EL DORADO HILLS — In the just-completed spring 2013 season, the Oak Ridge Trojan softball team elevated to new heights — not as high as it wanted but still improved by 12 more wins over the year before. Front and center of that renaissance was senior shortstop Lauren Bertoy who’ll move on next year to play at Stanford University.
The Trojan captain was a starter as a freshman in 2010 when the Trojans went 12-0 in the Sierra Valley Conference en route to winning the D-II Sac-Joaquin Section Championship over Cordova.
In 2011 the Trojans moved over to the D-I Delta River League and struggled, winning 14 games that year and only six in 2012. But in 2013, the Trojans hit the ground running and played well throughout the year to rack up 18 wins.
“I just think that this year’s team was much more of a team. Everyone got along and picked each other up. Going into the season we all expected to win more, and as we started to get more wins our confidence increased,” Bertoy said.
Unfortunately, Oak Ridge hails from a tough league featuring perennial powers Sheldon, Pleasant Grove and Ponderosa. The Huskies and Lady Bruins played for the 2012 section title but Ponderosa, like Oak Ridge, fell short in its postseason bid.
Bertoy, who’s played since the third grade, excelled on the diamond as well as the classroom. In her senior year she had an impressive .538 batting average with 10 home runs and 31 runs batted in. Meanwhile, she’s compiled an 4.3 weighted GPA while at Oak Ridge.
“School always comes first, and colleges won’t have any interest with you unless you have good grades. I think it’s just about managing time well, because it is huge sacrifice balancing sports and academics,” she said
Her grades and play helped her land a scholarship to Stanford, joining wrestler Keaton Subjeck and tennis player Brandon Sutter as the only Trojans headed to The Farm. For Bertoy, the choice was easy.
“Academics are the No. 1 thing for me, and to be able to go to a school with strong academics and strong athletics as well just made perfect sense for me,” she explained.
While many athletes in sports such as softball opt to play solely club rather than play for their high school team, Bertoy has worn the school colors with pride.
“Putting on the Trojan uniform is such an honor,” she said. “With the tradition of the program, it’s really a well-respected team and it was great to be able to play for Oak Ridge. And as far as next year, there are some juniors that will be seniors that are great, so I think next year’s team will pick up where we left off.
“(Coach Sam Kloczko) is the kind of coach that truly believes in us,” Bertor continued. “He was always there telling us he was confident in us, and I think that really makes a big difference as far as the team dynamic, because it gives you confidence and that’s so important going out there.”
Said Coach Kloczko on Bertoy and the other seniors graduating from this year’s team: “We won’t be able to replace what they brought on the field, but even more so at practice and their leadership. Definitely as good a group of seniors I’ve ever had at Oak Ridge.”