Caruthers High sophomore pitcher Sydney Kuma, who helped lead the Blue Raiders into the Central Section Division V softball final last season, is expected back in the circle soon after missing three-plus weeks’ worth of games with a leg injury.
A verbal commit to national power Georgia, Kuma suffered a deep calf bruise on her right leg in a collision with a goalie while playing soccer for Caruthers in a 3-1 loss to South on Feb. 14 during the Division IV playoffs.
Kuma, after transitioning to softball, started twice for the Blue Raiders during the Edison Tournament on March 4, but she couldn't get sufficient push off the rubber during a 6-5 loss to Lemoore and a 10-3 loss to Edison.
Kuma has rested the leg since. She’s expected to resume practice Monday and pitch again March 30 when Caruthers opens West Sequoia League play at home against Parlier.
22-4 Sydney Kuma’s pitching record during her freshman season at Caruthers
“We decided to sit her out until league starts and try and make another run from there,” Blue Raiders’ coach Jeff Day said. “She’s feeling better.”
Caruthers won the WSL title last season and earned the No. 1 playoff seed behind Kuma, who broke onto the section softball scene in a Bee All-Star season by going 22-4 with 268 strikeouts in 164 innings inside the circle and hitting .622 with nine home runs, three triples, 14 doubles and 41 RBIs for a team that went 21-4-3 overall and lost 7-1 against Firebaugh in the D-V final.
Kuma has emerged as one of the section’s best multisport athletes since arriving at Caruthers, also playing two seasons of varsity soccer (where she’s scored 81 goals and made 15 assists) and two seasons of varsity volleyball.
Hanford West’s Macias honored
Hanford West’s Jordyn Macias was named the Northern California Softball Player of the Week by CalHiSports following a three-homer game against Ridgeview on March 14.
Macias went 4 for 5 with four runs and six RBIs as the Huskies, ranked third in the section by The Bee, rolled over the Wolf Pack 10-0. It was the third time this season Macias has driven in five or more runs in a game, also accomplishing the feat against No. 9 Bullard and Garces.
Macias, a junior who has given a verbal commitment to Boise State, is hitting . 571 on the season with five homers, one triple, five doubles and 20 RBIs for Hanford West, which opens West Yosemite League play Friday at No. 12 Redwood.
A 6-1 home loss to Bullard last week has cost Clovis a spot in national and state rankings.
The Cougars were ranked No. 8 nationally in Maxpreps’ Xcellent 25 and No. 10 in the state by CalHiSports following a 7-0 start highlighted by a tournament title at the Las Vegas Kick-Off Classic.
But Bullard, behind home runs from Arianna Castillo and Jazzy Castaneda, pulled away from the Cougars and ace pitcher Danielle Lung over the final three innings.
Clovis dropped out of both set of rankings. Stockdale, which is off to a 12-0 start, has moved up from No. 16 to No. 12 in the state by CalHiSports. The Mustangs are also section top-ranked by The Bee.
Central Section Softball Rankings
(Records through March 22)
- 1. Stockdale (12-0)
- 2. Central (8-2)
- 3. Hanford West (9-1-1)
- 4. Buchanan (9-1)
- 5. Clovis (7-1)
- 6. Selma (3-3-1)
- 7. Monache (13-0)
- 8. Clovis East (7-3)
- 9. Bullard (4-5)
- 10. Madera (6-3)
- 11. Liberty-Bakersfield (8-3)
- 12. Redwood (5-5)
- 13. Hanford (5-5)
- 14. Mission Oak (5-3)
- 15. El Diamante (5-6-1)
- 16. Tulare Western (8-3)
- 17. Kingsburg (6-5)
- 18. Clovis West (5-4)
- 19. Tehachapi (10-3)
- 20. Sanger (9-4-1)
D-I: 1. 1. Stockdale, 2. Central; 3. Hanford West
D-II: 1. Monache, 2. Madera, 3. Redwood
D-III: 1. Hanford, 2. Tehachapi; 3. Independence (7-6)
D-IV: 1. Selma, 2. Mission Oak, 3. Dos Palos (8-2-1)
D-V: 1. Coalinga (9-0), 2. Sierra (3-0), 3. Roosevelt (8-0)
D-VI: 1. Central Valley Christian (6-1), 2. Orange Cove (4-6), 3. Frazier Mountain (5-0)