Softball: Bishop Amat’s four-run, two-out rally in sixth leads to 8-4 win over Ayala; O’Toole throws five-hitter in St. Lucy’s 4-2 win; Top-seed Chino Hills and Los Altos win

Keith Birmingham’s Bishop Amat-Ayala photo gallery

You be the judge: This was the controversial sixth inning call. With Ayala and Amat tied 4-4, Mandy Larios’ two-out single scored Amat freshman Natalia Bocanegra to go up 5-4, and the Lancers tacked on three more runs after that. Our photographer, Keith Birmingham, one of the best in the business, caught the play at the plate, in which Bocanegra was ruled safe. It was definitely close. Amat won 8-4.

Chino Hills takes care of busines: For the Chino Hills softball team, a CIF-SS Division 3 semifinalist each of the past two seasons, that journey began anew on Thursday with a 4-1 victory over Nordhoff in a first-round game at Big League Dreams Sports Park.

Bishop Amat avoids disaster that led to semifinal blowout loss to South Hills last year by answering back after first-inning miscues

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN,
The Bishop Amat softball team kept its cool and overcame early jitters and a four-run deficit to pull out an 8-4 victory over Ayala in the first-round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs on Thursday.

The fourth-seed Lancers (22-6) will face either Chaminade or Torrance in the second round on Tuesday while Ayala finishes the season 15-12.

An error and fielders choice mishap allowed Ayala to get going with two runners on in the first. Danielle Velez made the Lancers pay, belting a single to drive in two runs, followed by Stevie Knapp’s run-scoring triple and Natalie Martinez’s RBI single to stake Ayala to a quick 4-0 lead.

For Amat, it immediate brought back memories of last year’s semifinal meltdown to South Hills, in which they fell behind 5-0 in the first inning and never recovered in a 16-1 blowout loss in the semifinals.

“As soon as we got in the dugout a lot of the girls were saying they didn’t want a repeat of last year,” Bishop Amat junior catcher Alexis Gonzalez said. “That’s been our motivation all year, to not let what happened last year happen again.

Guess who got Amat going? (To continue click thread)

Thursday’s Softball First-Round Results

Division 2
Los Altos 10, Carter 6
Canyon Springs 4, Bonita 1
Camarillo 8, Diamond Bar 0
Mission Viejo 18, West Covina 1

Division 3
St. Lucy’s 4, Lakewood St. Joseph 2
Bishop Amat 8, Ayala 4
Chino Hills 4, Nordhoff 1
Harvard-Westlake 2, Charter Oak 1

Division 4
San Dimas 8, Loara 2
Ocean View 7, Northview 0
La Quinta 18, Wilson 4

Division 5
Marymount 5, Duarte 2
Nipomo 4, Arroyo 0
South El Monte 8, San Jacinto 7
Godinez 11, Azusa 5

After Eryn Sustayta walked and Amanda Sanchez singled, Gonzalez answered with a line-drive three-run homer to left and the Lancers later tacked on another run to tie the score, 4-4.

It was Gonzalez’s 10th homer of the season.

“I was looking for something up in the zone to see and drive,” Gonzalez said. “I made sure I had a level swing and did what I did.

“We needed to answer and answer quick. We didn’t want to let the innings drag on and have to fight back later.”

Amat coach Jesse Mendez believed his team would fight back.

“That’s the difference between this team and last year’s team,” Mendez said. “This year’s team had it in them to come back and realize we had seven innings of ball left. That comes with maturity and Lexi answering with that big home run when we needed it. It definitely picked us up.”

It was a good thing, because it became a pitcher’s duel after that between Amat’s Sabrina Anguiano and Ayala’s Morgan Ettinger.

Ettinger followed the four-run first with four no-hit shutout innings before Amat’s bats came alive in the sixth with a two-out rally that netted four runs.

Still tied 4-4, Amat’s Mandy Larios belted a one-out single with freshman Natalia Bocanegra in to run for her. After Brandy Galaviz was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second, Ettinger got a strikeout for the second out.

However, Sustayta’s hard single to left scored Bocanegra in a close play at the plate that Bulldogs coach John Ameluxen argued, believing catcher Martinez’s swiped Bocanegra before she crossed.

Amat wasn’t done, Amanda Sanchez’s single drove in two runs and Gonzalez singled home another to extend the Lancers’ lead to 8-4.

“The umpire is a good umpire,” Ameluxen said. “If he didn’t see her tag (Bocanegra), then that’s that.

“Bishop Amat is a fantastic team. They hit the ball hard and their pitcher was great. I hope they go far in the playoffs.”

Ayala’s Knapp was two-for-three with a triple and double and Martinez was three-for-three with a double for the Bulldogs.

Ayala made things interesting in the seventh, loading the bases with two outs. But Anguiano got a ground-out to end the game.

Amat’s Sanchez was two-for-four with two runs scored and Sustayta scored twice.

“It’s a good thing we scored four runs because if we didn’t we’re not playing as loose and comfortable in the seventh-inning without a four-run lead,” Mendez said. “They hit the ball hard, but we made some big outs and got the biggest out when we needed it to win the game.
“That’s the playoffs, you never know how these things are going to turn out.”

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  • R Gary

    What’s the issue with St. Lucy’s field. Not enough seating??

  • Bumblebee

    Some don’t like to tailgate I guess

  • Fred Robledo

    Right field is a problem, line drives into the bushes shouldn’t be home runs

  • Regents

    St. Josephs had nothing to do with the changing of the venue. CIF clearly states that the field has to be “regulation” It was surprising that there were two CIF games there last year. Maybe someone did not read the rules?? St. Lucy’s was already working on an alternate site even before St. Joes won their wildcard game. Mt. Sac is a great facility and the Regents love playing there, where they recently won the Diamond Bar tournament. Thank you Mt. Sac for allowing the game to played at your stadium.

  • Frustrating season

    The SL Administration has known about this problem for many years and failed to fix the field. Its a shame that the girls will not have home field advantage because Softabll has never been a priority. The Seniors thought they had at least one more home game but now not only did they lose home field advantage, they will never play on their home field again. Oh well, right?
    Good luck Regents, we support you 100%!!!!

  • Fred Robledo

    I wonder why they couldn’t use the junior varsity field, there is no right-field problems there? They could use that field and set-up a plastic fence for subsequent playoff rounds, couldn’t they? Just a thought. It is terrible giving up home games, I agree.

  • Let’s play

    Those Regents are competitors and survivors, they are ready to play anywhere. With all the obstacles and hurdles they have overcome this year…….one game at a time, ladies……..

  • softball fan

    What games is The Tribune covering

  • Fred Robledo

    Ayala-Amat, and getting Chino Hills from the Bulletin, all others must be called in to us. It’s a busy day, we’re also covering two baseball games, Upland at South Hills and St. Paul at Nogales….

  • The Voice

    Fred, We’ve been trying to get at least a temporary fence like Charter Oak, Bonita and everyone else. It has fallen of deaf ears for years, We get a scoreboard but not a fence, Go figure.

  • OMG

    You just had to give them 1 more thing to complain about their daughters pathetic experience at St. Lucy’s and how no one ever listens to the constant whining and complaining of parents. Parents, next time you talk to administration, those orange things in their ears, those would be earplugs.

  • Fred Robledo

    The only thing pathetic is your comment, I totally agree that it’s reasonable for the school to look into a home run fence or a reasonable way for the players to play at home and have the advantage that other schools enjoy in the playoffs.

  • Have to say this St. Lucy’s team is one of my all-time favorites. They’re both good and dramatic. Certainly not boring.

    The ’05 Bonita team, which was absolutely WILD with Corinne Milligan, Caitlin Tolan and the rest, is still my all-time favorite. Followed by ’04 Diamond Bar, which effected former Trib stringer Rick Newman so much that he stayed in his apartment for a week after they lost in the playoffs. When he emerged, he was trying to make all these parallels between that team’s season and life. It was truly one of the sickest and saddest things I’ve ever witnessed.

    Hopefully, I’ll get to cover the Regents one more time this season. Sucks it won’t be at what I consider to be the best field by far in the area.

  • The Voice

    Aram, I agree it is one of the best fields to watch a game, You can tailgate in the parking lot above and have a good time, It a shame we don’t get a CIF game there. But the field does need to be redone in terms of the backstop, dugouts and seating areas which pratically don’t exist. Its not real estate is easy to come by up there either.

  • Think about it

    Little touchy there Fred. Maybe parents were complaining to the wrong people. If it’s a CIF issue, why hasn’t CIF complained to the St. Lucy’s administration. All these blogs have shown the many complaints taken to administration. Maybe St. Lucy’s should have heard about it sooner from an outside source they hadn’t had to listen to numerous times, about numerous things. I’m sure they got tired of dealing with the same people never happy. What’s that say about all the CIF sanctioned games that had been played on a not to regulation field? Is that considered “home field advantage”? Just saying. As for the JV field, do you really think those parents would allow their daughters’ to play on JV dirt? I’m sure the thoughts of that make them shudder.

  • R Gary

    The new AD has made progress in how a real athletic program should be run after many years of antiquated thinking and no changes to better all the sports at SL. Perhaps the new AD can now address the problems with the softball field. A fence is only one of many problems. A beautiful field, but needs improvements.

  • Fred Robledo

    CIF doesn’t care where they play, it’s not a CIF issue, it’s a school issue. The school must meet CIF regulations for playoffs games or play elsewhere. It use to be a big problem for Bishop Amat baseball too, there were many times in recent years they gave up home field advantage because the school did not have a home run fence, a requirement once you reach the quarterfinals. Amat fixed it by adding a fence.

  • invite

    Hey OMG, since obviously your kid’s team is out of CIF, come on by to the game at Mt. Sac, I’ll pay your entrance fee, you can be the I AM SPECIAL fan. Oh also, don’t worry about parking, they told me they won’t ticket fans of your standing. And, maybe, someone can show you where else to put those orange things.


    “Think about it” and OMG are the same lizzard. Fred scared OMG with his response back and the chameleon quickly turned into “Think about it”. There it goes! SOMEONE STEP ON IT!!!

  • Might be true

    Made you-think about it. Be careful your shoe is already dirty with things not very appealing.

  • it happens

    I don’t go looking to step in it unlike you, but when does happen, I find a nice curb and give it a good scrape, problem gone.

  • AMAT 73

    Good luck to all the teams of the SGV today . Bring home the w’s . Special wishes to the Lady Lancers , stay focused and play your best game . Good luck.

  • Home Field Advantage

    Well so much for trying to disrupt SL and home field advantage. Laura Swan of SL hit a 3 run home run over the fence. It might have been a triple or even an out at St. Lucy’s field. It was the differance in a 4-2 game

  • R Gary

    I was at the St Lucy’s game. They were not ready, focused or prepared to play this game. Made many silly plays. They were lucky to win. Hopefully this is their “bad” game for the playoffs and will move forward.

  • Spartan 03

    As for the controversial call at the plate, you seemed to have a good angle, do you think she applied the tag? I had the same angle as the umpire, which was horrible, and I too didn’t think she made the tag. After that Ayala’s manager became very disgruntled with the umpire and I thought he was going to lose his girls’ confidence. Boy was I wrong about that assumption. They fought back with all they could and if it were not for two amazing catches, things could have got very interesting.
    Congrats to Ayala on a great season. Their tough Sierra League schedule proved to help them prepare for a tough CIF matchup.
    Good luck to the Amat girls throughout the rest of the playoffs.

  • Fred Robledo

    I thought she swiped and missed to be honest. The runner was borderline out of the baseline, but my first thoughts were it was a good call. The picture is great, but hard to tell if the glove actually hits her body. BTW, Ayala’s coach afterward was a class act, read his quotes.

  • R Gary

    Fred, Ayala won 19 games not 15, but that’s not my issue. Why does Amat and St. Lucy’s seeded 4th and 3rd respectively, play teams that won 19 games and 17 games (St Joes) in the first round.?
    There were several teams with many more losses that these teams should have played. You didn’t see this in Volleyball or Basketball.

  • I was there

    the guy on the plate was out of position! he blew the call….how does a guy with kids who went to Amat , get to call their games? on the plate? at home? that is so weak….paging Mr Homer……..

  • Administration

    FYI JV field is also short in right. hats why they couldn’t play there. And they didn’t want anyone to call out the field so they took the safe road. BTW St Lucy’s choose Mt. Sac since they feel at home there with the 5 wins they had there during the Diamond Bar tourney. Also they have the Home run leader in the league so why wouldn’t they play with a fence. Duh no brainer!! Know your facts. Great decision to have Home Field advantage at Mt. Sac. Go Regents!!

  • results



    First round, Thursday

    Norco 3, Great Oak 2

    Etiwanda 6, Marina 4

    Saugus 8, La Palma Kennedy 6

    Foothill 4, Simi Valley 2

    Esperanza 6, Yorba Linda 3

    Mater Dei 7, Redlands East Valley 2

    Vista Murrieta 10, Corona 0

    Los Alamitos 4, Upland 1

    Orange Lutheran 5, Corona Roosevelt 1

    Valencia 3, Los Osos 1

    Anaheim Canyon 8, Moorpark 0

    Edison 6, Murrieta Valley 0

    West Ranch 3, El Modena 1

    Corona Santiago 11, Temecula Valley 0

    Royal 6, Redlands 0

    Garden Grove Pacifica 7, Rosary 0


    First round, Thursday

    Mission Viejo 18, West Covina 1

    Chino 6, Arlington 1

    Millikan 3, San Clemente 1

    Oxnard 2, Cerritos 1

    Colton 8, Chaffey 3

    Northwood 5, El Toro 3

    Canyon Springs 4, Bonita 1

    Lakewood 4, Dana Hills 3 (8)

    Rio Mesa 1, Long Beach Wilson 0

    Don Lugo 5, Tesoro 2

    Los Altos 10, Carter 6

    La Mirada 7, Beckman 0

    Valley View 4, Montclair 0

    Mayfair 5, Cajon 3

    Woodbridge 3, Aliso Niguel 2

    Camarillo 8, Diamond Bar 0


    First round, Thursday

    Chino Hills 4, Nordhoff 1

    La Serna 6, Sherman Oaks Notre Dame 1

    Mira Costa 4, Highland 3

    Atascadero 5, Paramount 2

    Burbank 1, La Reina 0

    Downey 1, Heritage 0

    Torrance 3, Chaminade 1

    Bishop Amat 8, Ayala 4

    St. Lucy’s 4, Lakewood St. Joseph 2

    Alemany 13, Peninsula 9

    Oaks Christian 10, Quartz Hill 8

    North Torrance 7, Lakeside 1

    Harvard-Westlake 2, Charter Oak 1

    Warren 6, Oak Park 0

    South Torrance 2, Paloma Valley 1

    Burbank Burroughs 3, Knight 0


    First round, Thursday

    Aquinas 6, Summit 1

    San Dimas 8, Loara 2

    Oak Hills 5, Palm Desert 4

    Buena 8, Culver City 4

    Garden Grove 11, San Marcos 0

    Sunny Hills 3, Indio 0

    Bloomington 8, Whittier Christian 7

    Serrano 6, Segerstrom 2

    Dos Pueblos 7, Maranatha 2

    Santa Monica 21, Westminster La Quinta 1

    Ocean View 7, Northview 0

    La Habra 18, Woodcrest Christian 0

    Kaiser 10, Troy 4

    Rancho Alamitos 4, Apple Valley 0

    Cerritos Valley Christian 5, Calvary Murrieta 1

    La Quinta 18, Hacienda Heights Wilson 4


    First round, Thursday

    La Canada 15, Lompoc 2

    Santa Ana Calvary Chapel 5, Keppel 4

    Victor Valley 10, Immaculate Heart 4

    Mary Star 2, West Valley 0

    Marymount 5, Duarte 2

    Hemet 5, Katella 4

    Nipomo 4, Arroyo 0

    Montebello 5, Silverado 0

    San Marino 6, Lompoc Cabrillo 3

    South El Monte 8, San Jacinto 7

    Barstow 32, Magnolia 8

    Schurr 6, Cantwell-Sacred Heart 2

    Morro Bay 7, Marlborough 1

    Monrovia 6, Savanna 4

    Godinez 11, Azusa 5

    Beaumont 11, Ridgecrest Burroughs 0


    First round, Thursday

    Citrus Valley 15, Frazier Mountain 0

    Boron 9, Westridge 1

    Academy for Academic Excellence 6, Pasadena Marshall 1

    Santa Paula 17, Oxford Academy 0

    Jurupa Hills 10, San Jacinto Valley Academy 0

    Rio Hondo Prep 15, Saddleback Valley Christian 8

    Rosamond 5, Alverno 0

    Paraclete 10, Twentynine Palms 0

    Carpinteria 5, Bishop 1

    Whitney 1, San Gabriel Mission 0

    Yucca Valley 11, Silver Valley 0

    Rim of the World 18, Victor Valley Christian 2

    Kern Valley 10, Shadow Hills 1

    Pasadena Poly 11, Crean Lutheran 0

    Riverside Christian 7, Vasquez 6

    Downey Calvary Chapel 21, Hesperia Christian 1


    First round, Thursday

    Pomona Catholic 23, Santa Clarita Christian 0

    Liberty Christian 19, Santa Maria Valley Christian 11

    St. Matthias 16, Trinity Classical Academy 4

    Firebaugh 16, Academy for Careers and Exploration 2

    Mesa Grande Academy 9, St. Genevieve 1

    Lee Vining 8, Lake Arrowhead Christian 6

    Archer 16, North County Christian 2

    Faith Baptist 16, Providence 0 (Wednesday)

    Rolling Hills Prep 23, Environmental Charter 0

    Anza Hamilton 19, Temecula Prep 11

    University Prep 6, Crossroads 4

    Sylmar Concordia 6, Baptist Christian 0

    Viewpoint 24, Avalon 1

    Bloomington Christian 19, Trona 0

    Animo Leadership 5, Coast Union 2

  • nice stadium

    St. Lucy’s was already working on an alternate site even before St. Joes won their wildcard game. The MSAC stands were 3/4 full and many local fans were late getting there because they showed up to St. Lucy’s first, it’s that communication thing. No doubt, the Regents love playing there, it is a great stadium. Thank you MSAC for letting the Regents use it.

  • Shocker!!!!

    Wait! Fred covered Amat with a huge story and a photographer??? Raise your hand if you saw his one coming! (Every hand in the SGV goes up). Even outside of football season, the Amat bias is alive an well!

  • Fred Robledo

    Well then I guess you will know where to find me today, Amat baseball…You should complain about Nogales, today’s story is the fifth straight game covering them, but since they’re quite a story, that’s why we’re following them. BTW, that was my second Amat softball game of the year and since it was the only game with two local teams, where else should I go? But don’t worry hater, the game of the day and pictures will be from Bonita baseball this afternoon.

  • R Gary

    Hey Shocker,

    Chino Hills also got a big write up, which I don’t have a problem with, However St Lucy’s the #3 seeded team in the playoffs, their score didn’t even make The paper, forget write up. I’d been happy just to see the score.

  • Fred Robledo

    Same old story Gary, someone has to call it in. There were 15 softball games plus baseball going on. We covered two softball, two baseball, we need help.

  • R Gary


    I guess I don’t understand. The score is in your Headline article above. Someone must have called it in if you have the scores on the website. Just put it in the paper.

  • oklahoma550

    Updated rosters can be found at the site below:

  • Fred Robledo

    Parents tweet me the final score Gary, that’s how I get most scores..

  • Here we go again

    So Fred, you are saying no one called in the St. Lucy’s CIF game to the paper? Nor the St. Lucy’s vs Ayala game last Thursday?

  • R Gary

    I have a felling we’ll see all of Thursdays scores in the paper tommorow, winners and losers.
    Right Fred? Trib still has the best Prep section in So.Cal.

  • Stand up to Bullies

    So none of the know it all parents called in the score after the game on Thursday. Anyone who keeps an eye on the blog sees what Fred has said over and over again. I guess your coach did do something responsible all this time. Thursdays scores are OLD news by Saturday. Really you guys are something else, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. Coach’s fault, administration’s fault, now Fred’s fault-your scores weren’t reported. HEEEELLLLLOOOOO.

  • R Gary

    Hey stand up to Bullies,
    You talk with forked tongue.

    The point is , if all the scores were on the web site and the blog, why weren’t they in the paper.? It doesn’t mattter who or didn’t call them in, they were on the site so obviously the Trib had them, so put them in the paper. Maybe this is another example of why news print is going out and soon newspapers will be non existent

  • know it all parent

    Here is the bottom line – if you want the results or score of your game in the paper, a coach or school representative has to call it in. Fred is not going to use a tweet or a text from a parent, not reliable enough for print.

  • Don’t like BULLIES

    SOOOOO, The former coach and the coach before that reported scores damn was fired. The newbie caught between, coaching, parents, administration, parents, media, parents HELL, jump baby, jump! You next for the trial. Cauldron a brewing is it witch or lynch? It be a mop.

  • R Gary

    Know it all,

    Agree with what you said, but if he has the scores on his website/blog and part of his headline story, isn’t that reliable or official.?
    All I’m saying and asking is put it in the paper.
    I’m sure there are considerably more fans that read the Trib then are on this web site. And these were early 3:15 games that allows plenty of time to get the results in print.

  • R Gary

    This is not Rocket science,

    The results were on the Tribs website/blog so they obviously were reported and were just put them in the paper the next day so the subscribers can read the results.
    This has nothing do to with parents or coaches calling in, The Trib already had the scores.


    Pushed around or stand up? If Fred succumbs to your wishes he would lose the respect of all educated. What you gonna do Fred? Be Bullied or stand up?

  • Joe Lopez

    In your heading above “You be the Judge” you show Mandy Larios as hitting the run that brought in Natalia Bocanegra. Wasn’t it actually Eryn Sustayta as indicated in your full article. Also, she hit a double as I was at the game and even your photographer photo titles and the announcer/scorekeeper called it a double.