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Legionnaires hold baseball and softball banquet

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Bonsall High School added baseball and softball this year, and the two sports combined their post-season banquet which was held May 26 at the Pala Sports Complex where both teams play their home games.

"It was a huge success," said Bonsall softball coach Emily Casillas.

"It was pretty much a great night," said Bonsall baseball coach Danny Mencias.

A softball game between the baseball and softball teams preceded the dinner and awards presentations. Family members as well as Bonsall players participated in the softball game, and Bonsall athletic director Andrea Breuninger also batted for the softball team.

The Pala tribe allowed the Legionnaires to use the Pala Sports Complex free of charge and, during the awards presentation, Breuninger presented an autographed bat to Pala Tribal Council Member Shelia Smith, whose role included transportation logistics for the teams.

Sophomore catcher Maddie Rackovan was honored as the softball team's Offensive Player of the Year. "She ended up with the most RBIs (runs batted in) on the team and always seemed to be on base," Casillas said.

Cali Sauileone, a freshman who pitches and plays first base when she is not on the mound, took home the softball Defensive Player of the Year award. "I'm thankful to have an experienced pitcher come in for us and for her making amazing plays not only at pitcher but also first base," Casillas said.

Mariela Garcia played center field, left field, and shortstop during her freshman year and received Most Improved Player honors for the softball team. "In the beginning she was skittish and afraid of the ball and, in the end, she was literally willing to give her shin to stop that hit," Casillas said.

The Legionnaire of the Year award is given to the player who exemplified Bonsall High School on and off the field. The softball Legionnaire of the Year is senior Ailynn Morales. "She has the best attitude and always helped me keep the girls straight in the dugout," Casillas said.

Another senior, pitcher and first baseman Hanna Smith, was chosen as the softball Most Valuable Player. "Hanna is the most solid and best player I've ever encountered," Casillas said. "She's a solid hitter, pitcher, can basically do anything."

Seniors swept the Bonsall baseball awards. Garret Murphy was named the Offensive Player of the Year. "He was always at the top of the lineup," Mencias said.

Coaches often place the player most likely to get on base in the leadoff spot. Murphy led the team in doubles and walks. "That's why he was at the top," Mencias said.

Jack Gates received the Defensive Player of the Year award. Gates was primarily a first baseman. "Jack had no errors," Mencias said.

That applied to Gates when he played first base. "He caught a couple of games," Mencias said. "Out of all my catchers he had the fewest errors as well."

The Most Improved Player award went to Nate Valera. "He is a basketball player who transitioned into baseball," Mencias said.

When the season began, Valera was primarily on the bench. "Eventually he got to play," Mencias said. "He actually made some pretty big plays."

The baseball Legionnaire of the Year recipient is David Montejo. "Very active at school," Mencias said.

"The Legionnaire's kind of an all-around player that likes to help out on and off the field," Mencias said. "He has proven that time and time again."

David Romo became the first Bonsall baseball Most Valuable Player. "Made a lot of great plays, also pitched a couple of our winning games," Mencias said. "Just all around carried the team both offensively and defensively."

Patches and certificates for varsity letters were also presented at the banquet.

"I'm glad to be closing out the season on a great happy note, and I'd like to thank all my girls for coming out and playing hard for me," Casillas said.

"It couldn't have been possible without parents," Breuninger said.

"We appreciate all the families who came out to support us," Mencias said.


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