
Thursday
Profile IconSan Pedro News Pilot via Facebook
Thumbnail

Tall Ship Sweetheart Sail

sanpedronewspilot.com

Tall Ships provide the ultimate romantic setting making your Valentine's Day magical and unforgettable! Invite your sweetheart and get ready to dine on sumptuo…

FacebookThursday · Reply
Joleen D'Rage posted an event
Thumbnail

Tall Ship Sweetheart Sail at Boarding Berth 78, Ports O'Call Village

February 14, 2015 from 5pm to 8pm
Tall Ships provide the ultimate romantic setting making your Valentine's Day magical and unforgettable! Invite your sweetheart and get ready to dine on sumptuous fare prepared by the ship's crew.This is a three hour moonlight cruise along the waterfront from 5:00pm – 8:00pm offered by Los Angeles Maritime Institute (LAMI).The ticket price includes a complete dinner, dessert, beverage, and souvenir gift to remember your romantic adventure at sea.Alcohol is not included, but you can bring your…See More
Wednesday
Profile IconCentral San Pedro Neighborhood Council
The Mayor’s Office is extending the opportunity to nominate or recommend a few passionate students to participate in the Mayor’s Los Angeles Youth Council. Read More.  See More
Tuesday
Bernardo Alps posted an event
Thumbnail

Exploitation and Recovery of Antarctic Whales at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

January 27, 2015 from 7:30pm to 9pm
American Cetacean Society - Los Angeles Chapter FREE Monthly Speaker Series Tuesday, January 27At 7:30 p.m.Whales in Antarctica: Age of Exploitation, Age of Recoveryby Ted Cheeseman, owner and expedition leader for Cheesemans' Ecology SafarisThe Antarctic oceans boast the world’s greatest productivity, home to well over 1 million great whales before the whalers came. Yet in the 20th century, all species larger than Minke Whales were removed to commercial extinction. What were the consequences?…See More
Tuesday
Larry Momo aka Thomas W Irons posted a blog post

Curmudgeon Corner - Poke In the Eye?

My Thoughts for January 25, 2015Well, now House Speaker John Boehner has an ally in the Senate, namely Mitch McConnell, the new Senate Majority Leader to help him belittle and make the President look less presidential.  Neither republican likes the idea of the President taking credit for the country’s rebounding economy or the fact that he claimed credit for the millions of new jobs added to the work force.  Well, it’s a fact Speaker Boehner and it should be noted that trickle-down economics…See More
Monday
Rollo Hartstrom Jr. posted photos
Monday

© 2015   Created by San Pedro News Pilot.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service