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ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Caitlyn Campbell, Ripon softball
AOW Caitlyn Campbell
Caitlyn Campbell

Ripon’s versatile senior infielder had never hit three home runs in a game and picked an ideal time to do so for the first time.

Campbell catapulted solo jacks in the first, third and fourth innings of the Indians’ 7-0 non-league win over Big Valley Christian on May 10. Two days later, she crushed another in the team’s Trans-Valley League finale at Escalon. Ripon lost 6-3 but already had the outright championship in hand.

She leads Ripon with 13 home runs and 27 RBIs while sporting a .424 batting average.

“I don’t know, I think it’s my bat,” Campbell joked. “It just produces a lot of power. My mentality at the plate is to get ahead in the count and find my pitch.”

It was an extra special moment for Campbell and others involved. She was one of two players honored on senior night, and recognized Robert Vernon in his last regular-season home game as coach. Campbell was pleased to give her coach a proper sendoff.

“To do that on senior night was really unexpected,” she said. “It was a great feeling, and an even better feeling doing it on what was basically Vernon’s senior night, as well. I have been with him since freshman year and he has truly impacted me as a player, so it felt nice to do that.”

Ripon starts postseason play Thursday at home against Liberty Ranch. The Indians are going after their third Sac-Joaquin Section title after getting the first two under Vernon.