Kylee Perez and Hailey Sparacino are treasuring their final season on the Alhambra High softball team.
Not only have the two slick middle infielders helped the Bulldogs off to a fast start, they're getting to do it alongside their younger sisters for the first time.
The two freshmen, Briana Perez and Karlee Sparacino, have made quite the impression for the 13-2 Bulldogs. And their older sisters don't mind sharing the spotlight.
"It's so much fun," said Kylee Perez, a UCLA signee and two-time Diablo Foothill Athletic League MVP.
"It's so cool," added Hailey Sparacino, who's headed to Saint Mary's. "To see how good they are and knowing that's your younger sister, it's a proud moment."
Because of their age gap, the two sets of sisters had never played on the same team until this spring.
"The two little sisters on the team are comical," Alhambra coach Paul Buccellato said. "You definitely see the two older sisters take them under their wing, but (the freshmen) are both very talented athletes and can play any position you put them at."
Batting ninth, Karlee Sparacino is leading the team in hitting with a .707 average.
Buccellato calls leadoff hitter Briana Perez the fastest kid he's coached in 20 years of travel ball and high school experience.
Both have already committed to Pac-12 schools -- Briana will join her sister at UCLA and Karlee is headed to Oregon.
The freshman sisters have also helped make an already-potent lineup even more dangerous. Seven of nine starters have made college commitments.
"This is hands-down the best team I've seen in high school," Buccellato said.
Alhambra reached the championship semifinals of the prestigious Carew Classic and its only losses have been to Amador Valley and Los Alamitos.
Seven starters are hitting over .400, and the elder Sparacino and Perez have combined for nine home runs and 49 RBIs through 15 games.
A North Coast Section championship -- something the team's seniors last accomplished as freshmen -- is the ultimate goal.
"To be able to do it with our sisters would be special," Kylee Perez said.
DRAGONS ON A TEAR: After losing six of seven out of the gate, Bishop O'Dowd is suddenly one of the hottest baseball teams around.
Behind the pitching duo of Washington-bound Channing Nesbitt and sophomore Leo Nierenberg, the Dragons have won 10 straight games and are in first place in the WACC-Foothill standings.
"As a program, we do a lot of experimenting early in the season," O'Dowd coach Chris Kyriacou said. "You have to lose early to win later. ... Everything is a progression to get to May."
The team's lineup has steadied and it has become tough to score on with Nesbitt and Nierenberg starting on the mound.
Nierenberg, a right-hander, hasn't allowed an earned run while striking out 55 in 34 innings.
But the team leader is Nesbitt, a lefty with a solid changeup and curveball to go with an upper-80s fastball. In addition to a 2.69 ERA the four-year varsity player is hitting a team-best .531 entering this week.
Nesbitt has been at his best during the Dragons' winning streak, which began March 14.
"He put a lot of pressure on himself early on," Kyriacou said of Nesbitt. "We had a really good talk, and he deserves to have a good time in his senior year."
The addition of Shane Farley, who missed the first month of the season while helping O'Dowd's basketball team reach the Open Division state title game, has also bolstered the pitching staff.
The defense has improved as well. During the 10-game streak, the Dragons have allowed a total of just seven runs.
"We definitely did some soul searching when we were 1-6," Kyriacou said. "We suffered together, now we're reaping the dividends."
Follow Stephanie Hammon at twitter.com/stephhammon.