Softball: Bishop Amat and South Hills win, will square off in Tuesday’s semifinals; Chino Hills, South El Monte and Arroyo win; St. Lucy’s falls 4-0

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
South Hills High School softball coach Scott Fisch said he might have pulled a muscle, one of the risks he takes every time the Huskies win CIF-Southern Section playoff games. Fisch lines up his team along the third-base line afterward, then circles the bases and makes a head first slide at home. He’s been doing it a lot lately, struggling to catch his breath after South Hills hung on for a 4-3 victory over fourth-seed Warren in Thursday’s Division 3 quarterfinals at home. (To continue click thread)

TUESDAY’S SEMIFINAL SCHEDULE
Division 3
Chino Hills at Oaks Christian, 3:15 p.m.
South Hills at Bishop Amat, 3:15 p.m.
Division 5
South El Monte at La Canada, 3:15 p.m.
Arroyo at Beaumont, 3:15 p.m.

Softball
Thursday’s quarterfinal results
Division 3

Oaks Christian 4, St. Lucy’s 0
Chino Hills 6, La Serna 2
South Hills 4, Warren 3
Bishop Amat 9, Torrance 1
Division 5
South El Monte 4, Marlborough 2
Arroyo 4, Savanna 3

Amat wins: The second-seeded Lancers smacked the ball early and often, coasting to a 9-1 victory in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 softball playoffs Thursday.

St. Lucy’s goes quietly: The Regents managed only one in Thursday’s CIF-SS Division 3 quarterfinal – a total that was good enough for victory in its first-round game, but it wasn’t enough in a 4-0 loss to No. 1 seed Westlake Village Oaks Christian.

Don’t doubt the South: The Eagles came from behind for a 4-2 victory over sixth-seeded Marlborough in a quarterfinal game Thursday afternoon.

Chino Hills rolls: Chino Hills High School’s softball team put all three elements of its attack – pitching, hitting and defense – to use Thursday in a 6-2 victory over host La Serna in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs.

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Damien’s Chad Hockin is hitting playoff homers like his late grandfather, Harmon Killebrew

By Fred J. Robledo
Nobody tells a story like longtime Dodgers announcer Vin Scully, and being part of one of his many tales means you must have done something special. Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew died May 17, losing his long battle with esophageal cancer, and Scully was reminiscing later that night, talking of Killebrew’s playing days during his Dodgers television broadcast against the Milwaukee Brewers as only Scully can.

Then he ended his story by saying how appropriate it was that on the day Killebrew died at age 74, his grandson hit a home run in a high school playoff game. That grandson is Damien High School’s Chad Hockin, who hit a solo homer in a 3-1 victory over Redondo Union in the Spartans’ CIF-Southern Section Division 2 wild-card game – mere hours after Killebrew’s passing. (To continue click thread)

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Damien camp with Ralph Brown III on Saturday at Northview High School

Former NFL cornerback Ralph Brown III, who won a CIF championship at Bishop Amat and a National title at Nebraska, is hosting a youth football clinic at Northview High School on Saturday. The Football camp is sponsored by Damien, but with Damien’s graduation on Saturday, the camp was moved to Northview. The youth camp, available for anyone through the eighth grade, begins at 11 a.m. The high-school-aged portion of the camp starts at 1:30 p.m. The cost is $25 per person. For more information, contact Damien high school.

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Quarterfinal baseball/softball schedule

The ESGV won a lot of coin flips to host home games in the quarterfinals. In fact, Bishop Amat and Bonita baseball won coin flips to be home and Damien has an automatic home game against Mission Viejo. Bishop Amat baseball will play at 1:30 p.m., Friday because graduation is that night. In softball, St. Lucy’s is home against top-ranked Oaks Christian, and South Hills and South El Monte softball are both home too. Only teams on the road, Chino Hills at La Serna, Bishop Amat at Torrance and Arroyo at Savannah

CIF-Southern Section playoffs
Softball
Thursday’s quarterfinals
Division 3

Oaks Christian at St. Lucy’s, 3:15 p.m.
Chino Hills at La Serna, 3:15 p.m.
Warren at South Hills, 3:15 p.m.
Bishop Amat at Torrance, 3:15 p.m.
Division 5
Marlborough at South El Monte, 3:15 p.m.
Arroyo at Savanna, 3:15 p.m.

Baseball
Friday’s quarterfinals

Division 2
Mission Viejo at Damien, 3:15 p.m.
Division 3
San Gorgonio at Bonita, 3:15 p.m.
Division 4
Kaiser at Bishop Amat, 1:30 p.m.

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Baseball: Bonita’s Adam McCreery throws one-hitter in Cat’s 5-1 win; Bishop Amat scores late, wins 3-0; Damien advances again, beats Notre Dame 7-5 behind two homers from Hockin; La Puente, Sierra Vista lose

By Steve Ramirez
AMAT GAME STORY: The big question mark for the Bishop Amat High School baseball team entering the CIF-Southern Section playoffs was if the Lancers’ no-name pitching staff would be good enough to support their productive offense. The answer came loud and clear Tuesday.
Ryan Serrato and David Berg combined on a two-hit shutout and Andrew Gutierrez had a two-run triple in the sixth to lead No. 2 seed Bishop Amat to a 3-0 victory over St. Bonaventure in a Division 4 second round game at Ventura College. (To continue click thread).

CIF-Southern Section Playoffs
Today’s second round results
Baseball
Division 2

Damien 7, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 5
Etiwanda 4, Chino Hills 2
Division 3
Bonita 5, Northwood 1
Division 4
Bishop Amat 3, St. Bonaventure 0
Division 5
Oak Hills 11, La Puente 9
Montclair Prep 6, Sierra Vista 1

BASEBALL COVERAGE
Chino Hills sent home: – Senior pitchers Andy Cerroni and Jason Broussard combined on a three-hitter and allowed just one earned run as Etiwanda High School defeated visiting Chino Hills, 4-2, in Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 2 second-round game.

Aram Tolegian’s baseball roundup

Bonita 5, Northwood 1: Bonita High School pitcher Adam McCreery is all the way back, and that’s bad news for the rest of CIF-Southern Section Division 3. McCreery, who missed much of the season with an elbow injury and slowly was being worked back into the fold, threw a one-hitter Tuesday in leading No. 1-seeded Bonita to a 5-1 victory at Northwood. “We’ll see how he wakes up tomorrow, but he hasn’t complained about his arm yet,” Bonita coach John Knott said of McCreery. “I don’t ever ask him how he’s feeling. He’s fine now and I’m tired of asking him.” McCreery, a 6-foot-8 prospect who’s headed to Arizona State next season if the majors don’t get a hold of him first, allowed just one hit and struck out eight. His return to full strength makes Bonita even scarier, considering ace Justin Garza is 12-0 and remains at Knott’s disposal. Bonita scored twice in the first inning to give McCreery a cushion. The Bearcats’ Matt Gelalich stole four bases and scored two runs. Bonita improved to 26-4 and will host San Gorgonio in Friday’s quarterfinals. “The key was to try and score first and put the pressure on the opponent.,” Knott said. “Their crowd was pretty quiet the whole game until the last inning when they tried to get into it. It was nice to score first and not feel the pressure of being a one seed and playing at somebody else’s house. “McCreery looked great. He had a lot of confidence and was throwing the ball hard. He’s
just tough to hit.”

Damien 7, Notre Dame 5 – Chad Hockin’s big day at the plate kept the Spartans’ playoff roll going. Hockin hit two- and three-run home runs to help the Spartans improve to 17-12. Damien made the postseason as a wild-card team but has beaten Glendora and Notre Dame to reach Friday’s quarterfinals.

Oak Hills 11, La Puente 9 — The Warriors almost dug out of a six-run hole, but their rally fell short. La Puente, which once trailed 7-1, closed to within 11-9 in the sixth and had the bases loaded with two outs, but couldn’t come up with a hit. Jimmy Jacobo led the Warriors by going 3 for 4 with three RBIs. La Puente finished 17-8.

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Softball: Bishop Amat holds off late surge; St. Lucy’s and O’Toole produce another shutout; South Hills wins big on the road; Bonita, San Dimas, Azusa and Duarte head home

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
Whether you call it breathing room or insurance, the Bishop Amat High School softball team gave itself just that, avoiding disaster in the seventh inning against visiting Oak Park in Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 3 second-round game thanks to a hefty six-run lead.
Bishop Amat scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth which help offset the Eagles’ three runs in the seventh, allowing the Lancers to escape with a 7-4 victory and a trip to Thursday’s quarterfinals, where they will be on the road against Torrance. (To continue click thread).

CIF-SS Softball Playoffs
Today’s second round results
Division 2

La Mirada 3, Bonita 0
Division 3
St. Lucy’s 1, Highland 0
Chino Hills 1, North Torrance 0
South Hills 7, Lakeside 3
Bishop Amat 7, Oak Park 4
Division 4
Ocean View 6, San Dimas 0
Division 5
South El Monte 8, Duarte 4
Savanna 10, Azusa 0
Arroyo 3, San Marino 1

SOFTBALL COVERAGE
Bonita ousted: Amber Hickman and Jenevie Rivas combined for a shutout, and La Mirada earned a 3-0 victory over No. 2-seeded Bonita in a CIF-Southern Section Division 2 second-round game Tuesday.

Saints get shutout: The fourth-seeded Seahawks jumped on the host Saints (21-8) in the first inning and scored all six of their runs in a 6-0 victory to advance to Thursday’s quarterfinals.

Arroyo moves on: The Arroyo High School softball team hit two home runs in the fifth inning en route to a 3-1 victory over visiting San Marino on Thursday and advanced to the CIF-SS Division 5 quarterfinals.

Don’t doubt the South: South El Monte High School advanced to the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 playoffs with an ugly 8-4 win over fourth- seeded Duarte on Tuesday afternoon.

More Softball notes:
St. Lucy’s 1, Highland 0 — Pitcher Danielle O’Toole’s dominant postseason continued with a 12-strikeout effort to send the Regents into Thursday’s quarterfinals, where they will host Oaks Christian. O’Toole went the distance and allowed three hits and a walk to pick up her second consecutive 1-0 win. She also delivered a sacrifice fly that scored Brandi Harkness in the bottom of the fourth inning with what turned out to be the game-winning run. “I told the kids in the last win, at Burroughs in a very crowded softball stadium, that we picked a great time to play our best softball of the season,” St. Lucy’s coach Ryan Nuveman said. “Our offense is what it is, our defense needs to be what it’s been in our last several games and our pitching has been lights out, almost unhittable.” The Regents (16-12) have won eight of their last nine games. “We knew Danielle had this in her,” Nuveman said of his junior standout. “She’s a big-time prospect, already committed to San Diego State. “She was hurt last year and it’s taken quite a while for her to get back into shape. But she’s now peaking again. This is not a surprise.”

South Hills 7, Lakeside 3 – The Huskies rode pitcher Sydney LaFollette into the quarterfinals after the junior induced 13 groundouts to keep Lakeside at bay. The Huskies broke through for three runs in the third and fourth innings. Vanessa Molina went 2 for 3 and Lexi Robles had two RBIs for the Huskies, now 19-7.

Savanna 10, Azusa 0 — The Aztecs were besieged by errors and allowed just two earned runs in the loss. Azusa (15-8-1) managed just five hits, including a double by Janel Chavira.

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Strike it up for the hometown girl, Veronica Ramirez, who leads Azusa into the second round

Great story by Aram, I’ve said it many times, put Veronica Ramirez on any team in the Valley, and she’s still a star. But give her credit, she stayed home and made the most of it.

By Aram Tolegian, staff writer
Veronica Ramirez had options before deciding to stay home and attend Azusa High School before her freshman year. Now a senior, the multi-talented softball standout mostly has flown under the radar for the past four years while her travel ball teammates have gotten far more notoriety playing for schools more well-known for softball.
At this point of the season, each pitch Ramirez throws may be her last and each swing of the bat may be her final in an Aztecs uniform. But the hometown girl with gaudy statistics isn’t having any regrets. (To continue, click thread)

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