CIF-SS Softball Playoffs: Schurr wins battle of Montebello over Cantwell; La Habra routs Woodcrest to advance

By John Sherrard
Correspondent
MONTEBELL0-
-It doesn’t get any better than the battle of Montebello in the CIF–Southern Section softball opening round playoffs between Cantwell Sacred Heart and Schurr High Thursday afternoon.
Schurr High (21-7), ranked fifth in Division 5, had 11 hits en route to a 6-2 victory over the visiting Cardinals (12-9).
The Spartans will play the winner of the Barstow-Magnolia contest in a second-round game on Tuesday.
“We’re going to celebrate (Thursday) and just going to try and stick to our game plan,” Schurr coach Jackie Montanez said. “We make the playoffs, but haven’t really gone past the first round too often. We’re looking forward to see how far we can go and make some noise.”
The cross-town rivals, both second place teams from their respective leagues, didn’t waste any time at the plate as each team scored a run in the first inning and combined for five hits.
THURSDAY’S SCORES
Division 2
La Mirada 7, Beckman 0
Division 3
La Serna 6, Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks 1
Division 4
La Habra 18, Woodcrest Chr. 0
Bloomington 8, Whittier Chr. 7
Division 5
Montebello 5, Silverado 0
Schurr 6, Cantwell 2
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WILD-CARD TUESDAY: Charter Oak outpoints St. Paul softball, 12-8; La Serna baseball advances with win over Diamond Bar, while Damien ends La Mirada’s season


FALLING SHORT: St. Paul’s Love Lopez attempts to score from third during Tuesday’s Division 3 wild-card game at Little Lake
Park. St. Paul dropped a 12-8 decision to Charter Oak.
(Staff photo by Leo Jarzomb)

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
twitter.com/DailyNewsSports

SANTA FE SPRINGS – St. Paul High School was one of the better hitting teams in the Del Rey League this season.
Tuesday, the Swordsmen met their match.
Samantha Valadez had four RBIs and Nicki Sprague hit a three-run home run in fourth and Charter Oak showed off its hitting prowess with a 12-8 victory over St. Paul in a CIF-Southern Section Division 3 wild-card game at Little Lake Park.
Charter Oak, also getting three hits and an RBI from Monique Villasenor and two RBIs from Raeleen Tellez, improved to 14-10. The Chargers, who had 16 hits, will travel to Harvard-Westlake for a first-round game on Thursday.
St. Paul, which got three hits from Lovie Lopez and a three-run home run from Breana West, finished 14-14.
“When you give up eight, you have to be able to hit the ball to win,” Charter Oak coach Scott Higuera said. “We got off to a little bit of a slow start early. But we’ve hit the ball well all year long.
“I’ve had confidence in our girls. I knew once we got a few hits to drop in, we could get on a little bit of a roll and we did.”

OTHER SCORES
BASEBALL
Division 2

Damien 5, La Mirada 2
Division 3
La Serna 6, Diamond Bar 2
El Rancho 8, Los Amigos 0
Division 4
St. Paul 2, Sunny Hills 1
SOFTBALL
Division 3

Heritage 18, Santa Fe 2
South Torrance 6, California 4
Alemany 5, El Rancho 4
BOYS TENNIS
Quarterfinals
Division 5

Arroyo 11, La Serna 7

FIRST ROUND SCHEDULE
BASEBALL
Thursday
Division 4

St. Paul at Nogales
Northview at La Habra
Friday
Division 3
Garden Grove at Montebello
Paramount at California
Ocean View vs. Whittier at Santa Fe HS
El Rancho at Beckman
La Serna at Westminster
SOFTBALL
Thursday
Division 2

Beckman at La Mirada
Division 3
Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks at La Serna
Division 4
Whittier Christian at Bloomington
Woodcrest Christian at La Habra
Division 5
Silverado at Montebello
Cantwell at Schurr

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Baseball: La Habra, Cal get good good draws for CIF-SS playoffs

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
twitter.com/DailyNewsSports

The top goal for the La Habra High School baseball team this season was to win its first Freeway League title since 2004.
Now that the Highlanders have accomplished that aspiration, they are turning their attention to a bigger prize — a CIF-Southern Section Division 4 title.
La Habra looks to have a good shot after receiving a favorable draw when the CIF-SS released playoff pairings Monday.
The Highlanders (16-10), one of eight area teams who received bids, open the playoffs at home against either either Northview or Nordhoff on Friday.
Wild-card rounds, which feature La Mirada, El Rancho and La Serna, are today with the first rounds slated for Thursday and Friday. The finals in Divisions 1-3 are slated for June 1 at Dodger Stadium, with Division 4 at UC Riverside on June 2.
All games, except for the championship round, are slated for 3:15 p.m.
“Winning a league title is the one thing we’ve talked about since day one,” said La Habra coach Paul Caffrey, who is in his fourth season with the Highlanders. “Our big emphasis when we got here was to change the culture.
“But when we won the league (last week), our guys didn’t celebrate. They were happy they won it. But they wanted more. We’re not satisfied.”

CIF-SS PLAYOFFS
WILD-CARD ROUND
Today
Division 2

Damien at La Mirada
Division 3
Diamond Bar at La Serna
El Rancho at Los Amigos
Division 4
Sunny Hills at St. Paul
FIRST ROUND
Division 3
Friday

Garden Grove at Montebello
Paramount at California
Ocean View at Whittier
Division 4
Thursday

Nordhoff-Northview winner at La Habra
Sunny Hills-St. Paul winner at Nogales

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SOFTBALL PAIRINGS: Montebello gets No. 4 seed in Division 5; La Habra, La Mirada also get favorable draws

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
twitter.com/DailyNewsSports

La Mirada, La Habra and Montebello high schools look like the area’s best hope for softball glory when the CIF-Southern Section released playoff pairings Monday.
The Oilers, after sharing the Almont League title with rival Schurr, is the No. 4 seed in Division 5, while the Matadores and Highlanders received favorable draws in the Division 2 and 4 brackets.
The playoffs begin today with wild-card games. The first round is scheduled for Thursday, with the finals slated for June 1 and 2 at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine.
La Mirada (21-7), which lost to Camarillo in the Division 2 title game last season, hosts Beckman (14-9) in a Division 2 first-round game on Friday.
“We know we are as good as anyone out there,” La Mirada coach Richard Trujillo said. “What makes this year different is teams will be ready for us. We’ll have a target on our back. We can’t sneak up on anybody, but I feel our girls will be ready.”
The Matadores, if they advance, also wouldn’t face No. 3 seed Wilson until the quarterfinals and No. 2 Camarillo until the semifinals.
“I thought we should have been seeded, myself,” Trujillo said. “But it is what it is. Division 2 is a tough division, and we’ll see what happens.
“I think we’re a little more mature than last year. I like our chances.”

Here’s the area schedule:
CIF-SS PLAYOFFS
WILD-CARD ROUND
Division 3
Tuesday

Santa Fe (13-9) at Heritage (16-9)
South Torrance (8-10) at California (19-8)
Charter Oak (13-10) at St. Paul (14-13)
Alemany (9-14) at El Rancho (18-7)
FIRST ROUND
Thursday
Division 2

Beckman (14-9) at La Mirada (21-7)
Division 3
Crescenta Valley-Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks at La Serna (15-9)
Division 4
Whittier Crhistian (15-11) at Bloomington (19-6)
Woodcrest Christian (16-7) at La Habra (20-8)
Division 5
Laguna Beach-Silverado at Montebello (18-4)
Cantwell (12-8) at Schurr (20-7)

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CIF-SS Pairings Day: El Rancho baseball gets a wild card spot; full pairings for softball and baseball to be released at 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

It’s CIF-Southern Section playoff pairings day for baseball and softball, and so far there is some good news coming out of the CIF-SS office in Los Alamitos.
El Rancho, which finished fourth in the Del Rio League after losing three out of its last four, received an at-large bid and will be in the baseball playoffs, which begin with wild-card games on Thursday.
The complete pairings will be announced at 11 a.m. (softball) and 12:30 p.m. (baseball).

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THE CROWN FITS: California scores 7-3 win over Whittier to win Del Rio League title



THE CROWN FITS: California players celebrate after scoring
a 7-3 victory over Whittier to win the Del Rio League title.
Photo by Mike Mullen

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
twitter.com/DailyNewsSports
WHITTIER –
California High School could have pouted after losing to Santa Fe last week.
Instead, the Condors went to work.
Their reward came Friday.
Alec Ojeda went 2 for 2 with three RBIs and Jimmy Olguin was steady on the mound as California completed a two-game sweep over host Whittier and won the Del Rio League baseball championship with a 7-3 victory over the Cardinals at Jack Mele Field.
California, also getting two hits each from Michael Esparza, Daniel Marquez and Michael Davis, improved 18-7 overall and finished 11-4 in league play. The Condors, after dropping an 4-0 setback to Santa Fe last week responded with three consecutive victories to win the league title for the first time since 2010.
Whittier, which shared the league title with El Rancho last season, finished the regular season 16-10 and 10-5. Both teams have qualified for the CIF-Southern Section Division two playoffs, which begin next week. Pairings will be announced Monday.
“That (loss to Santa Fe) was like a bump in the road,” California coach Tony Nieto said. “Another reason I’m proud of my guys is because we could have said, ‘Hey, let’s just settle for the playoffs.
“But at Cal High we don’t play for just playoffs, we play for championships. We play for championships anyway we can get them. We are going to find a way to be a champion.”
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Swimming: CIF-SS championships are a really big Shew


TRIPLE THREAT: La Serna s Alyssa Shew competes in the
200-yard individual medley during Thursday s CIF-SS Division 3
swimming finals. (Keith Birmingham / Staff Photographer)

How ’bout that Kiersten Shew?
The senior lived up to her own expectations Thursday, winning three events to highlight the local performances at the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 championships at Riverside City College.
Here is Keith Lair’s story:

By Keith Lair, SGVN
RIVERSIDE –
One extra breath almost cost Kiersten Shew.
The La Serna High School senior won the 50-yard freestyle at the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 swimming and diving finals at Riverside City College by one one-thousandth of a second on Thursday night.
“I have a problem where I breathe too much for the 50,” said Shew, who won the event last year. “The 50 is a real gamble.”
The problem is that Shew, who scored three victories on Thursday, considers herself a backstroke swimmer.
“It really is hard,” she said of the 50 free. “I’m normally swimming on my back when I can breathe when I want.”
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Boys Volleyball: Montebello, El Rancho advance to Saturday’s quarterfinals


QUARTERFINAL BOUND: Montebello s Manuel Pereida, center,
hits past Santa Fe defenders during Thursday s CIF-SS Division 4
second-round playoff match. The host Oilers won in five games.
(Keith Durflinger / Staff Photographer)

They are down to the sweet 16 in the CIF-Southern Section boys volleyball playoffs, and Montebello, which earned a share of the Almont League title, and El Rancho, which finished second in the Del Rio League, have spots.
The Oilers beat Del Rio League champ Santa Fe in five games on Thursday, and the Dons did the same to Magnolia.
Both will be on the road in Division 4 on Saturday. Montebello travels to No. 2 seed Campbell Hall, while El Rancho visits top seed Cathedral.

Here is John Sherrard’s story on Montebello’s big win over Santa Fe:

By John Sherrard, Correspondent
MONTEBELLO —
For the first time in three years, the Montebello High School boys volleyball team is returning to the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 quarterfinals.
Visiting Santa Fe battled back from a 2-0 deficit, but it wasn’t enough as the Oilers won Thursday’s second-round match in five games, 25-22, 25-10, 20-25, 24-26, 15-7.
Montebello (24-9), which was led by the senior outside hitter tandem of Manuel Pereida (24 kills, three blocks) and Joey Chavez (15 kills), advances to the quarterfinals where it will travel to Campbell Hall of North Hollywood on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Del Rio League champion Santa Fe, which lost in the quarterfinals last season, finished its season at 19-9.
“That’s a quality team (Santa Fe) and they fought back,” Oilers coach Greg Ng said.
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La Serna wins wild Del Rio League softball race, beats Santa Fe, 6-2

The road may have been long and winding, but the La Serna softball team repeated as Del Rio League champions, beating Santa Fe, 6-2, on Thursday.
There was the possibility – if the Chiefs had won – of a four-way tie. La Serna eneded those chances by rallying from two runs down to beat Santa Fe.
Here is Red Williams’ story:

By Red Williams, Correspondent
WHITTIER — An early two-run deficit never dampened the poise and confidence of La Serna High School’s softball team. They wouldn’t let it.
The Lancers responded with six unanswered runs to defeat visiting Santa Fe, 6-2, and claim outright the Del Rio League championship. It’s their second straight title.
“I was not worried when we got behind 2-0,” said Ginger Larsin, coach of La Serna. “I just knew they’d come through.”
Indeed they did. Trailing 2-0 after three innings, the Lancers (15-9, 8-2) collected nine hits in the next three frames, scoring a pair of runs in each of them.
“They played like they had everything to win,” said Randi Berg, coach of Santa Fe’s Chiefs (13-10, 6-4). “And we played like we had everything to lose. We stopped making the routine plays and tried to force something that wasn’t there.”
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Marbles still up for grabs: Cal takes advantage of six errors to score 7-3 win over Whittier to set up Friday showdown


ALL TIED UP: California’s Michael Esparza, right, hit a two-run home run to help the Condors
score a 7-3 victory over Whittier Wednesday. The win moved California in first place with the Cardinals.
Staff photo by Keith Durflinger

By Steve Ramirez, SGVN
twitter.com/DailyNewsSports
WHITTIER —
The race for the Del Rio League baseball title will go down to the final day.
California High School, with a little help from Whittier, made sure of it Wednesday.
Michael Esparza went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and the host Condors took advantage of six Cardinal errors en route to a 7-3 victory over Whittier to put the teams in a first-place tie going into Friday’s regular-season finale.
California, also getting a steady effort on the mound from senior Nathan Blount, improved to 17-7 overall and 10-4. Whittier, which lost for the first time in league in regulation, slipped to 16-9, 10-4.
The teams will meet to decide the title at Whittier on Friday at 3:15 p.m.
“You never want to tell your team it’s a must-win,” said California coach Tony Nieto, whose team led 4-0 after the first and 7-1 after the second. “We just want to come out and play. I have a lot of confidence in our team.
“I feel we have something good going right now. But it is definitely to our advantage when we come out (with the lead).”
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