After batting just above the .500 mark this spring, Pacheco center fielder Arianna Barton has been named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association's West All-Region second team the only outfielder from California to make either the first or second team.
"That was a great accomplishment. I was working hard for that all year," Barton said from a tournament in Colorado with her club softball team, the Runnin' Rebels out of Stockton. "My main goal all year was first-team all league. So yeah, I was surprised."
Barton racked up 40 hits in 79 at-bats this spring as Pacheco's slap-hitting lefty leadoff batter. She reached base 55 times (40 hits, 10 walks, 4 fielder's choices and a hit batsman), and used those opportunities to steal 36 bases and score 32 runs.
"She serves a great role as leadoff batter, and encompasses what you need from that spot speed, and the ability to put the ball in play," Pacheco coach Charlie Pikas said. "I think more teams are going to recognize her and know who she is, so I'm hoping the added weight of trying to match that isn't too much. As long as she sticks to her skills, she'll do fine."
Barton was on the second team along with outfielders Lexi Pierson of Desert Mountain High School in Arizona, Nicole Matta of Basha High School (also in Arizona) and Katie Kirsis of Homer High School in Alaska. The first-team outfield consisted of Heaven Acquart of Sahuarita High in Arizona, Chelsey Miller of Centennial in Oregon and another Basha High outfielder in Brooke Breland. Acquart was named All-American.
"It was a nomination process," Pikas said. "All we can do is submit stats, it goes to a selection committee, and they're the ones who do the voting. From there, they put the list together."
So Barton will return to the Pacheco team a decorated veteran after a summer of club softball, possibly with a target on her back.
"My goal is to do what I did this year, only better. Continue to improve, and get better with my team," Barton said. "I don't think it's difficult. You've just got to have fun with it."
Enterprise reporter David Witte can be reached by phone at 388-6565 or by e-mail at email@example.com