Sydney Kuma, one of the most unique freshmen athletes in recent memory across the Central Section, added another accomplishment to her Caruthers High debut.
Kuma was named the Most Valuable Player of the Fowler Easter Classic after leading the Blue Raiders to the title with her arm and bat in a 10-0, five-inning mercy-rule victory over Washington in the final of the eight-team softball tournament Tuesday.
Kuma pitched a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts while also going 2 for 2 with two runs and an RBI.
“Once I started throwing in warmups, I had that feeling,” Kuma said. “I felt good today.”
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Kuma was 2-0 with 36 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings, and hitting .636 with two RBIs during Caruthers’ 3-0-1 run through the tournament.
It’s just the latest sensational performance for a freshman who has started in three varsity sports this year.
She was an outside hitter on a 15-15 Blue Raiders’ volleyball team and scored 51 goals for an 18-6-2 soccer team.
And, Kuma is a varsity cheerleader, too.
“She’s just a natural athlete,” Caruthers coach Jeff Day said. “There’s really nothing this kid can’t do. She’s amazing.”
Kuma struck out two in the top of the first to set the tone against Washington in the final.
Alyssa Sanchez provided the only run Kumma would need with a lead-off home run, triggering a four-run first inning that also featured Brianna Vega’s run-scoring fielder’s choice grounder.
Sanchez said she knew it was a home run from the ball’s trajectory.
“It felt awesome,” she said. “I feel like our energy when we stepped on the field was on point.”
Kuma had a run-scoring sacrifice fly in a two-run second, Olivia Mendoza had a sacrifice bunt in the third, Kaylee Pimentel an RBI double in the fourth and Jenessa Gadberry an RBI single in a two-run fifth that ended it.
Caruthers captured the Fowler Easter Classic for the first time.
“We’ve come a long ways at Caruthers,” Day said. “These girls have put in a lot of long hours at practice and it’s paying off.”
Two-time defending champion Washington had won 15 consecutive Fowler Easter Classic games before the final.