Sports


Paly grad Pederson a defensive standout as Dodgers win

 

Palo Alto High grad Joc Pederson came up with another outstanding defensive play and contributed at the plate, as well, to help the Los Angeles Dodgers complete a sweep of the visiting Seattle Mariners on Wednesday with a 5-2 victory in Major League Baseball action.

Pederson, the starting center fielder, made a diving catch to rob extra bases, threw out a runner at the plate, singled in a run and walked three times as the Dodgers extended their win streak to four games.

The Mariner on the losing end of both defensive gems was catcher Mike Zunino, and that only provided extra satisfaction for Pederson.

"He threw me out (trying to steal) twice," Pederson told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. "You definitely know when someone gets you. He threw me out yesterday and got me out today. I'm glad I could return the favor."

The 22-year-old Peterson, who has raised his batting average to .310 hitting in the difficult No. 8 spot in a Dodgers batting order that was missing outfielders Yasiel Puig (hamstring) and Carl Crawford (ankle). Pederson's RBI single brought home Andre Ethier to give the Dodgers a 5-0 lead.

Pederson had to make a long run and layout dive to backhand Zunino's second-inning drive to right-center. The next inning, Pederson charged Justin Ruggiano's sharp single and fired a perfect one-hopper to catcher Yasmani Grandal to erase Zunino, who tried to score from second.

Women's water polo

Stanford signees Makenzie Fischer and Madison Berggren were named to the 13-athlete roster that will represent Team USA at the upcoming FINA Women's Intercontinental Tournament USA Women's Senior National Team, as announced by American coach Adam Krikorian.

The top four finishers from the event, which runs from April 28 to May 3 in Auckland, New Zealand, will qualify for the FINA World League Super Final. Team USA will open competition on April 28 against Brazil. They will also take on China and Kazakhstan to close out group play.

With the NCAA women's water polo season in full swing, the USA squad will be comprised of National Team veterans and rising stars from the high school game like Fischer and Berggren. The pair was among six prep standouts who committed to the Cardinal in mid-November.

Fischer, a senior at Laguna Beach High School, has previously played with the Senior Team on a number of occasions. She scored five goals in helping Team USA to gold at the 2014 FINA World League Super Final in Kunshan, China this past June and tallied six goals en route to silver at the FINA Intercontinental Tournament in Riverside in May.

In the span of one calendar year, Fischer won two world championships for her country, first with the USA Water Polo Women's Junior National Team at the FINA Women's Junior World Championship in Volos, Greece in August 2013 and again this past August with the USA Water Polo Youth National Team at the FINA Youth World Championships in Madrid.

She also participated in a training trip to Italy in March and scored against the Italian Women's National Team in an exhibition match played at the historic indoor Foro Italico.

Recently voted CIF Division I Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, Fischer guided Laguna Beach to an undefeated season and a second consecutive Division I crown.

Berggren, a two-time veteran of the USA Water Polo Youth National Teams (2013 and 2014), will be making her first appearance with the senior squad.

Last August, she joined Fischer, fellow signee Kat Klass and current Stanford freshman Jordan Raney on the gold-medal winning USA squad at the FINA Youth World Championships in Madrid.

The title capped an undefeated week for Team USA, which beat Hungary, South Africa, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece and Canada en route to its first-ever FINA Youth World Championship.

Berggren scored four times for her country in the tournament, highlighted by a three-goal performance in an Aug. 27 victory over Germany.

Berggren led Tualatin High School to Oregon state championships in 2011, 2013 and 2014 and was named State Tournament MVP each of the past two seasons.

The left-handed driver scored nine of the Timberwolves' 16 goals in their 16-10 title-game victory over West Albany in late November.

Six of the 13 on the recently announced squad are high schoolers and will play alongside the likes of former Stanford great and 2012 Olympic gold medalist Melissa Seidemann.

Women's lacrosse

USC women's lacrosse sophomore attacker Michaela Michael was named the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) Offensive Player of the Week and the Epoch/Lacrosse Magazine National Player of the Week for the week of April 6-12.

Michael, a Menlo School graduate, scored nine goals, had two assists (11 points), and secured 11 draw controls in a pair of wins over Colorado (12-9) and Denver (16-4). She was instrumental in USC's come-from-behind victory over the Buffs as she put in a career-high six goals. She also had a career-high four ground balls in the game and added four draw controls.

Against the Pioneers, Michael posted her 10th-career game with three goals or more. She won seven draws and helped the Trojans to their first-ever win over the defending MPSF champions. This is Michael's second MPSF weekly honor. She was named Rookie of the Week once last season (March 17).

Michael's award from Lacrosse Magazine is the third national award for a Trojan player all-time.

USC (10-3, 6-0 MPSF) plays its final three regular-season games on the road. The Trojans will visit UC Davis (3-10, 2-3 MPSF) on Friday before facing No. 15 Stanford (9-2, 5-0) on Sunday at 3 p.m., televised live by the Pac-12 Networks.

Also playing for USC is Palo Alto High grad Nina Kelty.

Swimming

Palo Alto's Daniela Barnea won all of her seven events at the Pacific Masters Championships short course meet in Moraga last weekend.

Barnea won the 100, 200 and 400 IMs, the 100 breast, 100 back plus the 50 and 100 fly. She also received the 2014 Swimmer of the Year award for women in addition to receiving high-point award for 2014. Both awards cover every age division.

"That was 23 years in the making," said Barnea. "Laura Val, who is about 10 years young and an amazing swimmer, has been winning it every single year for the past, probably, 20 years. I always wondered how she does it. I guess I found my way."

Also competing for the Stanford Masters club was Katie Glenn, who broke four Pacific Masters records in the women's 35-39 age division. More than 30 records were broken in the meet.

Barnea next will compete at the U.S. Masters short course nationals next weekend in San Antonio, Texas. She'll also swim in the Bay Area Senior Games, which run May 2-24 at Stanford. Swimming begins May 17 at Avery Aquatic Center.

Track and field

Menlo School grad Maddy Price, a state meet qualifier in the 200 and 400 last year and school recordholder in both events, is continuing her standout efforts as a freshman on the women's track and field team at Duke University this spring.

Price has added a new event to her repertoire -- the 400-meter hurdles. She made her collegiate debut in the event on April 4 at the VertKlasse Meeting in High Point, N.C. Price clocked 1:01.08 while finishing first and recording the third-fastest time in school history. Her performance was also an automatic qualifying time for the ACC Championships.

Price also ran a leg on Duke's 400 relay team that won in 45.91, the second-fastest time in Duke history.

This past weekend at the Duke Invitational, the 400 relay team was even better as Price helped her team clock a school record of 44.92 while taking second place. Price also ran the second leg on the 1,600 relay that also won to help the Blue Devils take the team title.

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