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ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Elon James, Manteca softball
AOW Elon James
Elon James

Manteca’s hot streak to start the season came to an end last week, but that’s not the case for its slugging first baseman.

James went 6 for 11, driving in 10 runs while plating six on the strength of two grand-slam homers and three doubles. The Buffaloes were 8-0 last Friday going into their road game against Trans-Valley League power Escalon, which came from behind to stun them, 12-7. James had the big hit for Manteca, a grand slam in the third inning for a 5-0 lead.

Two days earlier, James was 3 for 5 with the other grand slam, a double, five RBIs and three runs in a 15-5 rout of Ripon. She also hit 2 for 3 with two doubles, two runs and an RBI, as the Buffs bashed Central Valley 14-4 on March 15.

“One of the most impressive weeks I’ve seen as a coach,” Manteca coach Josh Farris said. “She is absolutely crushing the ball to all fields. You can tell other coaches know where she is in the lineup and when she is coming up and that seems to affect their game plan.”

For the season, she boasts a .515 average and leads the club with three homers and 23 RBIs. Manteca plays next Monday at Rainbow Fields for its Valley Oak League opener against Central Catholic.

“Tremendous overall player who makes our entire team better,” Farris said. “Elon is such a character, always making everyone laugh with her jokes and lighthearted positive attitude. We all feel so fortunate to not only get to watch her play every day, but just being around such an awesome young lady.”