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Local coach, players earn top honors
Owen, Burks selected to All-American teams
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The accolades keep pouring in for the East Union softball team.

Brian Goulart was named Medium Schools State Coach of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports after he guided the Lancers to Valley Oak League and Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championships. East Union avenged two of its three losses by twice routing Pioneer in the section championship round. Cal-Hi Sports earlier crowned East Union the Division III State Team of the Year. The Lancers have three section championships, two under Goulart, but had never previously received a mythical state title.

Two of the Lancers’ brightest stars have also been rewarded for their standout season the past couple of weeks.

Samantha Owen, the VOL’s MVP, earned spots on the FloSoftball All-American second team and MaxPreps Underclass All-American team. The shortstop enjoyed a breakout junior campaign in which she hit for a .643 batting average, nine home runs and 61 RBIs. Owen, committed to Pacific, is also on the Cal-Hi Sports All-State first team, medium schools first team and is a first-team underclassman.

Oregon-bound centerfielder Cherish Burks made the MaxPreps Medium Schools All-American second team and is listed on the Cal-Hi Sports all-state first team and medium schools first team. She was the tone-setter for the Lancers’ potent lineup, hitting .550 to go with a career-high 52 runs scored, 31 RBIs and 22 extra-base hits (four homers).

Danielle Sperry of Ripon High made the Cal-Hi Sports small schools second team. The Trans-Valley League Pitcher of the Year compiled a 21-5 record, 0.92 ERA and struck out 173 in 16 1/3 innings. The junior is committed to Sacramento State.