Local softball talent on the rise

Lincoln High’s Abigail Lund sets sights on the future
By: Jim Linsdau News Messenger Sports Editor
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The California Breeze U16 softball team recently returned from a successful campaign in the ASA Junior Olympic Nationals tournament in Chattanooga, Tenn., and contributing to that success was one of Lincoln’s own. Abigail Lund, 16, has been playing softball since she was 7. She was raised in a soccer-playing family, but she decided she wanted to play something besides soccer so her parents suggested she give softball a try. Now, she no longer tries – she does – and she does very well. “I actually loved it my first year,” said Lund after her return from Tennessee, “and never wanted to stop playing.” Lund plays shortstop and said she was quite happy in that position. However, because of her speed, she is sometimes moved to the outfield. After two successful years playing for the Lincoln High School varsity, in which the Fighting Zebras won the Pioneer Valley League, she decided to give the California Breeze a try during the summer season. The move proved to be a good one. Not only did she fit in as a player, the girls on the squad quickly bonded and became very good friends, whether on the field or off. Lund said they were not only enjoying playing together, but realized they were also very good when they won a tournament the entered in Las Vegas, Nev. From there they wound up in the nationals tournament where they went 6-3, and lost one game by just one run in the last inning. They ended up 33rd out of 172 teams. “It was a blast,” said Lund of the trip. “It was so fun; those girls are my best friends. It was good bonding time and we got to play some good softball.” Playing alongside Lund were three girls from Rocklin, Alanna Rainer, Mallory Asaro, and Tiara Turner. Rainer and Asaro attend Rocklin High School, and Turner goes to Oakmont High. Turner started pitching almost 10 years ago and has developed into a solid performer. However, Turner said the California Breeze’s 16U strength was probably hitting. She said the club averaged around .350 for the year. Like Lund, Turner said softball was her sport. She has played varsity for the Vikings the past two years, and when she is not pitching she plays first base. She said in spite of the hard work to play at the level she’s achieved, she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I just love the sport that much,” said Turner crediting the work and team’s determination for their success. “I have plans to go to 18U girls softball.” Lund planned to tryout for Northern California’s Premiere 16U Softball Club coached by Michele Granger. Granger was a 1996 gold medalist in the 1996 Olympics, and a four-time All American softball player at the University of California. Those tryouts were held last night at Foskett Park Softball Complex. Lund said she wasn’t certain the new team would do well right away because of the time it takes for a team to bond. “You don’t know if they’re all going to be friends and have good chemistry,” Lund said of the new softball venture. “I think this is going to be good because they have some of the best coaches in the world” Lund looks to have two more good years playing for the Fighting Zebras, and then hopes to be recruited by a good school and play on an even bigger stage. She said she plans to enter a field where she can continue her career in sports. E-mail News Messenger Sports at