St. Francis (softball), Mitty (baseball) reach title games

softball

Division I

No. 1 St. Francis 4, No. 4 Sheldon-Sacramento 0

Three turned into the magic number for the St. Francis softball team on Thursday as the Lancers beat Sheldon-Sacramento in the California Interscholastic Federation NorCal Division I semifinals.

University of Washington-bound Sydney Stewart provided most of the run support with a three-run blast to right-center in the bottom of the third.

“It looked like it was dying and dying and I thought it was going to hit the fence,” Stewart said. “But then when it went over I was ecstatic.”

That was preceded by a momentum-shifting double play in the top of the third.

St. Francis sophomore Kate Munnerlyn then retired the final 12 batters – three per inning.

“Everyone just got hyped after that,” the left-hander said. “Next thing you know, we just get hits, get hits, and get 1-2-3 outs on the field.”

Top-seed St. Francis (30-2) avenged one of its only losses, which came at the Livermore Stampede in April courtesy of No. 4 Sheldon (28-6).

“At the beginning of the season it was raw, we weren’t as experienced,” Stewart said. “We knew that we needed to come back and win this game just for redemption and just so that we can move on and play another game.”

Just like in Tuesday’s quarterfinal, Minnesota-bound Jessica Oakland provided an insurance run with a solo blast in the fifth inning.

“I feel like every time I homer, she homers – or vice-versa,” said Oakland, who clubbed her team-leading 21st home run. “We always feed off each other.”

St. Francis will host No. 3 Clovis (27-6) in Saturday’s championship game at 4 pm

“We want to end our season and our time here at St. Francis with a bang,” Stewart said.

Division II

No. 5 Benicia 5, No. 1 Notre Dame-Salinas 2, 10 innings

Robynn Balmediano drove in two runs in the tenth inning to break a 2-2 tie and lead Benicia to an upset win over top-seeded Notre Dame-Salinas.

The Panthers (24-6) will visit No. 2 seed Lincoln-Stockton today at 4 pm for the title. Lincoln (26-5-1) beat Central Catholic-Modesto 1-0 in nine innings to qualify for the championship game.

Division V

No. 3 Los Altos 4, No. 2 St. Helena 2

Sophomore Sophia Asar pitched a complete game and knocked in two runs with a bases-loaded single to lead the Eagles into the CIF NorCal DV championship game. They will visit No. 1 seed Big Valley Christian-Modesto on Saturday at 4 pm

Asar, a lefty who has pitched all but one inning this season for Los Altos, lined her single to left in the sixth to make it a 3-0 game. St. Helena came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning, but that was all.

Center fielder Kaitlyn Smiley made a diving catch in the six to help preserve the Los Altos lead.

The Eagles will take a 17-12-1 record into the title game. Big Valley Christian improved to 21-6 after crushing Lowell-San Francisco 15-1.

Elsewhere

Carlmont gave up five runs in the sixth and lost to No. 1 seed Dixon 6-1 in a D-IV semifinal contest. The Scots finished the season at 17-12.

Baseball

No. 2 Archbishop Mitty 3, McClatchy-Sacramento 0

Archbishop Mitty will play for its second championship in a week after the Monarchs got more superb pitching Thursday.

Playing on their home field in San Jose, they shut out their fourth opponent in five playoff games with a victory over McClatchy-Sacramento in the semifinals of the CIF NorCal Division II regional.

Second-seed Mitty will play host to No. 4 seed Granite Bay on Saturday. Granite Bay beat top-seeded Bellarmine 4-2 in 10 innings Thursday.

Five days removed from capturing the CCS Division II title, Mitty got all the offense it needed when Jarren Advincula’s single knocked in Alijah Ramos for a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

Antonio Cabrera pitched the first two innings for Mitty, striking out five. Kyle Scritzky followed with five scoreless innings and six strikeouts.

Mitty added two more runs in the fourth as TJ Hays’ double drove in Advincula and Hays scored in a wild pitch.

Advincula finished 2 for 3.

No. 4 Granite Bay 4, No. 1 Bellarmine 2

Granite Bay got back-to-back homers in the top of the 10th to upset top-seeded Bellarmine in the CIF NorCal D-II playoffs. The Granite Bay runs ended what had been six innings of scoreless ball after both teams had two-run innings in the third.

The Bells scored their first run when Chase Knight raced home from second on an errant pickoff attempt. They knotted the game at 2-2 when Thomas Trombatore singled home Rowan Kelly.

Bellarmine threatened to score in the seventh and eighth innings, but couldn’t get key hits.

The Bells finished their season at 22-10-1.

Division IV

No. 2 Bradshaw Christian-Sacramento 8, No. 6 St. Mary’s-Berkeley 2

It was one of those days for St. Mary’s. The Panthers gave up six unearned runs, according to coach Bill Mouton, and lost to Bradshaw Christian in the CIF NorCal D-IV semifinals.

“Walks, passed balls and errors,” Mouton said.

With the tournament consisting of three games in five days, pitching depth was going to be key. St. Mary’s went without top two pitchers Noah Zirkle and EJ McGrew, and it proved costly.

“They scored two in the third,” Mouton said, adding that three walks and a hit batter played a big part in Bradshaw Christian’s rally. “We hit the ball hard but in the wrong direction. The wind kept knocking it down.”

Bradshaw Christian (25-4) goes on the road to play at top-seeded Colusa for the D-IV title Saturday.

St. Mary’s finished 19-10-1.

Division V

No. 6 Berean Christian 7, No. 2 Turlock Christian 2

The Eagles broke open a tight 2-0 contest with four runs in the sixth on the way to the CIF NorCal DV final.

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