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Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week: Sailors' Marshall shoulders load

Junior pitcher has stepped up to lead Newport Harbor to Costa Mesa tournament championship.

March 16, 2012|By Matt Szabo
  • Newport Habor High pitcher Hattie Marshall had five wins and eight runs batted in in five games last week.
Newport Habor High pitcher Hattie Marshall had five wins… (Don Leach, unknown )

The losses tend to add up for the Newport Harbor High softball team.

The Sailors have lost 42 straight Sunset League games since 2007.

Newport Harbor had no seniors last year, but this year's squad still lost several key players.

With odds appearing to be stacked against the team, one person who does not panic is junior pitcher Hattie Marshall. In fact, she has a football analogy ready to go for the Sailors' situation.

"When you lose a big part of your team, you need other people to step up," said Marshall, the Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week. "I guess you can kind of compare it to how the Colts didn't really step up when they lost Peyton Manning. They didn't do too well this year, and that kind of shows how a team can fold under when you lose a big part of your team.

"But we didn't fold. Everybody has stepped up and done what they needed to do, and look at the outcome."

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The outcome has been great. The losses don't matter when you look at Newport Harbor's record so far this year. There are no losses there; the team is 7-0.

Marshall is a big reason why. She is batting .478 with a team-best 12 runs batted in, three doubles, three triples and a home run. She won all five games at the Costa Mesa tournament, helping the Sailors capture the title over league foe Huntington Beach, 7-5, on March 10. Her earned-run average this year is just 1.63.

"I think she's pitching with a lot of confidence right now," first-year Coach Russell Hartman said. "Her defense is doing well behind her, and I think she realizes that. She's just going at hitters. She's hitting her spots really well."

Marshall pitched a one-hitter in a big 4-0 nonleague win over perennial powerhouse Ocean View on Tuesday, also connecting on a solo home run to straightaway center. She is off to a hot start this year for the Sailors.

Marshall said the whole team is playing well. It has been necessary. Newport Harbor had four Newport-Mesa Dream Team selections last year, and she is the only one left.

She said Bella Secaira, the 2011 Newport-Mesa Player of the Year as a sophomore catcher, no longer attends Newport Harbor. Marshall said Secaira moved to Huntington Beach and now attends Marina High. Savannah Caviston, another Dream Team selection last year as a freshman first baseman and pitcher, still attends Newport Harbor but now rows crew, Marshall said.

Mandy LeGault, the Sailors' junior shortstop and leadoff hitter last year, moved to Atascadero.

Marshall has felt the absence of those players.

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