Pirates’ Spence commits to UC-Santa Cruz

After a standout prep career at Santa Ynez High, Amanda Spence will be taking her game to the next level this fall.

Spence, a three-year varsity player for the Pirates, was recently admitted to UC-Santa Cruz, where she will also play on the basketball team.

Todd Kent, coach of the Division III Banana Slugs, said he is looking forward to having Spence on board, noting the perseverance, the 5-foot, 9-inch shooting guard showed in rehabbing several injuries over her last two seasons at Santa Ynez.

“Amanda is a great shooter with a high basketball IQ,” Kent said in a release. “Having watched Amanda demonstrate tremendous character, dealing with multiple injuries her junior and senior year only made our staff want her in our program even more.”

Spence was selected as the Pirates’ MVP following her sophomore season, in which she averaged 12.4 points and four rebounds per game.

She also earned multiple all-Los Padres League honors during her Santa Ynez career. Injuries limited her playing time in her final two seasons.

Pirates coach Cheyenne Deitrich said she was thrilled that Spence will be continuing her playing career. “It’s always exciting to see a SYHS student go on to play at a collegiate level,” Deitrich said. “We wish her the best of luck.”

In addition to playing at the high school, Spence also competed for the California Storm basketball club, averaging 10.6 points, 5.3 assists, and 7.8 rebounds per game during the 2010 summer/fall season. Spence graduated at the top 10% of her class this spring with a 4.6 GPA.

UC-Santa Cruz is a Division III school that plays an independent schedule. The team went 11-13 last season, one of the most successful campaigns in program history.

Fireballs win tourney

The Santa Ynez Valley Softball Association hosted an 11-team all-star tournament for 8-and-under and 10-and-under teams from June 30-July 1.

The Santa Ynez Fireballs captured the 8U championship by beating the Orcutt Krush, 4-0. In the semifinals, the Fireballs topped a team from Atascadero, 6-0, as pitcher Jazz Feeley tossed a perfect game by striking out every batter. She finished with 28 strikeouts in the tournament.