Diamond Bar wasn’t alone. The Brahmas suffered the fate of the other two local baseball teams in Tuesday’s CIF-SS semifinals, falling a game short of playing for a championship. After Diamond Bar couldn’t convert a third-inning leadoff triple into a run, it was all downhill in a 10-2 loss to second-seeded Gardena Serra.
Though San Dimas avoided an Oaks Christian ace expected to be a first-round draft pick, the Saints fell to the No. 1 seed, 3-0. Division 2 No. 3 seed Los Osos went down in heartbreaking fashion, falling victim to a two-out single in the final inning of a 3-2 loss to second-seeded Temecula Valley. Ontario Christian, the final local baseball team standing, will play its Division 5 semifinal today after the game was delayed due to Oak Hills’ graduation.
For all CIF-SS baseball semifinal scores, click the link below.
Thursday’s 1-5 record doesn’t do justice to the heartbreak felt by local softball teams in Thursday’s quarterfinals. San Dimas lost in extra innings, Ayala (pictured above) coughed up a final-inning two-run lead and Kaiser’s eight-run second inning wasn’t enough in a 15-9 loss. Defending CIF champion Chino was the lone survivor thanks to the Division 2 No. 3 seed’s 10-0 win over Dana Hills. Fellow defending CIF champ Pomona Catholic is still alive in Division 6, but won’t play until Friday after its expected opponent today, Indio Shadow Hills, was removed from the playoffs for taking illegal batting practice.
Etiwanda’s team of nine freshman ousted the No. 3 seed on the way to the quarterfinals, but the lone local in Division 1 couldn’t get past Yorba Linda. Ayala, the fourth-place team from the Sierra League that ended the season of Division 2 No. 1 seed Mission Viejo on Tuesday, had a 3-1 lead entering the final inning of an error-marred 5-3 loss to Long Beach Millikan. Chino Hills, another defending CIF champ, was hoping for an all-Sierra League semifinal with Ayala but struck out 11 times in a 2-0 loss to Lakewood ace Janelle Hayes.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Tanya Samarzich, Upland, Senior, Forward
Given the myriad levels of the soccer Olympic development program, there is often confusion when discussing membership of a “national team.” Particularly when the member is a high school senior. The case of Upland forward Tanya Samarzich is easily simplified. “Oh yeah, she’s on the actual Mexican National Team,” Upland coach Bo Whieldon said. “You don’t find many her age that are because usually they’re on the under-20 national team. It’s kind of a big deal.” Samarzich, 18, a dual citizen, didn’t play a full season at Upland until this year because of her required presence in Mexico or elsewhere around the globe. Her senior year netted her All-Valley Player of the Year honors after a 26-goal, 11-assist season during which she led her team to an outright Baseline League championship.
COACH OF THE YEAR: George Duran, San Dimas
After a winning just one of its first six games, Duran led San Dimas on a run that ended in the CIF-SS Division 6 semifinals. Following the rocky start, San Dimas went on a 16-game winning streak that included 12 Valle Vista League victories good for an undefeated run through league, earning the Saints a second consecutive league championship. The Saints reached the CIF-SS Division 6 semifinal for the second straight season and held a one-goal lead with eight minutes to play before eventual CIF champion Citrus Valley rallied for a 3-2 win.
San Dimas is the only local girls soccer team with more than one player on the all-CIF teams released Monday, which assuredly makes the Saints the only team with three. Goalkeeper Britain Chaputa and junior midfielders Daisy Duran and Morgan Quaternick were all named to the Division 6 all-CIF team on the heels of carrying San Dimas within eight minutes of a CIF-SS championship. The Saints’ season ended with a stunning 3-2 loss to Citrus Valley Feb. 27 in the CIF championship game, but all-CIF honors are a welcome reprieve.
Player of the Year: Abbi Williams, Sr. Defense – Chaminade
Coach of the Year: Mike Evans – Chaminade