Athletes of the Week (5/21/09)

Large Schools


Oakdale softball

Andrea Lutz realized before the season that she wouldn't be compiling big pitching numbers, the result of Oakdale having two quality pitchers. By the time the season was over, however, Lutz had made a strong impression.

In the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs, the senior went 2-0 with two complete games, a shutout and 23 strikeouts in 14 innings. That performance helped Oakdale to a second-place finish behind Bear River.

She hurled a one-hitter, only one runner reached base as Lutz struck out 11, to top Lincoln 4-0 in the second round. Facing elimination two nights later, Lutz struck out 12 and scattered five hits in a 4-3 win to send Oakdale into the final.

Lutz helped Oakdale to a Valley Oak League tittle at the plate, as well. She hit .298, scoring 16 runs and driving in 18, while stroking three home runs.



Johansen golf

On a day far more fit for flying a kite rather than playing a round of golf at The Reserve at Spanos Park, Daniel Covrig adapted his game to take advantage of the difficult conditions, rather than fight against a heavy wind.

The result: The junior brought home the school's first Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament title by shooting a 3-over 75. He was the first player from the city of Modesto to win a section golf title since Beyer's Matt Bettencourt was crowned in 1993.

Earlier this week, Covrig played in the Northern California Championship and carded a 5-over 77.

His venture to the boys' regional tournament was also the first-ever trip for a Johansen golfer.

"Daniel's composure on the course is a real key," coach Phil Magner said. "You can't tell if he's having a good round, of it it's gone wrong."

Small Schools


Escalon softball

Regardless of how good your pitcher might be, you still can't win a softball game if you don't score. Escalon was reminded of that fact in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V finals — when it lost a 10-inning, 1-0 decision to Patterson to force a do-or-die game. The Cougars won the second game, 6-1, thanks to a five-run seventh.

Jackson was a hitting star not only in the championship game, but throughout the week as the Cougars went 4-1 to win the school's first-ever girls' team section title. The junior third baseman was 3-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI — and provided a key play in the field — to beat Linden 6-2. She doubled in two runs in a 2-0, second-round win over Patterson.She was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs in a 2-1 win over Calaveras, then drove in a run in the title-clinching, seventh-inning rally vs. Patterson.



Turlock Christian golf

Unlike many of his peers, Beau Warda isn't always first on the course, or spending countless hours on the driving range or putting green. The junior might just as easily be kicking a football, or trying to intercept a pass.

"Beau's a talented athlete, and that goes well beyond golf," coach Jeff Cederlind said. "He kicked for our football team last year, and I think he wants to do more this season."

Being a multi-sport athlete didn't appear to hurt Warda at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Tournament, where he shot a 4-over 76 to finish second and become the first TC golfer to qualify for the Northern California Championship.

"He is physically and emotionally stronger this year," said Cederlind, noting Warda shot a 5-over 77 earlier this week at the regional tourney. "He doesn't take a problem from one hole to the next."