By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
In what has been a season of surprises for the Sierra Vista High School softball team, knocking off top-seed Citrus Valley 5-1 in the second-round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 playoffs shows the Dons aren’t just young, but could be serious title contenders.
The Montview League co-champion Dons (19-4) lean on senior pitcher Franki Caudillo (10-3, 1.99 ERA), but they also have five freshman making big contributions along with senior Valeree Hernandez, batting. 329 with 15 RBIs.
Sierra Vista’s softball team advanced to the quartefinals for the first time in school history and will travel to face Montebello (16-11) Thursday at 3:15 p.m.
“I was worried at the beginning of the season, we were really young and wasn’t sure Franki would even play, she was concentrating on her academics and scholarships,” Sierra Vista coach Jerry Osegura said. “I didn’t expect much, but the girls turned it around. It’s funny the way everything turns out, these girls are on a hunt right now.”
The Oilers have been a run-producing machine in the playoffs, beating Paraclete 15-3 in the first round followed by an 11-9 victory over Morro Bay.
“Anything can happen,” Osegura said. “Our girls are fired up right now.”
All Thursday playoff games are scheduled to start at 3:15 p.m.
San Dimas at Silverado
The Saints (22-7) have won 13 straight and take the trip to Victorville to face the Hawks (14-12), who knocked off fourth-seed Nipomo, 5-1 in the second round.
Saints pitcher Bethie Celaya (22-5, 1.63 ERA) has been dominant in the postseason, posting back-to-back shutouts in a 9-0 win over Alhambra and 1-0 win over Santa Ana Calvary Chapel.
Barstow at Northview
The Vikings (20-7) cruised into the quarters with dominating wins over Katella (14-3) and Jurupa Hills (7-1), and then won a huge coin flip to get the home game against the Aztecs (21-11), who survived two one-run games to advance.
Barstow knocked off third-seed Lompoc Cabrillo in the first round, 6-5, then won a slugfest over Almont League champion Schurr, winning 10-9.
The Vikings are led by infielders Erinn Jaramillo, batting .520 with 43 RBIs, seven home runs and Sarina Jaramillo, hitting .432 with 26 RBIs.
Junior outfielder Jocelyn Marquez also has come up big, batting .554 with seven homers, but the key against the hard-hitting Aztecs will be Vikings pitcher Ana Mejia, who only has allowed two runs in the playoffs.
Charter Oak at Oaks Christian
One of three Sierra League teams in the quarterfinals, the Chargers (23-6) can swing with anyone, but also received a big-time pitching performance in the second round from junior Brooke Clemetson, knocking off Citrus Belt league champion Redlands East Valley 5-0.
The Chargers will need Clemetson to be at her best against the Lions (24-7), who knocked off second-seed Moorpark 2-1 in the first round and El Toro 6-2 in the second-round.
“It’s very satisfying when we put everything together, we’re tough to beat,” Chargers coach Scott Higuera said. “We’re hoping to continue that consistency in the next round. Everyone’s tough at this point, doesn’t matter who you get.”
The Chargers have a team batting average of .387 paced by one of the area’s best all-around players, Nicki Sprague, batting .564 with 33 RBIs and five home runs.
Millikan at Ayala
The Bulldogs (19-7) advanced to the quarters with a stunning upset over top-seed Mission Viejo, squeezing out a 3-2 victory.
On paper the Rams (26-6-1) are an inviting quarterfinal opponent. They needed a wild-card win to get into the first round, then defeated Tri-Valley league champ Nordoff, 4-2 and Royal 5-0.
Lakewood at Chino Hills
The Sierra League champion Huskies (25-7) won the Division 3 title last year and are hoping to add another, beating Yucaipa 3-1 in the second round.
The Huskies will host fourth-seed Lakewood (21-6), who needed eight innings to defeat Bonita, 1-0, in the second round.
By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer