Softball: Chino Hills’ Paige Gumz delivers the dagger with a three-run homer to lift the Huskies past Bishop Amat 7-3 to reach the title game; South Torrance blanks St. Lucy’s 2-0

CIF-Southern Section Division 3 Softball Semifinals
Chino Hills 7, Bishop Amat 3
South Torrance 2, St. Lucy’s 0

South Torrance 2, St.Lucy’s 0: St. Lucy’s had overcome its share of off-field turmoil to make its deepest postseason run in seven years.

That made the Regents’ 2-0 loss to South Torrance in Tuesday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 3 semifinals that much harder to take.

Keith Birmingham’s Chino Hills-Bishop Amat photo gallery

By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN
All the heartbreak and pain the Chino Hills High School softball team suffered through in losing three straight CIF-Southern Section Divisional semifinal games became yesterday’s news with one big swing.

Chino Hills catcher Paige Gumz broke a 2-2 tie with a three-run homer to left in the sixth inning and the Huskies kept their foot on the gas to post a 7-3 victory over Bishop Amat to advance to the Division 3 championship this weekend at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine.

It was the top-seed Huskies’ (31-3) 25th consecutive win and they will meet South Torrance, a 2-0 winner over St. Lucy’s, in the championship either Friday or Saturday in hopes of winning the school’s second title and first since beating El Dorado 2-1 for the Division 2 title in 2005.

“It couldn’t of happen to a better kid,” Chino Hills coach Mike Southworth said of Gumz’s tie-breaking homer. “I guess if you had to write a script with a scenario of one of your seniors to get a big hit, she’s one of the girls you would root for.

“She’s just special. She’s improved every year on her hitting and she’s one of the most coachable kids I’ve ever been around. For her to be that girl in that situation to deliver it for us is what I just said, it’s special.”

Chino Hills scored twice in the first and led 2-0 until Bishop Amat’s Amanda Sanchez doubled to left in the fifth inning to bring in Miranda Larios and Brandy Galaviz to tie the score 2-2.

Amat had a chance to add a couple more runs, but Chino Hills pitcher Nikki Innamorato got Amat’s big threat Lexi Gonzalez to ground out with go-ahead runners on second and third to get out of the fifth.

Chino Hills immediately struck back in the sixth.

Arizona State-bound shortstop Nikki Girard, who doubled in the Huskies’ two runs in the first and doubled in the third, delivered her third hit, a one-out single to get the inning going.

Garie Blando followed with a grounder to second that Amat tried to turn a double play on, but the throw hit Girard in the back going to second and everyone was safe.

“We get that double play it’s a different game,” Amat coach Jesse Mendez said. “Against another team we might get away with it, but not them.”

He was right, because the Fresno State-bound Gumz delivered the dagger with a three-run shot and was thinking of the past stepping into the box.

“I was thinking of the last three years and how we had the semifinals curse,” Gumz said. “I really wanted to step up and break it.

“But I don’t get that chance without Nikki and Garie getting on. I got the (homer), but it was a team effort all the way.”

Chino Hills wasn’t done, sophomore Patricia Parks’ two-out single drove in two more to complete a five-run sixth to stake the Huskies to a comfortable 7-2 lead.

“We had to get over this hump,” Girard said. “It was our fourth straight year in the semifinals. We didn’t want to go home again. You have to give it up to everyone, there were so many clutch hits and for Paige, she’s been our leader all year.”

Bishop Amat’s Cassie Padilla led off the bottom of the sixth with a double and later scored, but after rallying to tie it, falling behind five runs was too much to overcome.

“There were a couple plays in the game that made the difference and that’s what happens when two good teams face, it’s the little things,” Mendez said. “I thought we hit the ball well, we pitched well, but they’re a great team and they took advantage of the opportunities we gave them, so give them credit.

“But I’m proud of my girls, they fought and came up short against a very good team.”

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  • Real talk

    Good luck Lancers.

  • AMAT 73

    Good luck to the Lady Lancers , play your game , stay focused , and get the win .

  • Lancelot

    Good Luck Ladies!!!

  • GoAmat

    Good job Amat!! Good luck Chino Hills! Your team is awesome!!

  • FYI

    Great season ST. LUCYS, although it came up a bit short. Seniors DANIELLE O’TOOLE, BRANDI HARKNESS, LAURA SWAN, DANIELLE MAVRIDIS and KATIE LANGE can match up with any 5 seniors in SoCal. Now, as they take their games to Div. I college ball, they can each look back at stellar, high school performances. Congratulations also to assistant-turned-head coach LAURA MACIAS. She did a great job keeping her players focused after the departure of coach Ryan Nuveman. Congratulations to the REGENTS and the ST. LUCY’s athletic program. You’ve raised the bar for those that follow you. That’s no small task considering the athletic excellence ST. LUCYs has shown the last few years in many sports. Congrats on a great season, REGENTS. You rock.

  • AMAT 73

    Great effort by the Lady Lancers . Congrats on a fine season you did great. Congratulations to the Lady Huskies on a solid win. Solid team from top to bottom , good luck in the final and bring home the title to the SGV.

  • hssb

    Congratulations Chino Hills! We are so proud of you. This has been such a team effort all year with everyone contributing from top to bottom. Now let’s get it done in the Championship game.

    Bishop Amat, your girls played a great game. You all are a class act and we wish you all the best in the coming seasons.

  • FYIwrong

    Might want to get your info. Correct.

    May 29, 2012 6:32 PM
    FYI said:
    Great season ST. LUCYS, although it came up a bit short. Seniors DANIELLE O’TOOLE, BRANDI HARKNESS, LAURA SWAN, DANIELLE MAVRIDIS and KATIE LANGE can match up with any 5 seniors in SoCal. Now, as they take their games to Div. I college ball , they can each look back at stellar, high school performances. Congratulations also to assistant-turned-head coach LAURA MACIAS. She did a great job keeping her players focused after the departure of coach Ryan Nuveman. Congratulations to the REGENTS and the ST. LUCY’s athletic program. You’ve raised the bar for those that follow you. That’s no small task considering the athletic excellence ST. LUCYs has shown the last few years in many sports. Congrats on a great season, REGENTS. You rock. <– we know who wrote this.

  • SL FAN (REVISED FYI statement)

    Great season ST. LUCYS, although it came up a bit short. Seniors DANIELLE O’TOOLE, BRANDI HARKNESS, LAURA SWAN, DANIELLE MAVRIDIS, KATIE LANGE, JAZMINE SOSA AND SHANNON KENT can match up with any 7 seniors in SoCal. Now, as they take their games to Div. I college ball, they can each look back at stellar, high school performances. Congratulations also to assistant-turned-head coach LAURA MACIAS. She did a great job keeping her players focused after the departure of coach Ryan Nuveman. Congratulations to the REGENTS and the ST. LUCY’s athletic program. You’ve raised the bar for those that follow you. That’s no small task considering the athletic excellence ST. LUCYs has shown the last few years in many sports. Congrats on a great season, REGENTS. You rock.

  • FYI fact check

    Only 6 of the 7 seniors are playing Div. 1 college ball next year.

  • FYIwrong

    Great season ST. LUCYS, although it came up a bit short. Seniors DANIELLE O’TOOLE-D1, BRANDI HARKNESS D-1, LAURA SWAN D-1, DANIELLE MAVRIDIS D-1, KATIE LANGE, JAZMINE SOSA D-1 AND SHANNON KENT can match up with any 7 seniors in SoCal. Now, as they take their games to Div. I & Div.2 college ball, Congrats on a great season, REGENTS. You rock.

  • “these” girls ?

    Sad to say what happens at St. Lucy’s is what passes for class these days. What about the “other” girls on the team didn’t they also contribute, nice slight. WOW ! For the past four years it’s been the same old same old, “these” girls are the best St. Lucy’s has ever had. “These” girls have set the bar so high it might never be reached, way to support the underclassmen.

    Take notes from Bonita that just punched their ticket to Dodger Stadium without the benefit of an all everything team, or at least not one that’s been as well publicized as “these” girls.

    The sad thing is “these” girls are all about the team and “these” girls want nothing more than to see their fellow Regents to break every record that “these” girls have set. That is what should be taught, should be expected and should be the norm. Sadly it’s not.

    Way to show how myopic travel team parents can be. So glad “these” girls have moved on so we can usher in some team centric parents. hopefully.

  • R Gary

    Congrats to all of our SGV softball teams that went deep in the playoffs.

    Amat and and Los Altos return almost everyone, and should be the Powers next year.
    St. Lucy’s has major rebuilding to do, and the question will be,Do they have a head coach that can do it. The jury is out on the current interim coach.

  • What’s the standard for success?

    R Gary, if we’ve learned nothing from the blog it’s this,

    Parents aren’t the best judge of who can coach on the field or not.

    CO’s baseball coach was railed and they won a CIF title. SH’s coach was railed on and they won a CIF title in Baseball. Bonita’s was questioned in Baseball and Football and they went to CIF Championship games, and again this year. Glendora’s coach was ridiculed for leaving a pitcher in a game and giving up an 8 run lead against Damien and he won a CIF Title. After being railed now all those coaches are universally admired.

    If coaches do the best they can and treat players equally than what’s the problem? Teams win and teams lose, happens every year. Get over it already !

    St. Lucy’s had a qualified coach or didn’t but I doubt he was shameful, abusive, played favorites or hurt anyone’s feeling daily. Chino Hills is moving on and so should those disgruntled few.

    Trust me when I tell you there are more important things in life than making it all about wins and loses.

    BTW, where are all the girls going to college? That’s what matters ! That, and all the good times they shared as team mates.

  • FYIwrong

    SL had massive amounts of drama not just with the parents.
    AD’s became chummy with certain parents or parent.
    AD’s did not address the issues in timely manner but did address the chummy parent issue immediately.
    AD’s over looked certain things because they didn’t think It was important unless it came from the chummy parent.
    Coach had a favorite. Was obvious.
    Drama unfolded in the beginning of CIF which AD’s immediatly took care of because of the chummy parent issue & coach took it personnel so much so she no longer wanted to coach and it was apparent.

  • The Next Level

    Well said, The was a lot adversity to overcome, Glad we did as well as we did. But we came up short, this is where a well versed coach would have come into play.

    FYIwrong said:

    SL had massive amounts of drama not just with the parents.
    AD’s became chummy with certain parents or parent.
    AD’s did not address the issues in timely manner but did address the chummy parent issue immediately.
    AD’s over looked certain things because they didn’t think It was important unless it came from the chummy parent.
    Coach had a favorite. Was obvious.
    Drama unfolded in the beginning of CIF which AD’s immediatly took care of because of the chummy parent issue & coach took it personnel so much so she no longer wanted to coach and it was apparent.

  • Ken

    14 strikeouts … A no hitter. No runners on..girls have not seen this kind of pitching all season..small ball ? Yes they did try. But yet the parents need someone to blame. Look in a mirror. What great role models. Good luck Chino Hills! Great ride St. Lucy’s! SL stuck it out and went further then last year even on the roller coaster ride of it all.

  • Moving Forward

    Great season for Bishop Amat and St. Lucy’s. It’s always difficult to get so far and and not get to big game. SL lost because they faced a tough pitcher and did not get the key hits they needed. It was not the AD’s fault or having a coaching change, that is so rediculous. Move on parents please and praise the kids for their efforts and quit making excuses. SL lost because they were not the better team yesterday period. OToole pitched a good game with good defense but no offensive support. Great Season to all the SL Seniors, underclassman Katherine Jimenez and Caroline Smith who contributed greatly but seldom recognized. Coach Macias did a fine job with the many issues handed down to her. Best of luck to Chino Hills in the finals, they earned it and are my favorite to win it all. Congrats to all the girls, win or lose, you are awsome!

  • catosterman

    I read about O’Toole, Harkness, Swan, and Mavridis going on to play in college, who are these others from St. Lucy’s and where are they going?

  • True That

    Congrats to all that made it to the semi finals. good luck to Chino Hills in the finals.

  • True That

    SL parents – After reading all the trash you guys post here, I’m amazed those girls made it this far with all the poison around the team. I feel sorry for the once great college programs that will be dragged down by this drama in the coming years. Hopefully the schools are too far away for the parents to bring their drama.

    There are some things money can’t buy, or buy your way out of.

  • catosterman?

    Jasmine Sosa (c) – UCLA
    Shannaon Kent(OF) (Soccer)- Loyola Marymount (Los Angeles)
    Katie Lange(1B) – Pace University (New York)
    Katherine Jimenez(OF) – 2014 (unsigned)
    Caroline Smith (P/OF) – 2013 (unsigned)

  • fan

    R.Gary

    Why do you keep.saying Los Altos has everyone back next year? They have 5 seniors who signed and moving on to college ball.

    Villapando – Hawaii
    Midyette – bucknell
    Garcia – hope international
    Solid – canisus
    Griego sainz – la sierra.

    Get your facts straight.

  • Frustrating season

    SL parents….let it go. I am one of you; it’s time to let it go. People on this blog do not know all of the details involved in this years drama. Not even the parents know all the details. Be proud of our kids and look forward to college or next year at St. Lucy’s.

    As for the other people on this blog criticizing the St. Lucy parents; I agree and disagree with you. The parents have made things worse by adding more drama, but you have no idea of what truly has happened at this school. I can tell you without a doubt that a few coaches, AD’s and parents have said and done things that have been inappropriate and shameful. Believe it or not, parents that know ALL the details have shown great restraint by not pursuing this further. Decisions were made to just let the girls finish the season and have fun. So please try not to judge unless you know all the details.

    Congratulations to Chino Hills, what a great group of girls. Good luck to all of you!

    Lastly, congratulations to our St. Lucy’s girls. What a great year both as players and as young women. All of the issues you have had to deal with and you still prevailed. I am very proud of you and wish you good luck in all your future endeavors.

  • Observer

    To all St. Lucy’s Priory High School parents: keep the dirty laundry private, okay? I realize this is a little late but regardless of whether you are frustrated, outraged, or whatever, address it to the appropriate individuals at your school.

    Not out here in public.

    If the school can’t handle it to your satisfaction, then pull your daughter out and go elsewhere.

  • hssb

    “Frustrating season” has my vote for the classiet of the St. Lucy’s parents. Seems to be the only one who “gets it” in the group.

    Believe me, no one wants to hear anything more about the drama at St. Lucy’s. You should all be proud of your girls. They had a great season and they are a great group of girls.

    The focus should always be on the girls, the teams, and their accomplishments. It’s really that simple.

  • Fan of the Game

    And the SL parents are back attacking. LOL Its over! Thanks for the entertainment. Good luck to the next bunch. Next season so go smooth you have all the monster parents leaving.

  • FYI wrong has the wrong facts

    It is obvious that you are not one of the parents that was affected by the incident leading up to “the game” so please do not comment on the subject, your details are off. Absolutely what happened to “certain key players” before the game was flat out wrong, but the school administration took care of the situation, they sided with the players not the coach. I am not happy at what happened, but the players moved on. Let it go.

  • Sosa

    None of you know the truth…great job ladies!!! Way to overcome..and Coach Laura thank you for sticking by these ladies…we all know it was a long season…Good luck CH!

  • SLP4

    I was a SL softball parent up until recently & I am sadden on how this season has transpired. I do find great peace in knowing that our senior women are moving on. I had wished a better outcome for this rare opportunity of talent but, we were simply just let down and we will take that & move on. The opinions of some here are just that, opinions but no matter what you say, think, here, want to think or talk about, fact! 6 Division 1 college bound players which = Educated athletic women. Good luck CH!

  • R Gary

    SL parents/fans,Please clarify something for me.

    Sosa , who is a great catcher, is a little short on hitting with her .245 average. As a result she doesn’t always hit in the line up.
    Please explain to me why the coach put in a .142 hitter , who only had 14 times at bat all year in her place? This was the most important game of the year. I wasn’t at the game, so perhaps Sosa didn’t play at all. If so, why??

  • FYI

    Id like to apologize for the omission, in a post below, of the other 2 seniors on the SL team, JAZMINE SOSA and SHANNON KENT. My intention was to focus on the SENIORS that I personally knew were leaving after 4 good years; not to cause any animosity or diminish the accomplishments or contributions of any player I failed to mention. My comments were congratulatory in nature and I did not attack anyone. I applauded Coach Macias for her work with the girls as change was thrust upon her just as CIF was starting. I do not know why changes were made & not sure I would care to know. My facts were only off by 1 player and I now apologize for that error. But for all of my critics, let me tell you that I have no child on this SL team. I merely congratulated the girls , the coach and the school yet it would appear to some my act was criminal and insulting to non-seniors. Thats absurd. They will have their time but the seniors, particularly these seniors, accomplished a great deal during their time at SL; and their time is now over. This is all about the student-athletes, and among those, EACH season is a special time for any senior. They arrived as girls and are leaving as educated, accomplished young women. Problems or not, I dont see how any parent or concerned citizen could ask for anything more. Again, congratulations REGENTS; all of them, and the coaches, the administration and that security guy who rides the golf cart. Great season.

  • Haven’t those pesty St Lucy’s parents left yet

    Maybe they were waiting-
    Can we finally salute them
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YA-CjipYIE

  • R Gary

    Hey Pesty St. Lucy’s parents,,

    That video was epic. That’s what the USC Spirt of Troy band plays at the Coliseum, at the end of games. 50-0 Fight On!

  • Oh well

    Rgary
    Most bands play that when they’re done with the stink. Read it whatever way u want, but it’s time to go. Think u done more damage and impressed few.

  • R Gary

    Oh well.

    Too bad we had to bring bRuin football into this. Get back to me in November. Fight On!

  • g-thought

    the village idiots’ had kids that had graduated, I see we still have one around.

  • MENorBOYS

    DEAR R GARY & OH WELL,

    Are you married? Have Jobs? Kids? Pets? Something other than to comment on women whom will surpass you in life? Do not worry about the Lucy’s women and where they go and what they do or did.I’m pretty sure they don’t care about this blog and or you. TIME to move on boys the 6 Div1 players did.

  • R Gary

    MENorBoys

    I have two daughters that attended St.Lucy’s ,played sports and graduated with honors. Went on to great universities, have since earned advanced degrees and have wonderful careers. We are all doing fine. And You??

  • MENorBOYS

    AGAIN!!!
    DEAR R GARY & OH WELL,
    Are you married? Then why do you even care about this issue? ODD for an older man.
    Have Jobs? Or get a hobby.
    Kids? Focus on them (your kids)
    Pets?
    (((Something other))) than to (((comment))) on women whom will surpass you!!! in life? DO NOT WORRY about the Lucy’s women and where they go and what they do or did. I’m pretty sure they don’t care about this blog and or you. TIME to move on boys the 6 Div1 players did.

    IF YOUR EGO IS SO FULL THEN WHY ARE YOU HERE?