Johanna Grauer was an unstoppable force in getting Amador Valley its No. 1 national ranking and NCS title.
By CHACE BRYSON | Editor
Johanna Grauer’s four-year varsity career followed a made-for-Hollywood story arc.
Grauer was the first true freshman to grace the cover of SportStars when she appeared on June 9, 2011, after she and five other freshmen played key roles in leading Amador Valley softball to its first North Coast Section championship (Grauer threw a shutout).
One year later, Grauer started another NCS final and struck out 17 in a 1-0 loss that denied the Dons a No. 1 national ranking. And then her junior year ended with an ankle injury just days before the team’s playoff opener.
That left 2014 — a season which, whether it was said or not, seemed to hold the legacy of this stellar group of seniors in its balance. Grauer shouldered that weight perhaps more than any other, and delivered in grand fashion.
Grauer is the SportStars Bay Area Female Athlete of the Spring after pitching all but 1.2 innings of the Dons undefeated 27-0 season. She notched every victory while posting a 0.51 ERA. She allowed just 60 hits and struck out 290 over 191 innings of work. She caught the pop-up that sealed Amador’s 2-1 NCS championship victory over Granada, a win which gave it the No. 1 spot in the final MaxPreps.com Xcellent 25 national rankings.
“No doubt, her competitive edge (makes her so successful),” said Julie Marshall, who was coach of the Dons during Grauer’s first two seasons. “She has that fight and heart and gut that just can’t be taught. If someone gets around on her and goes deep, I’d hate to be that next better.”
Grauer could do some damage at the plate too. She led the Dons this season in batting average (.429) and hits (39). She also had 20 RBI.
Grauer’s career will continue at UCLA, where she’ll suddenly be a freshman again. Setting the stage for a similar career arc to begin. “We’re going to be watching her in the Women’s College World Series sometime over the next four years. I guarantee it,” Marshall said.
THE GRAUER FILES
• THE STATS: The Bay Area’s most dominant pitcher over the last four years ended her senior season with a 27-0 record, 0.51 ERA, 290 Ks and just 60 hits allowed over 191.1 innings. She was also the team’s top hitter with a .429 average with 39 hits and 20 RBI.
• SIGNATURE PERFORMANCE: In her first postseason appearance since her sophomore year, Grauer threw a six-inning no-hitter in an 11-0 rout of Castro Valley. She struck out 12, walked one, and went 2-for-4 at the plate with 4 RBI.
• HUMBLE HERO: “She leads by example with a humble approach,” Marshall said. “Blue chips can be all about me, me, me, but as much as she wants to carry the weight of the world on her shoulders, she understood the importance of team.”
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