SACRAMENTO — Audrey Brookins and Bailey Correia provided bright moments on the diamond.
Now they are ready for the next level.
Brookins, from Liberty Ranch, and Correia, from Elliot Christian, were two of six area high school softball players who played in the 42nd annual Optimist High School All-Star Game, Small Schools, at Capital Christian High on Wednesday. A home run late in the game gave the North squad a 2-0 win over the South, which had its chances to score earlier in the game.
Brookins was named the team’s MVP. In four innings in the circle, Brookins, a left-handed pitcher, allowed no hits and walked one North batter.
“We kept the game close,” said South and Elliot Christian coach Mike Pontinus.
Brookins seemed shocked at first on being named the South’s MVP.
“It feels pretty great to be honest,” Brookins said. “I was not expecting it. It was just fun to come out here and play.”
Brookins helped Liberty Ranch win a third consecutive Sierra Valley Conference title earlier this month, and a deep run in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs.
After receiving a first-round bye, Liberty Ranch beat Marysville in the second round of the playoffs and then knocked off Casa Roble 6-3 before Calaveras ended the Hawks’ run with an 11-10 victory. Liberty Ranch led 10-7 entering the final inning before Calaveras’ come-from-behind win.
“My whole, entire team gave their all for the sections,” said Brookins of the Hawks’ flight in the playoffs.
In August, Brookins will start her first semester at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento, majoring in agriculture business. She will also be on the college’s softball team.
Casa Roble’s Hailie Stewart was named the North’s MVP. Stewart smacked a two-run home run in the top of the sixth inning.
At the beginning of the game, most of the South’s infield consisted of area softball players. Joining Brookins was Correia at shortstop, Liberty Ranch’s Emilee Mort starting at third base and later played center field. Galt’s Sophia Pate started at second base, and later caught behind home plate.
According to Pontius, Galt’s Hailey Jaime was selected for the game. But during the South’s only practice on Tuesday, Jaime fell ill. She was not at Wednesday’s game.
All six area softball players had limited success at home plate. Correia, who led Elliot in home runs this season with 13, tripled to right field in the bottom of the sixth inning with two outs. But a grounder led to the North’s final out and Correia stranded at third base.
In the bottom of eighth, Pate singled in which the North’s first and second basemen misplayed the softball, as it rolled into the grass in right field with two outs. Correia ended the game when she grounded out.
This all-star game is one of two Correia has been selected to play. She is one of three area softball players selected to play in the annual High School Baseball and Softball All-Star Classic. Both games will be played at Delta College on Friday, June 14. Lodi’s Marissa Fabian and Danielle Pfennig are the other two.
“I think it’s really a privilege to play in two all-star games,” Correia said prior to Wednesday’s game. “I’m really excited for it.”
Last weekend, Correia played on her travel team, the Batbusters’ 18-and-under squad, in their first summer tournament. The Batbusters practice only once a week, Correia noted, but she also puts in extra time in her fielding and hitting skills.
“It’s been really busy,” Correia said.
This fall, Correia will be attending Holy Names University in Oakland, an NCAA Division II college. A nutritionist major, Correia is going to Holy Names on a scholarship. She will be playing on the college’s softball team.
Correia and her fellow seniors at Elliot Christian High will graduate on Friday. The Galt and Liberty Ranch softball players will graduate with their classmates at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium toward the end of next week.
“I’m really excited for graduation and to start at Holy Names,” Correia said.
Contact Mike Bush at email@example.com. Follow on Twitter: @MBushLodiSports.