Area softball players excelling in college
George Washington University freshman Carlee Gray, a graduate of Elk Grove High School, was named Atlantic 10 Softball Rookie of the Week for games played March 11-17.
Gray led the Colonials (11-11) to a 5-0 week, hitting .429 with seven RBIs and five runs scored. She is batting a team-best .381 with five doubles and 14 RBIs.
Gray was a Bee All-Metro second-team selectee and the co-MVP of the Delta Valley Conference last season.
Gray isn't the only area freshman excelling this season at the college level. Here are three others:
Oregon State's Natalie Hampton, a Center graduate and Bee All-Metro first team first baseman, is batting .488, with 10 home runs and 36 RBIs for the Beavers (21-5). The 6-foot-1 Hampton has already hit more home runs this season than last year's leader (nine).
Bee All-Metro first-team infielder Stephanie Ceo of Bear River is second in hitting for No. 9 Texas (27-4) with a .417 batting average.
Bee Player of the Year Alexis Cooper from Sheldon is 1-0 with an 0.78 ERA in five appearances for No. 2 Arizona State (29-2).
NCAA-bound Cal Poly has 4 familiar faces
Cal Poly, which will make its first NCAA Women's Tournament appearance Sunday in Baton Rouge, La., features four former area basketball standouts.
The No. 14-seeded Mustangs (21-10), winners of the Big West Tournament, will play No. 3 Penn State (25-5).
Senior guard Caroline Reeves (6.6 points per game) from Nevada Union, senior forward Nikol Allen (6.5 points, 4.9 rebounds) from Davis and freshman guard Beth Balbierz (2.6 points) from St. Francis are all contributing players.
Senior forward Brittany Woodard, The Bee's Player of the Year in 2007-08 from Christian Brothers, was the team's third-leading scorer (10.6 points) through 14 games before suffering a season-ending knee injury.
NorCal hoop rankings feature tall locals
Twelve area players, including 10 who are 6-foot-5 or taller, are listed among Northern California's Top 40 high school junior class boys basketball prospects by NorCalPreps.com.
Laguna Creek's 6-8 Malik Pope, a national recruit, still holds down No. 1. Grant's 6-7 Cameron Oliver is No. 7 and Capital Christian's 6-8 D.J. Wilson is No. 11.
Other forwards or post players on the list include: No. 14, Jesuit's 6-6 Lake Lutes; No. 16, Capital Christian's 6-6 Nifae Lealao; No. 17, Ponderosa's 6-9 Chris Snyder; No. 20, Casa Roble's 6-9 Mason Stuteville; No. 22, Cosumnes Oaks' 6-5 Alex Van Dyke; No. 29, Jesuit's 6-8 Brady Anderson; No. 37, Franklin's 6-7 Benson Osayande.
Two area guards made the list: Capital Christian's 6-0 Tyler Jennings, No. 26; and Burbank's 5-7 Jalen Coates, No. 27.
Call The Bee's Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.