Chino’s dominance can’t be confined to Southern California. The juggernaut softball team that claimed its second consecutive CIF-SS Division 2 championship on Saturday, was named the Division 2 state softball team of the year by Cal-Hi Sports. Here is the photo gallery from the historic 4-0 win over Lakewood.
Chino finished fourth in the state rankings last season, but a season that included just two one-run losses vaulted the Cowgirls to the top. And they’re not done yet. Utah-bound pitcher Miranda Viramontes will return for her senior season along with four freshman who played prominent roles this season.
Mission Viejo, one of the two teams to which Chino lost during the regular season – Viramontes, however, didn’t pitch in the Cowgirls’ 7-6 loss March 9 – was the overall state No. 1 entering the playoffs. The No. 1 seed in Division 2 fell to Ayala. Coincidentally, Ayala was the last local team to end the season as Cal-Hi Sports’ overall No. 1 team in the state when a Jessica Hall-led squad won a CIF title.
All it took was one hit.
Chino’s game was so refined by the time the softball team reached Saturday’s CIF-SS Division 2 championship game that one hit was enough to convince Cowgirls coach Mike Smith a second consecutive title was in the bag.
Ruby Barroso’s second-inning solo home run turned out to be enough as Miranda Viramontes pitched her third one-hitter of the playoffs to lead Chino to a 4-0 win over Lakewood and a second consecutive CIF championship.
Viramontes, who last season was the centerpiece of the first CIF championship softball team in school history, allowed just two runs the entire postseason. With eight strikeouts and two walks, the junior won her 21st consecutive start by defeating fourth-seeded Lakewood on Saturday in a game she entered with a 0.36 earned-run average.
“You give Miranda a lead and it’s pretty much over,” Smith said. “You look at the numbers, I think it’s been years since anybody’s done what she did. I don’t think there’s anybody in the state that pitched better this year.”
There is a little bit of a gap seeing as the CIF-Southern Section is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and Mike Smith has been coaching for 26 years.
Regardless of the context, the Chino softball coach’s profession of his pitcher’s greatness is a bold one.
Miranda Viramontes hasn’t given anyone reason not to believe him, winning a CIF-SS championship in her first season as a starter and carrying the Cowgirls to the brink of another as a junior.
On the strength of two postseason one-hitters and a no-hitter preceding Tuesday’s 2-1 win in nine innings, Viramontes (pictured above) has pitched Chino within one win of a second straight CIF championship.
“I was telling them at the CIF meeting that I think this is the most dominant a pitcher has ever been in the history of CIF,” Smith said. “That’s the type of year she’s having.”
Inland Empire high school softball went a long way toward validating mention in the same breath as the Orange County programs by claiming three CIF championships last season. Of the three that were crowned in 2012 – Chino, Chino Hills and Pomona Catholic – only Chino remains alive entering today’s semifinals.
Thanks to one of the best pitchers in Southern California, junior Miranda Viramontes, the defending CIF-SS Division 2 champions have allowed just one run in the postseason, though Chino won its second-round game by a score of 2-0.
MVPs: Fabian Venegas, Montclair, Sr.
Parker Tormey, Don Lugo, Sr.
Daniel Sandoval, Chino, Sr.
Joseph Gutierrez, Chaffey
Anthony Reyes, Montclair
David Roman, Montclair
Adrian Garcia, Montclair
Edgar Fonseca, Montclair
Matt McCain resigned Friday after three years as Chino’s head football coach, ending a tenure that included two league championships and one undefeated regular season.
The Chino alumnus will remain a physical education teacher and work experience coordinator at the school, but ends a football coaching career that began at Chino in 1995.
“I’ve continued my education and at this point in my career I want to pursue other professional opportunities,” McCain said. “Chino football has been a big part of my life and always will be, but this was a logical time for me to step down.”
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Adrien Perez, Ontario, Senior, Forward
Take your pick: 23 goals, 12 assists, a CIF championship, a second consecutive league MVP. There were plenty of reasons to choose Perez (pictured above) as the Player of the Year, but what sealed the deal was the fact that he completed the last portion of a historic season playing through a debilitating knee injury. The Loyola Marymount-bound senior was the leader of a team that authored a legendary run through the Division 4 playoffs to claim the program’s first ever CIF championship and the second of any kind in the history of Ontario High School. Penalty kicks and overtime were how the final two games of the season ended for Ontario, but Perez was holding up a plaque when it was all said and done.
COACHES OF THE YEAR: Vince Mangione and Moses Venegas, Ontario
The co-coaches led Ontario to the school’s first ever soccer CIF championship and the second CIF title of any kind. The unseeded Jaguars defeated the No. 2 seed before winning a semifinal on penalty kicks over the No. 3 seed and ultimately claiming the CIF-SS Division 4 championship game in overtime on March 1. Of course, Ontario had to win its final five regular season games to claim a share of the Mt. Baldy League championship and begin the greatest postseason run in school history.
Garey certainly makes a convincing argument for why it should be granted relief from the Mt. Baldy League.
Take its track record in girls’ sports. Only twice in the last three years has Garey not finished last in the league in any sport.
The process of releaguing begins Friday, when Garey will inform all principals and athletic directors in the Mt. SAC area of its request for relief after seven years in the Mt. Baldy League.
“The sad fact is that not only are we coming in last place for the majority of our programs, but we are also getting completely dominated by our league opponents for the majority of our teams at all levels,” Garey athletic director John McGaha said. “Garey hasn’t been in a league where we could be competitive in most sports for more than ten years, but we are hoping this will finally change.”
Turns out the actual CIF championship was just the beginning for the Ontario boys soccer team. The hardware keeps rolling in for the lone local team to win a title as Loyola Marymount-bound forward Adrien Perez was named the All-CIF Player of the Year in Division 4 and Vince Mangione Coach of the Year.
Carter, which went undefeated this season until losing the CIF-SS Division 6 championship game, landed three players on the all-CIF team. Alta Loma, Ontario Christian and Ontario all had a pair of players on the all-CIF team.
Player of the Year: Gage Zerboni, Sr. Forward – San Clemente
Coach of the Year: Mike Pronier – San Clemente
Colony High School is admittedly curious about how successful it could be in the highly competitive Baseline League. Piquing that curiosity is the fact that Colony has been dominant in several sports during its reign in the Mt. Baldy League.
There will be a Foothill-Citrus Area releaguing meeting March 22 discussing the realignment that will take effect in the fall of 2014, but Colony athletic director Jaime Sandoval doesn’t envision his school going anywhere.
“Everybody’s curious,” Sandoval said. “But you look across the board at where you fit best. And for Colony, the best fit is (the Mt. Baldy League).”