Campolindo High center fielder Brett Stephens bats left, throws right and leads by example.
He helps make the circle complete on a Cougars squad gunning for a fourth consecutive North Coast Section Division II title.
Stephens, who says he's fully recovered from a left shoulder injury suffered in football, is headed to UCLA on a baseball scholarship.
"You're looking at leadership and what he's done in this school, in football and baseball," Cougars coach Max Luckhurst said of Stephens.
"Four-year baseball varsity player, three-year varsity quarterback, and he understands what needs to be done here, and he leads by example."
Luckhurst said the same mindset applies to the Cougars' Cal-bound Robbie Tenerowicz and Oregon State-bound Trent Shelton, a 6-foot-4 pitcher who worked six strong innings in an 8-1 win over Dublin on Tuesday.
"They want the other players to get better because they understand that it's a team thing," Luckhurst said of Shelton, Tenerowicz and Stephens. "It's not just those three guys. It's nine guys on the field. It's No. 9 hitting, it's No. 2 hitting. They all need to be able to contribute. That's the way they treat these guys."
Campolindo (11-6-1, 5-1 Diablo Foothill Athletic League) is riding a six-game winning streak amid a demanding schedule.
The Cougars host rival Acalanes, in a matchup of reigning NCS Division II and Division III champs, at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Acalanes topped Campolindo 2-1 loss in the teams' league openers.
The Cougars' first five opponents were St. Francis-Mountain View (now 23-1), Serra-San Mateo (19-4), De La Salle (10-5), Casa Grande-Petaluma (17-1), and Elk Grove (16-3). They've also faced Fountain Valley (21-1) and Agoura (16-8).
"I think we're coming along just the way you want to come," Stephens said. "We want to play our best baseball when we're going into the NCS playoffs, and we're definitely on that track."
ON HER WAY: Pitcher Shannon Mestas wants to etch her name in Clayton Valley Charter softball history.
Part of a nine-member senior class, Mestas is focused on capping her high school career with Diablo Valley Athletic League and NCS titles.
And by chasing an individual goal, too, Mestas has helped the Eagles become legitimate contenders for both team aspirations.
Mestas hopes to break a school record for strikeouts. With the league season not even halfway over, she has whiffed 144, putting her well on pace to shatter the previous mark of 186. "She's just determined," Eagles coach Kristen Morley said.
Mestas has shared pitching duties since her freshman season and won the league MVP award as a sophomore. She was the co-Most Valuable Pitcher in 2012.
But this year she has been dominant in the circle, tossing two perfect games (Liberty and Ygnacio Valley), three no-hitters and combining with Kaitlyn Covione on a fourth. Mestas' ERA is a .092, having given up just one earned run all year and seven total runs in 14 games, according to Morley.
Mestas is also one of the Eagles' top hitters, batting .487 this year.
Jacee Almond has hit safely in all but one game, hitting .564, and College Park transfer Kierra Willis has also provided a big offensive lift since becoming eligible on April 1.
Willis, an all-league outfielder with the Falcons, has hit four home runs in just five games and could break the school record of five homers in a season.
Clayton Valley is 15-2 overall and turned heads with a close 1-0 defeat to Amador Valley at the Queen of the Mountain tournament in March.
The Dons were the top-ranked team in the nation at the time.
"I think it made it so people recognized Clayton Valley," Morley said. "We knew we could play them, my team definitely doesn't' lack confidence. It just showed we deserve to be on the field with everyone."
-- Stephanie Hammon