Photo gallery of Northview’s 5-4 win over Barstow
By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
When you’re hot, you’re hot.
Northview has been riding the power of junior centerfielder Jocelyn Marquez and she delivered again, belting a solo shot to center in the bottom of the sixth inning for the go-ahead run, lifting the Vikings to a 5-4 victory over visiting Barstow in Thursday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 5 quarterfinals.
It was Marquez’s fourth homer of the playoffs and eighth of the season. She also hit two home runs in the Vikings’ second-round 7-1 win over Jurupa Hills.
Marquez led off the bottom of the sixth with the score tied 3-3 and instructions from coach, Jeff Butler.
“Coach told me if you get two balls don’t swing at them unless you can hit it out,” Marquez said. “The first pitch was a foul ball and the second pitch … I felt that one. It felt like a beach ball.”
Northview (21-7) advances to the semifinals on Tuesday for the first time in school history. The Vikings will host Aquinas, a 5-3 winner over Downey Calvary Chapel.
Barstow, didn’t go quietly.
Miranda Peralta led off the seventh with a walk and quickly stole second, moving the Aztecs’ game-tying runner into scoring position with no outs.
The defensive play of the game came next.
Barstow’s Gabby Rodriguez hit a bloop fly to right that was caught by Northview’s Reyanne Gonzales. Peralta tagged and headed for third, but Gonzales’ long throw nailed her for a momentum-changing double play.
Barstow followed with back-to-back hits to keep the inning alive, but Vikings pitcher Ana Mejia got Meagan Alvarez to pop out to end the game.
The Vikings can thank Gonzales for that.
“That’s an unbelievable play,” Butler said of the double play in the seventh. “We had a play like that with (Gonzales) earlier in the season and the same right fielder air mailed the fence, the shed and threw it all over the place. She’s worked real hard, so I’m glad for her that she came through in a real clutch situation.”
Northview shortstop Sarina Jaramillo, who is headed to the University of Hawaii, was 3-for-3 with two doubles and two runs scored, and also made several dazzling defensive plays.
Freshman Monet Manning doubled home two runs in the first inning and finished with three RBIs.
Mejia was steady in the circle. She didn’t have a strikeout, but she put the ball in play and her defense made outs.
“That’s been our fortay all season,” Butler said. “Ana throwing strikes, them hitting it and us fielding it.”
Trailing 3-1, Barstow battled back to take a 4-3 lead in the third inning. After Gabby Rodriguez’s double drove in a run to make it 3-2, Meagan Alvarez singled home two more to go up 4-3. Alvarez finished with three RBIs.
Northview’s Manning singled home Jaramillo in the fourth to tie the score, 4-4.
That set the stage for Marquez’s heroics in the sixth.
“To be honest, we didn’t think we would go this far,” Mejia said. “But I knew we had it in us. It’s the best feeling in the world to go to the semifinals.”
CIF-SS SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS
Thursday’s quarterfinals results
Millikan 5, Ayala 3
Lakewood 2, Chino Hills 0
Oaks Christian 3, Charter Oak 1
Montebello 10, Sierra Vista 1
Silverado 1, San Dimas 0, 9 innings
Northview 5, Barstow 4
Northview’s Jocelyn Marquez, Ana Mejia and coach Jeff Butler spoke afterward