Glendale High's Sammy Fabian, Crescenta Valley's Hailey Cookson only locals on All-Pacific League first team
Softball: After Falcons, Nitros tie for fourth, all-league selections are few and far between despite abundant talent.
Crescenta Valley High's Hailey Cookson was an All-Pacific League first-teamer. (Tim Berger Staff Photographer / June 4, 2014)
But the Nitros and Falcons tied for fourth-place in the Pacific League, so only one standout per team earned first-team recognition.
As the All-Pacific League team is broken down by an allotment determined by final league standing, just one athlete each from Crescenta Valley and Glendale was selected to the first team, though both programs also had standout players earn spots on the all-league second team and receive honorable mention. And, of course, some didn’t receive all-league recognition.
Throughout the season, Sammy Fabian of Glendale and Crescenta Valley’s Hailey Cookson set the tone by solidifying the top of the lineup for their respective teams. The contributions made by Fabian and Cookson were recognized by the league.
In addition to Fabian and Cookson, five additional local players received all-league accolades and Glendale first-year Coach Greg Martin was named the league’s co-coach of the year after leading the Nitros to their first playoff appearance since 2005. Crescenta Valley’s Hannah Cookson and Jordan Lousararian of Glendale were named to the second team.
Fabian, a freshman second baseman and outfielder, adjusted superbly to the high school level. After getting on base, the Nitros (16-8, 8-6 in league) often jumped out to a quick lead with her setting the table. Fabian batted .662 (47 for 71) with four doubles, five triples, two home runs and 29 runs batted in.
Fabian also scored 38 runs, stole 27 bases and finished with a .943 slugging percentage and a .969 on-base percentage. In addition, Fabian wrapped up the season hitting safely in 22 games in a row and helping the Nitros reach the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs.
“She proved to be a very tough out all year long,” said Martin, who shared his honor with Pasadena’s Ed McCarthy. “She’s just a gamer who knew how to go out there and do things the right way.
“I’m very impressed with her ability. She’s got blinding speed and she’s going to get even stronger and faster.”
Hailey Cookson excelled at shortstop for Crescenta Valley (16-13, 8-6). Cookson, a junior, was perhaps most impressive in her ability to put together a quality at-bat, as she struck out just twice. Cookson was moved into the lead-off spot near the midway point of the season and helped propel the Falcons to the first round of the Division III postseason.
She batted .569 (58 for 102) with three triples, 10 doubles, five home runs and 27 runs batted in. Cookson posted a 1.451 on-base plus slugging percentage.
“We knew she could be one of the anchors of the team,” Crescenta Valley first-year Coach John Pehar said. “She stepped it up, both at the plate and on defense.
“To only strike out twice in an entire season is amazing. She had a great on-base percentage and Hailey will be one of our key people to rely on next year.”
Hannah Cookson, a senior center fielder who will be attending Long Beach State in the fall, provided plenty of power for the Falcons as is largely considered one of the best players in the league. Cookson, a former all-league first-team selection, didn’t commit an error. She batted .531 (51 for 96) with a team-leading 13 home runs and 41 runs batted in. Cookson contributed nine doubles, scored 33 runs and posted a 1.622 on-base slugging percentage.
Lousararian, a sophomore pitcher/shortstop, proved to be another key young player for the Nitros.
Lousararian hit .507 (34 for 67) with three triples, seven doubles and 15 runs batted in. She posted a 1.255 on-base slugging percentage.
In the circle, Lousararian went 13-5 and struck out 61 in 87 2/3 innings. In 22 appearances, including 14 starts, Lousararian posted a 3.77 earned-run average.
Taylor Hill of Crescenta Valley, Glendale’s Alex Howard and Deana Cruz of Hoover each received honorable mention.
Hill, a senior third baseman, batted .457 (43 for 94) with eight home runs, 11 doubles and 16 runs and 41 runs batted in.
Howard, a sophomore utility player, hit .536 (37 for 69) with two home runs, nine doubles, five triples, 29 runs and 30 runs batted in.
Cruz, a junior catcher, batted .423 (22 for 52) with seven doubles, 16 runs and 20 runs batted in for the Tornadoes (7-16, 2-12 in league for seventh place).
Notable snubs were Crescenta Valley senior Olivia Thayer (14-9, 1.37 ERA) and freshman Rachael Abboud (.486 batting average, 15 runs and 13 RBI), as well as, Glendale senior Rachel Bartamian (.508, 17 runs, 16 RBI), freshman Tiffany Bartamian (.426 average, 22 runs, 11 RBI), junior Sarah Brockway (.450, 18 runs) and sophomore Grace Sinisterra (.462 average, 18 runs, 10 RBI).
Burbank junior pitcher Cailtyn Brooks was the league MVP for a second straight year.