When a rival school dropped out of its league, Albert Einstein Academy softball ultimately lost a playoff berth.
What it didn’t lose was an undefeated Omega League championship and a host of league honors.
Sophomore catcher Beatriz Panduro was named league Most Valuable Player after batting .723 and leading Einstein to a 6-0 league mark.
It would’ve been enough to get the Rockets into the playoffs had Calvary Christian of Oxnard not dropped out of the Omega League, making it a three-team league.
As such, the Rockets needed an at-large berth and, according to CIF-Southern Section guidelines, a .500 or better overall record.
Einstein was 7-9.
Still, coach Mike Blischke was proud of his players.
“Beatriz Panduro is the best, pure softball player that I have ever coached,” he said of his catcher, who finished with four home runs and 42 RBIs. “She knows the game so well and rarely makes mistakes. She hit .723 for the season and made very few errors behind the plate. Most importantly, she was a leader on the team. I am very proud of her.
“Beatriz,” he said, “has the best swing I’ve seen in a long time.”
Rockets Amanda Bin, Samira Bachand, Faith Pearlman, Emma Horowitz and Rachel Stehle made the All-Omega League first team.
Briana Garden made the second team, and Blischke was named the Coach of the Year.
Bachand hit .750 on the year with 17 RBIs. Bin hit .574, Horowitz hit .531 and Pearlman hit .478.
“Faith Pearlman was another leader on the team who kept me calm when things were not going well,” said Blischke, later adding, “Amanda Bin is a warrior. She pitched 66.1 innings as a freshman. She has true grit and character.” The Rockets showed grit as a team, dropping nine of their first 10 games before winning their final six. Einstein hit .522 as a team and slugged .700. It should be strong again next season as 10 of its players were underclassmen.
The Rockets closed their season with a 25-12 win over Santa Clarita Valley International. Panduro went 3-for-4 with four RBIs in that game.
SCVi also earned All-Omega League honors after finishing 1-3-1 in league, according to MaxPreps. Emma Hild and Autumn Inglis earned first-team honors, while Autumn Stuka was second team.