Lani Evans took over the No. 1 pitching spot for the Dos Pueblos softball team this season, which meant the Chargers were counting on the junior right-hander to lead them to a Channel League championship and a deep run in the CIF playoffs.
Evans lived up to the responsibilities delivered on both counts. She posted a 17-6 record and a 1.26 ERA in helping Dos Pueblos win the league title and reach the CIF Division 4 semifinals.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Presidio Sports is pleased to name Evans as the MVP of the All-City Softball Team.
Dos Pueblos, which was ranked No. 1 in CIF Division 4 for several weeks during the regular season and finished with a 23-7 record, leads the All-City team with five players. They include Monica Salas, Jade Sinskul, Adyson Willett, Maddy Buie and Kai Uyesaka.
The other members of the team are Hailee Rios and Stephanie Swann of San Marcos, Jasmine Manson of Santa Barbara, Ali Everson of Bishop Diego and Natalie Saito of Carpinteria.
The All-City team will be introduced before the Santa Barbara Foresters baseball game at 1 p.m. on Sunday, June 8 at UCSB’s Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
Evans raised her game to become an elite high school pitcher.
“She is the hardest working player on our team and has all the drive and determination it takes to be the elite pitcher she has become,” DP coach Jon Uyesaka said.
In 158 innings, she struck out 209 and walked just 89; she posted five shutouts, including a no-hitter in the CIF playoffs, and “kept great hitting teams to few hits and runs,” said Uyesaka. Opponents batted just .148 when she was on the mound.
“First, and most valuable to us, was her dominance in the circle,” Uyesaka said. “She is a finesse pitcher with lots of movement. The degree of difficulty in her pitching style — high spin, lots of movement — results in more walks than what you would expect from an elite pitcher. But she takes that risk to achieve her goal: strikeouts and soft ground balls.”
Besides her pitching prowess, Evans also helped the Chargers at the plate. She batted .359 (third best on the team) with 18 RBIs, 30 runs, six doubles, two triples and three home runs.
“What her stats don’t show is situational hitting,” Uyesaka noted. “She can hit to the right side to move runners. So many times when leading off an inning, she drew a hit. I remember two walks to lead off an inning. She didn’t like walks; she is an aggressive hitter. Hitting calmed her down too. When we are visitors, her pitching improves because she gets an at bat early in the game before getting to the circle.”
Based upon on-court performance and team leadership, the All-City All-Star Teams are selected by Presidio Sports to recognize the top high school student-athletes competing on the South Coast from Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Carpinteria.
Each All-City selection will receive a special award certificate and be recognized online at PresidioSports.com and in print in the Santa Barbara Sentinel. The entire All-City Team will be recognized in a pre-game ceremony at this Sunday’s Santa Barbara Foresters baseball game. The game begins at 1 p.m., but the All-City honorees should arrive at UCSB’s stadium by 12:40 p.m. to be included in the pre-game ceremony.
PRESIDIO SPORTS’ ALL-CITY SOFTBALL TEAM
All-City MVP: Lani Evans, Jr. Dos Pueblos
MONICA SALAS, Sr. Dos Pueblos: A three-year varsity start, the Chargers’ team captain and second baseman was solid in the field and at the plate. She batted .367, with 20 RBIs, 22 runs, nine doubles and two home runs. On defense, she had a fielding percentage of .949
JADE SINSKUL, Soph., Dos Pueblos: The Chargers’ catcher played a key role in Evans’ success as a pitcher, Uyesaka said. “She’s a solid receiver with a strong arm.” She caught five of 10 attempted steals, including a key one in the second-round playoff win over Monrovia. At the plate, she drove in 25 runs, hit five homers and six doubles and batted .333.
ADYSON WILLETT, Jr. Dos Pueblos: Willett’s athleticism and speed made her incredibly valuable in center field for the Chargers. “She covers huge territory in center field and well into left and right field. She made several running over-the-shoulder catches this season,” said Uyesaka. Willett hit two home runs and batted .320 over the last half of the season.
MADDY BUIE, Jr., Dos Pueblos: DP’s leadoff batter led the Chargers in hits and sported a team-high .376 batting average. A great contact hitter, Buie struck out just six times in 91 plate appearances. In left field, Buie had a fielding percentage of 1.000 and recorded three outfield assists.
KAI UYESAKA, Jr., Dos Pueblos: The Chargers co-captain worked her way back into the lineup after having Tommy John surgery last year and had a solid season. She had only two errors in 54 chances at third base, batted .301 with 22 runs and eight doubles.
HAILEE RIOS, Fresh., San Marcos: The Royals freshman made a great first impression. She led the Channel League in hits (38), batting average (.514) and on base percentage (.571). She had six homers, nine doubles and 35 RBIs. As a pitcher, she recorded 188 strikeouts, including 93 in league. “It’s no surprise she is so successful statistically,” coach Jeff Swann said. “She works very hard every practice, always hustling and putting 100 percent into every throw, ground ball, pitch, swin and when running bases.
STEPHANIE SWANN, Sr., San Marcos: The Royals captain played wherever the team needed her. She was the team’s best infielder and recorded a fielding percentage of .989. She also pitched. At the plate, she batted .374 as the leadoff hitter, and she hit safely in 20 of 26 games. “She led by example both with her accomplished physical skills and her easy going yet competitive attitude,” said coach Swann.
ALI EVERSON, Sr., Bishop Diego: The Cardinals’ captain hit .357, with a slugging percentage of .542 and a on-base percentage of 423. She had 10 doubles, a homer and drove in 12 runs. She also played outstanding defense. “Her positive attitude always lifted the team,” said coach Tom Beamer.
JASMINE MANSON: Soph., Santa Barbara: “I have not seen a player grow so much in her overall game in a year as Jasmine has,” said coach Delanie Sabac. The switch-hitting Manson led the Dons in almost every offensive category. She batted .400 with 19 RBIs, and a .520 on-base percentage. “She is one of the more natural athletes I have had the privilege to come across and is an absolutely key to our program,” said Sabac.