Previewing the Michelle Carew Softball Classic
From April 3-6, 2013, the Michelle Carew Classic will field 32 of the best high school teams in California, Arizona and New Mexico.
How strong is the lineup?
Consider that 30 of the squads made the playoffs last season and headlining the field will be the top three rated teams in California: No. 1 Amador Valley, No. 2 Pacifica (Garden Grove) and No. 3 Norco, which is led by Rick Robinson, the 2012 National High School Coach of the Year.
There will be great individual talent as well—the contenting teams will line up 30 athletes who are already committed to Div. I programs.
Here are more details…
Date: April 3-6, 2013
Location: Peralta and Yorba Regional Parks in Anaheim Hill, Calif.
Host: Canyon High, Anaheim Calif.)
Director: Lance Eddy (retired Canyon H.S. softball coach)
Where to watch: several of the games will be radio-webcast by SportsNetUSA.net, and available on the internet. More details will be published closer to the tourney
Teams (32) all from Calif. unless noted
Chaparral (Murrieta Valley)
Cienega (Tucson, Ariz.)
Foothill (Santa Ana)
Pacifica (Garden Grove)
Piedra Vista (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Righetti (Santa Maria)
By the numbers: the Michelle Carew Classic will feature seven teams rated in the Top 20 by CalHiSports.com:
No. 3–Amador Valley
No. 7–Wood Creek
No. 8–Los Alamitos
No. 19–Orange Lutheran
… as well as the 2012 New Mexico State Champ Piedra Vista and the Arizona Div. II champ Tucson Cienega.
2012 California All-State returners:
Amador Valley—Johanna Grauer P
Amador Valley—Victoria Molina C
Amador Valley—Krista Williams OF
Norco—Kylie Reed IF
Norco—Taylor Koenig IF
Orange Lutheran—Jade Vecvanagas P/OF
Wood Creek—Amanda Horbasch P
Pacifica—Nicole DeWitt IF
Pacifica—Kailee Winegarner P
Pacifica—Rebecca Lee IF
West Ranch—Kylie Sorenson IF
Esperanza—Hayley Copeland P
Los Alamitos—Megan Geer IF
In honor of Michelle Carew:
This year marks the 27th year of the tournament of Canyon High’s hosting of the Invitational Varsity Tournament, and the 17th successive event in memorial of former Canyon player Michelle Carew.
The daughter of Hall of Fame baseball great Rod Carew, Michelle was “a spirited member of our Comanche family for four years,” says Tournament Director and former Canyon Head Coach Lancy Eddy.
Shortly after her June 1995 graduation, she became suddenly and seriously ill. Her plight drew national attention, as well as an increased attention to bone marrow research and donors banks. After a protracted hospital stay, Michelle passed away in April of 1996.
“As a player and team member, Michelle always carried a positive and cheerful demeanor,” continued Coach Eddy.
“Though her allergies to dust and grass were difficult obstacles to overcome on the diamond, she contributed as a solid hitter in the likeness of her famous father. Michelle was the loudest ‘cheerleader’ and also the first to defend anyone who experienced misfortune or lack of success. For the duration of her illness, she became a remarkable champion in the eyes of all who watched her struggle against the odds. Through it all, her major concern was for the well-being of those she would leave behind. For eighteen years, Michelle made the world a better place. She is always to be remembered by Comanches as a true hero.”
History of the tournament:
This tournament was inaugurated in 1984, Canyon Coach Eddy’s second year, with the goal being to raise funds for the construction of a field on the Canyon High campus. The only other significant high school tournament in SoCal at that time was the Cypress tournament, so the Canyon “Tournament of Champions” immediately attracted 32 top quality teams. From that year forward, it has maintained a tradition of excellent softball, with many future college All-Americans and Olympians gracing the fields at Peralta Park and now also Yorba Regional Park.
In 1989, and for the following two years, gaining entry to the tournament was of such demand that it was expanded to 36 teams which competed in two 18 team divisions.
From 1994-1996, the tournament was not staged, but was resumed in 1995.
Director Lance Eddy looks back on the Carew Classic’s 27 years of action:
“Probably the best all-time player has been Lakewood St. Joseph’s Lisa Fernandez. She could dominate the game in the circle AND at the plate like no other—yet her team could only win this tourney once.”
“Once you start the list, it’s hard to stop! At the head of the class in creating memories have been Michelle Granger (Valencia) and Heather Compton (Righetti). They hooked up in an ‘80’s consolation game that went 13 innings and saw 67 strikeouts. Valencia won on a dropped third strike.
There was also the time that Granger only struck out two in the first inning, the third out a weak tap to first. She returned to the dugout to complain she was “off somehow.” We re-measured the distance to home and found it was mistakenly set at 43 feet. No wonder! Other standouts included Valencia’s Jordan Taylor, Ayala’s Jessica Hall, La Mirada’s Jenny Finch, Mater Dei’s Marissa Young, Norco’s Emily Lockman, Ocean View’s Jackie Oakley and Garden Grove’s Leslie Osterman.”
***Top Players – All Positions
“This is only a partial list–this could go on and on!—but the standouts included Canyon’s Nina Lindenberg and Megan Bush, Valencia’s Madison Shipman, Vista Murrieta’s Sierra Romero, El Toro’s Lauren Chamberlain, Pacifica’s Andrea and Monica Harrison, Cristina Zambrana, and Kristen Arriola, Norco’s Nicole Sappingfield and Kaylin Costello, Foothill’s Caitlin Lowe, Woodbridge’s Natasha Watley and Ayala’s Nalani St Germaine.”
***Sister Act – some of the talented siblings who are Carew Classic alums
“Some schools get the luck of the draw with families that keep right on producing star athletes. Some of the standout sisters over the years include Righetti’s Heather Compton, then Tracey and Kennedy pitchers Michelle and Brooke Turner as well as speedy fielders Jamia and Elia Reed.
At Norco it came in threes: Teagan, Whitney and Kelsey Gerhart, triplets who played all at once and sisters of current Minneosta Viking running back Toby Gerhart. At Pacifica there was Toni Mascarenas, then Cheyenne as well as Monica and Andrea Harrison, Esperanza had Katie Schroeder followed by Nicole…
Then there has been sister pitcher and catcher combos that hurt you in both halves of an inning: Vista Murrieta had Tatum and Taylor Edwards and finally Canyon produced its own duo of Erin and Heather Slettvet.”
Finally, here’s a list of the champions of the tournament over the years…
|Chat Arias||At Well||FL||QB||2018||5-6.5||127||4.86||4.80||29.0||28.2||44.94|