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Micaela Kastor, Oaks Christian softball star, is SBLive's Southern Section Athlete of the Year

Kastor, the SBLive California co-MVP and Gatorade Player of the Year, led the Lions to a SoCal Division I Regional title.

Welcome to a continuing tradition at SBLive California – honoring the male and female athletes of the year in every CIF Section.

Because the SBLive crew gets so immersed in specific sports seasons, it is nice to take a step back to pick a Section honor on a broader scale.

The criteria isn’t too expansive: The starting point is finding athletes who are all-league/all-state performers. Totality of career is also a factor as is winning. Administrator/coach/fan recommendation plays a role as well.

Enjoy as we honor some of California's top athletes!

Softball creates the opportunity for a unique phenomenon that few other team sports – if any – can offer. 

Star pitchers who are also star hitters have an opportunity to absolutely dominate every single game.

And how dominant was Oaks Christian two-way star Micaela Kastor at softball this season?

She was SBLive's statewide co-Player of the Year. She was named the Gatorade Player of the Year. And now, we've voted that she was the most dominant athlete within her respective sport of all high school athletes across the Southland. 

Kastor, a Notre Dame signee and CIF Regional Division I champion, is SBLive's Southern Section Athlete of the Year. She had a two-way season for the books to lead the Lions to a Southern Region title and the best record in the state (34-1), in addition to the Southern Section D1 semifinals.

Kastor: bottom left

Kastor: bottom left

In the circle, Kastor went 25-1 with a 0.51 ERA and 256 strikeouts in 151.1 innings. Entering the final game of the season, in which she held Southern Section Division 1 champion Roosevelt (Eastvale) to three earned runs, her ERA was a mere 0.40. She also added two saves for good measure.

And her pitching numbers tell barely half the story. Kastor batted .522 with 11 home runs, 39 RBIs, and an OBP/SLG/OPS line of .594/1.026/1.621. She hit a total of 59 hits, and 27 of them went for extra-bases on her way to scoring 40 runs.

How often was she on? Kastor only gave up 11 earned runs all season, so pretty much always. 

And how scary was she at her best? In the regular season alone, she: 

-threw a perfect game with 17 K's and hit 2-3 with a walk against Thousand Oaks;

-tossed a perfect game against Rio Mesa;

-pitched 5.1 hitless innings against eventual NorCal Division I finalist Clovis;

-and contributed four hitless innings in a combined no-hitter with Emelia Davis and went 3-4 with two RBIs against San Marcos (and eventually picked up where she left off).

Come playoff time, her work included shutting out one of the state's top teams in Murrieta Mesa while hitting 2-4 and scoring two runs, a two-hitter with one run allowed against CIFSS D2 champ Mission Viejo, and a historically great game against San Marcos. In that Regional quarterfinal, she tossed a no-hitter and hit two homers to go with a walk.

"Knowing that I had the game-time opportunities to impact the results on both sides of the ball, there definitely was a lot of pressure at certain moments, but I fed off of it," Kastor said. 

"I used that pressure to my advantage. If I was having an off day in the circle, I could still pick my team up in the box, and vice versa. I loved having such an essential role in the game and my individual success came from every girl on that team constantly showing support."

The Lions' only loss was a 4-0 defeat against Los Alamitos in the semifinals, which they bounced back from in a big way.

"Losing to Los Alamitos, an amazing offensive team, in the semifinals, I believe, was not a reflection of who we are as a team and who we had been the entirety of the season before," said Kastor. 

"They out-played us that day. We knew that that game wasn’t us, and we craved redemption. A run for the state title was our shot to prove that we were still the team to beat."

Kastor was already dominant as a junior in 2021, and Oaks Christian was an elite team then. But she points to their outstanding chemistry in 2022 as perhaps their biggest reason for taking the leap they did.

"Our game against Clovis in Las Vegas... was the turning point for our team chemistry. It was brutally cold and windy outside, and we made the conscious decision to have the most fun we possibly could given the circumstances. We cheered louder than ever and laughed together in order to distract ourselves from the cold. It ended up being our overall best game of the year. Offensively, defensively, and emotionally. We decided to remember that game by silently whispering 'Clovis' in our team huddle before every time we took the field. We never missed a game."

"We played our best when we had fun and played for each other. Not for a title. Not for a win. But for each other and our school," said Kastor.

"That mentality allowed us to walk through state with confidence, passion and minimal stress.

Kastor: #5

Kastor: #5

"Our team chemistry wasn’t limited to only in between the lines. The girls on that team are some of my best friends in life, and people that I know I can come to for anything 20 years down the line. We truly love each other, and that’s why our team was so successful."


School: Oaks Christian

Sport: Softball

Next step: Notre Dame Softball

Season highlights and accolades: SBLive California co-Player of the Year; Gatorade State Player of the Year; CIF Southern Region Division I champion

GPA: 4.21

Micaela Kastor softball



Central Section Male: Nate Johnson, Clovis

Central Section Female: Jazmine Soto, Strathmore

Central Coast Section Male: Mikey Mitchell Jr., Archbishop Mitty

Central Coast Section Female: Jessica Oakland, St. Francis

LA City Section Male: Dylan Kordic, San Pedro

LA City Section Female: Jillian Kelly, El Camino Real

North Coast Section Male: Nico Torrez, De La Salle

North Coast Section Female: Natalie Pasco, San Ramon Valley

Sac-Joaquin Section Male: Jadyn Marshall, Stockton St. Mary's

Sac-Joaquin Section Female: Jzaniya Harriel, Antelope

San Diego Section Male: Nick Herrmann, Torrey Pines

San Diego Section Female: Elise Miller, San Pasqual

Southern Section Male: Thomas Southey, Mira Costa

Southern Section Female: Alyssa Thompson, Harvard-Westlake