2014 Prep Softball Preview: San Pedro Again Goes For No.17

It has now been a four-year drought for San Pedro High softball.

The Pirates dominated the prior decade, winning nine CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division I titles during the 2000-2009 years where they made the finals every year, only finishing as the runner-up in 2005. That run not only put them ahead of everyone in the City for most titles won with 16 overall, it also made other teams more determined to dethrone them.

Since then, San Pedro has ended their seasons in 2010 through 2013 in either the quarterfinals or the semifinals, like last season's team that fell to Marine League rival Carson in the semifinals, and the Colts eventually won their second City title in three years.

Well, the search for title No.17 continues with the 2014 team, that should improve well above their 19-14 mark in 2013 where they stunningly split all ten of their Marine League encounters.

Head coach Tony Dobra returns for his 27th season, with over 707 wins in 34 overall seasons of coaching (605 of them as the Pirates' coach), and returns all but three players from last year's team, and even regains senior infielder Katrina Herrera from a season-ending injury that prevented her from playing at all last season. Dobra also regains junior outfielder Chase Wong, who took a year off last season to focus on cheerleading.

Senior All-City shortstop Angelina Boskovich, senior outfielder Doreen Corella, and a trio of junior sensations in catcher Alexa Ponce, and three-position studs Taylor Richter and Jocelyn Kondash paces this year's team, but you also can't forget about two more juniors in outfielder Cayla Ezelle and second baseman Johnie Cortez, as they along with the experienced five are counted on to be the focal points for San Pedro.

Richter and Kondash are part of a pitching staff that also returns senior Jaclyn Rivera, who pitched the majority of the games, and was also the winning pitcher in San Pedro's two City Section Division I playoff victories at both Granada Hills and El Camino Real of Woodland Hills, the second of which ended the Conquistadors' brief one-year reign as the defending champion. Freshman pitcher Cindy Robles is another decent addition.

Boskovich and Cortez make up for the best middle infield in town, as they combined to turn seven double plays last season. Corella at center field also shores up the middle part of the softball diamond, as she threw out three runners attempting to stretch singles into doubles last season.

Dobra has three catchers to mix up with, but Ponce is definitely the one who will get the bulk of the starts. However, both senior Armida Roman and freshman Andrea Cline are strong behind the plate. Cline is also a top-notch hitter for a freshman so expect her to get valuable playing time for the Pirates, who also add a freshman class that features Robles, outfielder Andrea Trejo, utility player Deanna Gonzalez and infielder Ricki Justiniano.

Senior infielders Mattie Linares and Amber Ruiz, who both enter their second year on varsity, rounds out the rest of the 2014 Pirates, who begin the season on Tuesday at the Redondo Tournament against Long Beach Millikan and Jurupa Hills of Fontana.

San Pedro, who is expected to once again challenge both Carson and Banning of Wilmington for the Marine League championship, also has a nonleague showdown with in-city neighbor Port Of Los Angeles on April 24 at the Pistol Range Complex.

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