By Ray Conner
A rolling stone may not gather any moss, but a CIF championship softball team made Brianna Moss the Coach of the Year.
The BVarsity in partnership with the Bakersfield Californian chose Moss as the softball Coach of the Year for 2018.
Moss rode this wave from being named the head coach after Ben Goffinet stepped down. Moss continued the success of the softball program at Kern Valley prior to being selected.
She took a team that had only three seniors and rounded them into a championship squad. She gives a lot of credit to her assistant coaches, Jessica Yasin, and her own father Mike Moss, that concluded in gaining this high honor.
From the start of the season, the Lady Broncs rolled their way through opponents and built a huge record. They started the year on an eight-game win streak that was halted by a close game in the High Desert League. Eventual HDL champion Desert put the brakes on the streak with a 3-2 victory.
Coming back the Kern Valley team went unbeaten in their next seven games as they were 6-0-1 to make their record 14-0-1.
Another slim loss to Frazier Mountain gave them their second loss.
They finished out the year winning their last five games and being crowned CIF champs. Their last victory of the year came over Highland in an exciting 2-1 title-winning game.
Moss in leading her team also made history as the Lady Broncs are the first Central Section CIF softball champions.
Kern Valley had won two other CIF titles, but they were in the Southern Section.
Despite only three seniors on the team, the Lady Broncs came together under the tutelage of Moss and worked their offensive and pitching into a top caliber team that made it possible for their coach to allow her hat to be thrown in the Coach-of-the-Year talk.
Moss guided the team that was offensively structered in away that made it hard for opposing pitchers to shut them down.
Kern Valley as a team batted .405 and racked up 73 extra-base hits. They scored 282 runs and had an OBP (on base percentage) of .485, which related to players being on base almost half the time they stepped into the batters box.
Sam Alvarez with her .605 batting average was the key in driving runs home and scoring a lot of runs. Alvarez and her teammates took turns producing as two others batted above .550. Brenna Acosta, most times leading off for the Lady Broncs hit .556. while Sadi Hartman hit .581.
Between the three of them they drove in 124 runs for Kern Valley. Alvarez (55), Hartman (50), and Acosta (19).
Of course the pitcher in the circle for the Lady Broncs helped their case as she dominated batters. Helen Hayes took her turn most times and completely took charge. She racked up a 19-2 record with 232 strikeouts in 126 innings. Her ERA (earned run average) was a scant 0.67 and she would throw four no-no’s on the season.
Combine all this, and at the end of the year, it was quite obvious that Moss deserved the honor of 2018 Softball Coach of the Year.
The good news for the Lady Broncs is most of the players will be returning next season and they hope to return to greatness with another CIF title.
Other Lady Broncs to earn BVarsity All-Area softball selections were Hayes, Acosta, Alvarez, and Hartman.
Hayes was selected to the first team, while the other three players from Kern Valley were tagged as Honorable Mention winners.
One other Lady Bronc athlete was chosen to represent Kern Valley as a BVarsity All-Area selection. Julia Amstutz was an Honorable Mention selection from the Lady Broncs track and field squad for 2018.
Amstutz continued to improve every year and it paid off as she was given the All-Area selection.