It’s been 12 seasons since Edison High’s last league softball championship.
And the Tigers have never captured a Central Section softball title, according to historian Bob Barnett.
But with NCAA Division I commitments Kristen Arias and Kayla Bowen helping power one of the section’s most potent offenses, Edison is positioning itself for a run to end both droughts.
Entering the final two weeks of the regular season, the Tigers (16-7, 5-1) are tied with Bullard for first place in the County/Metro Athletic Conference and in the running for a high seed for the section Division II playoffs, which begin May 16.
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Edison, which is ranked No. 11 overall in the section and No. 2 in D-II by The Bee, hosts Madera South on Tuesday then plays at Bullard on Friday. Both games are scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m.
“We all have a common goal,” Tigers coach Miranda Gonzales said. “We know what we want to accomplish. We’re fighting for something. We want to make it until the very end.”
We all have a common goal. We know what we want to accomplish. We’re fighting for something. We want to make it until the very end.
Edison softball coach Miranda Gonzales
Juniors Arias (committed to San Jose State), Bowen (a transfer from Bullard who is committed to Southern University in Louisiana) and Mackenzie Soper along with senior Desiree Reyes are the leaders of a team that’s hitting a collective .425 and scoring an average of 9.8 runs per game.
Reyes, a third baseman, is hitting a team-best .658 with two homers and 20 RBIs.
Arias, a catcher who has thrown out all five runners in CMAC play after nabbing 22 of 24 attempts last season, is hitting .625 with two homers and 29 RBIs.
Bowen, a shortstop/pitcher, and Soper, a pitcher/second baseman, have been the big thumpers, combining for 19 home runs and 87 RBIs. Bowen is hitting .602 with nine homers and 55 RBIs, while Soper is hitting .394 with 10 homers and 32 RBIs.
“Our offense has just been on fire,” said Gonzales, whose team has combined for 28 home runs.
Edison won its own Tiger Classic tournament and captured the consolation title at the Clovis Easter Classic. The Tigers’ postseason résumé includes wins over three D-I teams (Clovis East, Clovis North and Clovis West), reigning sections champions in Madera (D-II) and Hanford (D-III) and D-II contender Sanger.
9.8 Edison’s average runs per game
“When people think of Edison, with softball, they really don’t pay attention to us,” Gonzales said. “Bullard and the Clovis schools have been so strong for so long. But this team is really starting to make people take notice.
“I told them a few weeks ago, ‘do you guys realize how long it has been since Edison has won a conference title, let alone made it to a Valley championship?’ (Making a section final has) never happened. And their faces lit up. They want it to be them. They want it to be this team.”
Central Section softball rankings
Records through April 29
- 1. Stockdale (24-1)
- 2. Clovis (19-5)
- 3. Central (15-7)
- 4. Buchanan (17-7)
- 5. Hanford West (19-3-1)
- 6. Bullard (13-9)
- 7. Clovis East (16-8)
- 8. Monache (21-2)
- 9. Liberty-Bakersfield (19-6)
- 10. Mission Oak (14-5-1)
- 11. Edison (16-7)
- 12. Madera (15-9)
- 13. Clovis North (12-9-1)
- 14. Hanford (13-10)
- 15. Redwood (15-10)
- 16. Tulare Western (16-7)
- 17. Dos Palos (20-2-1)
- 18. Selma (12-7-1)
- 19. Sanger (15-9-1)
- 20. Kingsburg (14-9-1)
Division I: 1. Stockdale, 2. Clovis, 3. Central
Division II: 1. Monache, 2. Edison, 3. Madera
Division III: 1. Hanford, 2. Independence (15-7), 3. Tehachapi (18-5)
Division IV: 1. Mission Oak, 2. Dos Palos, 3. Selma
Division V: 1. Caruthers (12-11), 2. Coalinga (16-6), 3. Rosamond (14-7)
Division VI: 1. Orange Cove (13-10), 2. Frazier Mountain (10-2), 3. Mendota (10-11-1)