The California state record book is going to be made over this year as local girls are having amazing seasons across the board.
Let’s talk about King-Drew senior pitcher Chyna Dixon and freshman second baseman Shaina Anderson
If the season ended now, Dixon would be in the top five in the state’s history in batting average (.775 after Monday’s game), home runs (16) and slugging percentage (1.691 prior to Monday).
“Her bat has been on fire this year. It’s never been as hot as it’s been this before,” King-Drew head coach Chay Robinson said.
She’s also the ace on the pitching staff where she has a 10-5 record with 64 strikeouts and a 3.48 earned run average.
Prior to this year, she was known for her speed but this year, she wanted to be a power hitter and Robinson said she had to earn it. Safe to say that she’s done just that.
Anderson’s assault in the record bases have come via her speed as she ends the regular season with 62 stolen bases, good for a top five slot in the state record books.
She is the younger sister of junior shortstop Nicolette Anderson and her success isn’t surprising to those who saw potential at an early age.
“She’s been hanging around the park since she was 11 so we’ve been grooming her to play varsity from the start,” Robinson said of the player she called her “little roadrunner.”
Anderson and Dixon have been the catalysts for the Golden Eagles 15-5-1 record and their 8-0 league record, where they have outscored opponents 250-49 and forcing them to impose the 10-run mercy rule to end the game after five innings.
Robinson added her team is full of power and speed - seven batters have averages above .600 and eight have over 30 stolen bases - but amidst claims that their numbers are inflated from weaker competition, the school’s athletic director has petitioned to move the team out of the Crosstown League into leagues with tougher competition.
One potential destination is the Marine League, where every other team at the school currently plays.
“We’ve put up these numbers against the Crosstown League so we want the chance of doing it against teams like Carson and San Pedro,” Robinson said.
But for right now, they’ll settle for a league title and a chance to prove themselves in the postseason as the seedings are announced on Thursday.
A melancholy goodbye
To end this report, I wish to send my condolences to the family, teammates and friends of Daniel Murphy freshman Deshawn Newton, who passed away last weekend.
The details of his passing are on the front page so I’ll share my personal memories of Newton.
I met him after Murphy’s annual tournament and like most underclassmen you meet, I anticipated watching him develop and bloom into a better athlete and person.
It never registered that it would be the first and last encounter with him.
I know that Murphy head coach Harold Jones spoke highly of him and his other promising players when he lamented this being his team’s last year together as Murphy will close at the end of this term, but I also know that he never imagined that his team’s loss to Yucca Valley would be Newton’s last high school game.
You always hope that every kid you meet, they go on to do great things in life, not just in sports, so it’s always a sad day when someone’s life is cut tragically short.
So to all the readers - and perhaps a reminder to myself -, cherish each moment that you get to watch these young men and women play sports because as Newton and Jamiel Shaw reminded us, you never know what will happen when their seasons are done.