About Fred Robledo

Fred J. Robledo is the local sports editor for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group

Baseball Playoffs and predictions for Tuesday’s second round with South Hills on road, Amat, Glendora, Charter Oak at home

A look at the area’s top five high school baseball second round playoff games.
Division 1: South Hills (22-7) at J.W. North (19-12), 3:15 p.m.

The talent-rich Huskies have a lot going for them. They’ve played a brutally tough schedule and fared well. They rallied in the second half of the season to share the Palomares League title and beat neighboring Damien 4-0 in the first round to advance to face North.
The Huskies, who won a Division 2 title last year, are poised to make a run and let’s face it, North is lucky to be in the second round after disposing of South Coast runner-up Mission Viejo, 2-1. If the Huskies are going to lose in the D1 playoffs, it won’t be here. The Pick: South Hills.

Division 1: El Toro (24-7-1) at Bishop Amat (20-9), 3:15 p.m.
On the brink of elimination, Bishop Amat rallied with two runs in the seventh inning to knock off Chaminade 2-1 and now gets to host second-seed El Toro, a 5-4 winner over Tesoro.
The question is, which Bishop Amat team will show up? The one that stunned everyone and won the National Classic? Or the one that finished last in the Boras Classic? Truth is, few teams have played a schedule as difficult as Amat and it still has 20 wins. But El Toro’s the second seed for a reason and Amat hasn’t fared well against the best of the best. The Pick: El Toro

Division 2: Rio Mesa (23-3) at Glendora (25-6), 3:15 p.m.
The Tartans weren’t seeded in Division 2, but they have as good a chance as any of running the table and winning it. Remember, the reason it tied South Hills for the Palomares league title was because it swept South Hills in back-to-back games toward the end of the season.
Glendora looked sharp in beating Woodcrest Christian 7-2 in the first round and on paper, faces a difficult Rio Mesa squad that shut out Lakewood 9-0 in the opener. But at home, look for the Tartans to do enough to get by. The Pick: Glendora

Division 3: Righetti (25-6) at Charter Oak (17-5), 3:15 p.m.
The Chargers scored four runs in the fifth inning to rally on the road to beat Placentia’s Valencia 5-4 to advance to play second-seed Righetti, a 2-1 winner over Culver City. The Chargers have been a surprise since they advanced to the championship of the season-opening Frozen Ropes Classic and lost to South Hills.
Getting Righetti at home is the perfect spot and the Chargers are a legitimate sleeper, so look for the upset in Round 2. The Pick: Charter Oak

Division 6: Rancho Christian (23-3-1) at El Monte (14-5), 3:15 p.m.
There’s a lot to feel good about at El Monte, winners of the Mission Valley League title for the first time in 25 years, a five-game winning streak and an 11-7 first-round playoff victory over Rio Hondo Prep.
But it’s safe to say Rancho Christian, a 5-1 first-round winner and top seed, will be by far the Lions’ biggest test of the season. If you’re wondering if there’s a Cinderella chance the Lions sneak by, the answer is yes, because they’ve shown the ability to score a lot of runs. But the reality is, they haven’t faced the type of pitching they will get from Rancho Christian, so the fun ride probably ends here. The Pick: Rancho Christian.

Tuesday’s second round schedule
All games at 3:15 p.m.
Division 1

No. 4 South Hills (22-7) at J.W. North (19-12)
No. 2 El Toro (24-7-1) at Bishop Amat (20-9)
Division 2
Rio Mesa (23-3) at Glendora (25-6)
Division 3
Walnut (20-8) at Sierra Canyon (23-7)
No. 2 Righetti (25-6) at Charter Oak (17-5)
Division 4
Santa Ynez (25-7) at Wilson (16-8)
Nogales (25-2) at Serra (16-10)
Division 6
No. 1 Rancho Christian (23-3-1) at El Monte (14-5)
Southlands Christian (17-7) at Twentynine Palms (15-7)
Division 7
Joshua Springs (10-10-1) at Gladstone (13-10)

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Softball playoffs and predictions for Tuesday’s second round, St. Lucy’s, Charter Oak, Los Altos all at home

A look at the area’s top five high school softball second round playoff games.
Division 1: Garden Grove Pacifica (21-7) at South Hills (18-12), 3:15 p.m.

Remember when South Hills started 2-4 and you were wondering what happened to the team that boasts Florida-bound pitcher Natalie Lugo, the area’s back-to-back player of the year? The up-and-down season continued the rest of the year, but somehow, the Huskies knocked off Huntington Beach 4-3 in the first round and will face Pacifica, an 8-4 winner over Saugus.
Few give the Huskies much of a chance, but with a pitcher such as Lugo, you always have a chance. And here’s the thing, the bigger the game, the bigger Lugo is. Look for the Huskies to advance again. The Pick: South Hills

Division 2: Gahr (26-0) at St. Lucy’s (17-6), 3:15 p.m.
It could be the game of the day. The Regents get to host top seed and undefeated Gahr, ranked ninth in the state and 26th nationally by MaxPreps.
Gahr has 12 shutouts, but it had to survive a 6-4 first-round win over Rosary Academy, a team that finished the season with a .500 record. The knock on Gahr is that it has played a good schedule, not a great one. St. Lucy’s is certainly a dangerous opponent, having finished second in the Baseline League and it looked good in a 5-3 first-round win over Glendora. But will it have enough to end Gahr’s perfect season? Probably not: The Pick: Gahr.

Division 2: Upland (21-6-1) at Charter Oak (19-6), 3:15 p.m.
The biggest surprise of the first round wasn’t just that Charter Oak beat Simi Valley 1-0 on the road in nine innings, it was that the Chargers’ pitching did so well. The Chargers have bats that can light it up at anytime, which gives them a chance against the Baseline League champion Highlanders, an 11-6 first-round winner over Canyon Springs.
But on paper, it’s hard to imagine the Hacienda League runner-up knocking off the Baseline champ, so even though the Chargers are at home, they probably come up short. The Pick: Upland

Division 3: Crescenta Valley (21-7-1) at Los Altos (23-6), 3:15 p.m.
The third-seed Conquerors are in the perfect division to make a title run and looked good knocking off Glendale 6-3 in the opening round to face the Falcons, a 10-0 winner over Paso Robles.
The Conquerors have won 10 consecutive games and junior pitcher Savannah Diederich has been nails with a 1.34 ERA. Before the win over Glendale, she had thrown three consecutive shutouts. The Falcons have won five consecutive games, but they haven’t been as consistent as the Conquerors, who are at home and should advance. The Pick: Los Altos.

Division 5: South El Monte (23-3) at Barstow (15-14), 3:15 p.m.
If you’re asking which area team has the best chance of winning a divisional title, it’s probably the Eagles, who earned their third consecutive shutout with a 10-0 first-round win over Heritage.
Surprisingly, the Eagles weren’t seeded despite a season with only three losses, but they have the talent to make a deep run and should be able to advance past Barstow, a 9-4 winner over Pomona Catholic, but also a team with 14 losses. The Pick: South El Monte.

Tuesday’s second round
All games start at 3:15 p.m.
Division 1

Pacifica (GG) (21-7) at South Hills (18-12)
Division 2
No. 1 Gahr (26-0) at St. Lucy’s (17-6)
Upland (21-6-1) at Charter Oak (19-6)
Division 3
Crescenta Valley (21-7-1) at Los Altos (23-6)
Division 4
Montclair (17-10) at Arroyo (14-7-1)
Division 5
South El Monte (23-5) at Barstow (15-14)
Division 6
Wilson (15-10-2) at No. 4 Santa Paula (20-4)
Culver City (14-11) at Azusa (13-9-1)
Division 7
Animo Leadership (18-2) at Mountain View (18-6)

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CIF-Southern Section Baseball polls released; Damien at South Hills highlights first round matchups


By Aram Tolegian
Read Pairings story:
It jumped right off the page for local high school baseball fans scanning the playoff pairings released Monday by the CIF Southern Section: Damien at South Hills in the first round of the Division 1 playoffs.
Words like “blockbuster” and “showdown” were being used on social media to describe it in the moments following the announcement.
“We know what they are, they’re very talented and they’re very dangerous,” Damien head coach Andy Nieto said of South Hills. “On our end, we’re very excited to join the party. We’ve had a rough year for a variety of sorts, but I’m really proud of our guys for toughing it out. “We like our chances. I don’t think there’s very many teams as battle tested as we are. I’m proud of my guys for weathering the storm.”
South Hills was made the No. 4 overall seed in the Division 1 field. The Huskies won Division 2 last season and got bumped up to the top-shelf grouping this season because of it. South Hills beat Damien in last year’s Division 2 semifinals. The Huskies enter this year’s postseason at 21-7 and co-champs of the Palomares League.

All games scheduled to start at 3:15 p.m., unless noted
Division 1 First Round – Thursday’s games

Damien at South Hills
Chaminade at Bishop Amat
Division 2 First Round – Friday’s games
Woodcrest Christian at Glendora
San Dimas at Mira Costa
Division 3 Wild Card – Tuesday’s games
Cajon at Northview
Division 3 First Round – Thursday’s games
Wild Card winner F at Walnut
Charter Oak at Placentia Valencia
Division 4 First Round – Friday’s games
West Covina at Santa Ynez
Wilson at La Quinta
La Serna at Nogales
Sierra Vista at Sonora
Division 6 Wild Card – Tuesday’s game
Arroyo at Yucca Valley
Division 6 First Round – Friday’s Games
Rio Hondo Prep at El Monte
Santa Clarita Christian at Pomona
South El Monte at Moreno Valley
Division 7 Wild Card – Tuesday’s wild card
Rosemead at Bosco Tech
Division 7 First Round – Thursday’s Games
La Verne Lutheran at Hamilton
Gladstone at San Jacinto Valley Academy

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CIF Southern Section Softball pairings: St. Lucy’s at Glendora highlight’s Thursday’s First Round


By Fred J. Robledo
Softball Pairings story
: La Habra, South Hills and Bishop Amat knew its road would be tough in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 softball playoffs, and found out just how tough the roads would be following the release of the CIF-SS playoff pairings on Monday.
Freeway League champion La Habra will host Crestview league third-place finisher Yorba Linda while Del Rey League runner-up Bishop Amat has the task of visiting Trinity second-place and Orange County power Mater Dei in first round games on Thursday.
South Hills, who boasts Florida-bound pitcher Natalie Lugo, rallied to finish second in the Palomares. The Huskies will travel to take on Sunset League runner-up Huntington Beach.

CIF-Southern Section Softball Playoffs
All games start at 3:15 p.m. unless noted
Division 1 – Thursday’s first round

South Hills at Huntington Beach
Bishop Amat at Mater Dei
Division 2 – Thursday’s first round
St. Lucy’s at Glendora
Charter Oak at Simi Valley
Division 3 – Thursday’s first round
Mayfair-Palos Verdes WC winner at San Dimas
Glendale-Carer WC winner at Los Altos
Division 4 – Thursday’s first round
Arroyo at La Canada
Colton-Hemet WC winner at Edgewood
Division 5 – Thursday’s first round
Sultana at Sierra Vista
Duarte at Heritage Christian
Heritage at South El Monte
Division 6 – Tuesday’s wild card
Lancaster at El Monte
Wilson at Pomona
Division 6 – Thursday’s first round
Azusa at Notre Dame Academy
Northview at Garden Grove Santiago
Division 7 — Thursday’s first round
Mountain View at Lucerne Valley
La Verne Lutheran at Archer School for Girls

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South Hills Powder Puff game ends when girl gets steamrolled. Why are these games so vicious?

Remember when Power Puff football games was a friendly day of junior and senior girls laughing through a game of flag football? Not anymore, these games have grown more and more serious, and getting physical to a point where injuries are becoming a big concern.
South Hills had a powder puff game called last week after a girl was streamrolled in the open field. It was the kind of hit that would draws oohs and ahhs on any Friday night, except it happened in Powder Puff, which is not that uncommon. You hear stories that Powder Puff games are out of control, ending in fights, vicious blocks, and basically a no rules barrage that are putting the girls that play at risk. High School football summer 7 on 7 games are safer than this.
It might be a good time for school’s to take a serious look at the game and come up with ground rules that make it safe, and teach the game better so that hits like this don’t happen.
Covina-Valley Unified Superintendent Dr. Richard M. Sheehan agrees that changes are needed.
“We are definitely reviewing the powder puff games,” Sheehan said. “Like all athletes, the girls are getting stronger and faster. We may take a look at the seven on seven rules currently used in tournaments and modify them appropriately. First and foremost the student safety comes first, but we want to let the kids have fun. It’s finding the balance of both.”

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Highlights from Saturday’s All-Star football game at Covina District

Arcadia’s Raeshawn Roland caught a 18 yard pass from Monrovia’s Richie Schroder with 43 seconds left in the fourth quarter to lead the North team to a 22-18 win over the South in the Southern California All Star Game Saturday night at Covina District Field.
Muir’s Elijah Davis scored two 40-yard touchdown receptions for the North. Norwalk’s Jordan Thomas also scored on two touchdowns runs (2 and 30 yards) and Los Altos’ Andrew Manuele added another touchdown from three yards.
Schroder was named the North’s Offensive MVP with Muir’s Ahmir Davis garnering defensive MVP honors for the North. Bishop Amat’s Andrew Camargo was honored as the South’s defensive MVP while Thomas was named the South’s offensive MVP. — James Escarcega

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Big players at Saturday’s All-Star Football game at Covina District

By Aram Tolegian
Most high school football all-star games morph into defensive struggles that often end with a baseball score. Saturday’s North/South Southern Califiornia All-Star Game may be different.
Given the potential for big plays on the loaded North team’s offense, fans could be in for a bigger treat than usual. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Covina District Field. Fans are urged to arrive early to avoid long ticket lines.
“I think we’re pretty athletic,” said Northview head coach Marcel Perez, who will coach the North. “I’ll be honest, I think we’re pretty good on defense, as well. It’s going to be one of those games. We’ll see how it all turns out. It’s kind of hard getting everybody on the same page in seven or eight practices.”

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