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Elk Grove Citizen

Laguna Creek Softball Captures Metro Title

May 23, 2024 03:38PM ● By Erik Olson, Special to the Citizen

Sarah Hanf struck out eight in the first Sac Joaquin Division II playoff game against Woodcreek May 14. Photo by Erik Olson

ELK GROVE, CA (MPG) - The Laguna Creek High School softball team capped its 2024 season with a second consecutive Metro League title, a school record and a nail-biter of a playoff game. 
The Cardinals found themselves atop the Metro League for the third time in four years, finishing with a 10-2 record, just ahead of 9-3 Monterey Trail. The team also earned a playoff berth for the fourth consecutive season.
Laguna Creek earned an 11th seed in the Sac-Joaquin Division II playoffs this year but lost to sixth seed Woodcreek 4-3 in nine innings to end its season on May 14.
The team was led by pitcher Sarah Hanf, who had eight strikeouts in the loss. Jazzmine Johnson went 3-for-4 against the Timberwolves.
 Hanf has been the staff ace all season long.
She shattered the Laguna Creek High School career strikeout record with 517 K’s. Hanf also tied the school win record with 34 career wins; the Cardinals’ ace shut down opponents with a 1.22 ERA and an 11-4 record. She led the Metro League in all pitching categories. 
For the second season in a row, Hanf has also been named Metro League Most Valuable Player, sharing the honor this season with Marissa Montano of Monterey Trail.
Hanf’s effort was supported by graduating senior Ariel Burton, who set the tone the last two years with a .453 career batting average. Burton was a consistent force both offensively and defensively. She was joined by Isabel Castro, a career .333 hitter who been a solid defensive contributor as both a catcher and outfielder. 
The Cardinals have a number of strong returners as they prepare to enter the Delta League next season.
They include Johnson, a junior, and sophomore Mia Gonzalez, who torched opposing pitchers this year, both hitting well over .400. Sophia Rials added power, knocking in 22 RBI. Freshmen Ella Lovato and Jaysa Crable also put up strong numbers this season.