Glendora advances: It was classic Glendora High School baseball. The Tartans usually get solid pitching, backed with good defense, and then let someone step up offensively. That someone was senior Jacob Smigelski, who with one swing of the bat has Glendora where it’s never been before – the CIF-Southern Section finals. Smigelski homered with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Tartans advanced to the school’s first appearance in the CIF-SS title game with a 2-1 victory over visiting Mira Costa in a Division 2 semifinal on Tuesday.
Bonita advances: None of the players on the Bonita High School baseball team were alive the last time the Bearcats made a CIF final. There’s a good shot none of their parents were alive as well in 1951. Needless to say, Bonita’s 13-4 victory over San Gorgonio in Tuesday’s CIF-SS Division 3 semifinal game held a bit of extra significance.
CIF-SS Playoffs Results
Tuesday’s semifinal results
Glendora 2, Mira Costa 1 – Tartans will face Yucaipa in Saturday’s championship at 4:30 p.m., at Storm Stadium in Lake Elsinore.
Bonita 13, San Gorgonio 4 – Bearcats will face Ocean View or Gahr in Saturday’s championship at 1 p.m., at Storm Stadium in Lake Elsinore.
Ayala 1, Bonita 0, 8 innings — Ayala will face Warren in championship either Friday or Saturday at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine.
South Hills 3, La Canada 1 – South Hills will face Whittier Christian in championship either Friday or Saturday at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine.
Ayala-Bonita softball game story
By Fred J. Robledo
Pitcher Chloe Wurst did everything she could to carry the Bonita High School softball team on her shoulders, dragging the top-ranked Bearcats into extra innings against fourth-seed Ayala. But Ayala pitcher Jessica Hall has broad shoulders too, carrying the Bulldogs to the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 championship with her fourth consecutive shutout of the playoffs, outdueling Wurst and the Bearcats 1-0 in eight innings in Tuesday’s semifinals. (To continue, click thread).
Hall, who will play in her first championship against Warren either Friday or Saturday at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine, delivered a clutch one-hitter and struck out 17.
But Hall needed her offense to deliver, something that proved just as difficult against Wurst until the bottom of the eighth arrived.
That’s when Natalie Martinez led off with a perfect bunt that crawled up third for a base hit.
After Stevie Knapp’s sacrifice bunt moved Martinez to second, Brianna Celaya took first after getting hit by a pitch.
Mary Massei, who doubled in the sixth, found another pitch she could drive, lining a shot off the fence in right-center that drove in Martinez for the game-winning run, sending the Bulldogs (28-5) to just their second championship since losing to Mater Dei in the 1998 Division I title game.
“It’s an incredible feeling that I can pull through like that,” Massei said. “Jessica pitched an amazing game, and we all did well behind her.”
Wurst struck out five of the first six she faced, finishing with 11 strikeouts while allowing just four hits, two of which came in the eighth.
Bonita got a walk in the first and a two-out double by Jacki Campa in the sixth, but that’s all they could muster against Hall, who had nine consecutive strikeouts at one point.
“It’s a tough ballgame to lose,” said Bonita coach Ken Carlson, whose team finished 25-5-1. “Chloe pitched great, but hats off to (Hall). To be the best you have to beat the best, and we came up just short. You knew it would come down to whoever blinked first.
“But either way, I’m extremely proud of how we competed, it’s just one of those games where someone has to win, and someone has to lose. Give them credit, it was their day.”
Runners were so precious, Ayala coach John Ameluxen knew he had to change things up.
“The ways these two were pitching, I finally got it through my thick head to bunt the ball,” Ameluxen said of the leadoff bunt in the eighth. “After that everything kind of fell into place.
“But I got to say, Chloe started out outstanding, her ball was moving so much. It wasn’t just the change, the movement was fantastic, it took something like this to beat her in a game where Jessica was phenomenal too. It was just a fantastic softball game to watch.”
Hall, who is headed to UCLA in the fall, was just as relieved as she was thrilled.
“I was never stressing out, but it was definitely a pitchers dual,” Hall said. “They had a great pitcher and she wasn’t going to give up, so I knew I had to give it my all and leave it all on the line.
“But it takes a team, and nothing we do surprises me, especially (Massei), she’s always clutch.”
Now a goal the Bulldogs set in February is one win away from fruition.
“You got to win it,” Hall said. “It just has to end good, that’s how you want to remember your senior year, winning a championship.”