By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
South Hills’ present and future was on display during a grind out 2-1 victory over visiting Agoura during a CIF-Southern Section Division 2 wild card softball game on Tuesday.
Sophomore pitcher Caitlyn Van Hemelryck belted a line-drive two-run homer to center in the second inning and did the rest in the circle, allowing just one run on four hits to advance the Huskies to Thursday’s first-round at Pacific League champion Beckman.
“It feels amazing,” Van Hemelryck said. “It’s my first year going to CIF and being in the playoffs I knew my team would back me up.”
“I knew as long as I put it in play for my defense, they would help me out.”
South Hills interim head coach Brandon Gonzalez was not surprised, he’s watched Van Hemelryck blossom all season.
“When she’s on the rest of the team’s on,” Gonzalez said. “She’s tough and one of the toughest (players) out there. Everyone talks about other pitchers, but when she’s on she’s one of the best in the area.”
After Van Hemelryck gave the Huskies a 2-0 lead in the second inning, the Chargers cut the lead in half in the third inning. (To continue reading, click thread)
CIF-Southern Section Playoffs
Today’s Wild Card Results
Ayala 13, La Mirada 0
Aliso Niguel 9, Diamond Bar 1
Thousand Oaks 8, Los Altos 2
South Hills 2, Agoura 1
Victor Valley 7, Covina 2
Archer School for Girls 15, La Puente 2
Lompoc 12, Azusa 1
Banning 14, Wilson 1
After Amanda Schwartz singled and moved to second on a passed ball, Madysen Cossack drove her home to make it 2-1.
Agoura’s Liona Moss led off the sixth with a single, but the Huskies answered with a double play and got a ground out to end the threat.
The Huskies had to hold on in the seventh after the Chargers’ Carly Cohen singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt.
But Van Hemelryck got the final two outs to close it out.
“We didn’t execute the way we wanted, but we found a way to win,” Gonzalez said. “I told them you’re not going to win the same way every time, but you found a way to win with those two runs.”
South Hills shortstop and leadoff hitter Lexi Robles led off with a triple in the first and double in the third inning, but the Huskies couldn’t drive her in.
In fact, the Huskies had the lead runner on in every inning but the seventh.
“It was frustrating because normally we (sacrifice) runners around and punch across runs in those situations,” Gonzalez said. “I’m just thankful it didn’t come back to haunt us.”
Not only did Robles provide power at the plate, she was a vacuum at short.
“Lexi’s the first kid I’ve coached or seen that thinks and leads her way through a game,” Gonzalez said. “Without her there all year, it’s a different story for our team.”