PLEASANTON -- As she put together one of the most dominant careers in East Bay high school softball history, Johanna Grauer was always looking for ways to get better.
In her senior year, the Amador Valley High pitcher continued to stymie opposing batters while also adding another element to her game -- hitting.
"She's never content with her performance, she's always willing to work and work hard," said Grauer's coach, Teresa Borchard. "She's always asking questions and is open to suggestions. She's very coachable."
The result was a magical season for the Dons. With Grauer as the driving force, Amador Valley finished a perfect 27-0 and earned a No. 1 national ranking by MaxPreps.com.
Only the second East Bay player ever to earn Cal-Hi Sports' Ms. Softball state player of the year honors -- joining Freedom's Amanda Williams -- Grauer is also the East Bay Player of the Year for the second time in three seasons.
In addition to her 14 shutouts, 0.51 ERA, .097 opponents' batting average and 290 strikeouts in 1911/3 innings pitched, Grauer also posted some impressive numbers at the plate.
Before this season, her hitting had always been more of an afterthought. She rarely even batted for her travel team.
"I just started thinking to myself how can I contribute more to the team effort," Grauer said. "Offense had always been something our team lacked a little bit throughout my four years."
She ended up leading the Dons with a .429 batting average and 39 hits while driving in 20 runs.
But Grauer earned a scholarship to UCLA for her pitching, and she used her senior year to hone her craft. Instead of constantly trying to blow away hitters with her upper 60's fastball, she also worked on her dropball and locating pitches in preparation for college.
Her biggest focus, however, was winning another North Coast Section Division I title, which Amador Valley did.
Despite being favored heading into the postseason the two previous years, the Dons suffered upset losses after winning the championship during Grauer's freshman year.
"That made the team better as a whole and me better as a player, just realizing how tough it was to do and how much work you have to put in," Grauer said of the 2012 and 2013 eliminations.
There's no doubt Grauer will be missed at Amador Valley next season, both for her talent and attitude.
"She exemplifies what it means to be a good teammate," Borchard said. "It's been an absolute joy to coach her."