Eagles advance to softball, baseball regional playoffs

The Southern California regional softball and baseball championships took place May 31 to June 4 following the conclusion of sectional finals. Eight teams were included in each of five brackets with quarterfinal round play followed by semifinals and a championship game. Overall, nine San Diego Section teams were admitted to this year’s softball regional brackets, including Open Division runner-up San Marcos, Open Division semifinalists Del Norte and Rancho Buena Vista, Division I champion Mater Dei Catholic, Division I runner-up Cathedral Catholic, Division II champion Granite Hills, Division III champion Calexico, Division IV champion Escondido Charter and Division V champion Fallbrook. Mater Dei Catholic, seeded seventh, proved to be the bracket buster by defeating top-seeded Torrance in the Division II regional championship game. Even better, 10 San Diego Section baseball teams were invited to this year’s regionals, including Open Division champion La Costa Canyon, Open Division runner-up Granite Hills, Open Division semifinalists Torrey Pines and Rancho Bernardo, Division I champion Eastlake, Division I runner-up Grossmont, Division II semifinalist Francis Parker, Division III champion Mar Vista, Division IV champion Mission Bay and Division V champion Palo Verde Valley. Torrey Pines, seeded second, defeated top-seeded Etiwanda, 19-8, to win the Division II regional championship. Eastern exposure Granite Hills was the lone East County school to make both the softball and baseball regionals. The softball team, seeded first in the Division III regional bracket, defeated eighth-seeded Calexico, 9-1, in its first game to advance to the semifinals but stalled there with a 7-4 loss to fourthseeded (and eventual division champion) Long Beach St. Anthony (19-10). The baseball team received the No. 8 seed in the Division I regional bracket and ended its run with a 5-2 loss to topseeded JSerra Catholic (25- 11). “It was our school’s first time in regionals and there was a lot of energy,” GHHS softball coach Michelle Miller said. “We kept on our high streak and offensively, we have never been better. We put up eight runs in the first two innings and our pitcher, Taylor Rose, kept them to only one run.” If it’s any consolation, the Lady Eagles ended their season with a loss to the eventual regional champions after St. Anthony slipped past secondseeded Temple City, 2-1, in the division final. Granite Hills finished 20- 13-1- overall. “Our team definitely turned it on at the right time,” Miller said. “We were seeded fourth (in the section finals), which was huge for us. After losing to Helix in the second round and dropping into the loser bracket, our team exploded with a four-game winning streak that took us to the championship victory. I’m so proud of this team and how hard they worked to get this championship.” Senior Chloe Knepp received the team’s sportsmanship award. Top players throughout the section playoff tournament for the Lady Eagles also included senior Taylor Rose, sophomores Kiki Sandoval and Sofia Mujica and freshmen Audrey Smale and Kaleigh Baugher. Sandoval scored two runs and drove in three runs in the come-from-behind 8-4 championship game over third-seeded Poway while Rose pitched a complete game victory. Mujica went three-for-four with a home run in the regional opener while Sandoval also went three-for-four with a double with home run to help spur Granite’s 12-hit attack. Smale drove in three runs while Rose limited the Lady Bulldogs (24-8) to three hits. The Lady Eagles fought back from an early 5-0 deficit in the semifinals, scoring twice in the bottom of the sixth inning to close to within three runs on the scoreboard. Hardballers Both Open Division finalists Granite Hills and La Costa Canyon received berths in the Southern California Division I baseball regionals. The Eagles lost, 5-2, at topseeded JSerra Catholic on May 31 while the third-seeded Mavericks lost, 5-1, to sixthseeded Huntington Beach. Granite Hills finished its marathon season with an overall 24-7 record while LCC was 24-11. Senior Grant MacArthur paced the Eagles in the 2022 spring season with a 0.440 hitting average to go with 33 hits, 30 runs scored, 24 RBI and nine home runs. Freshman Brenden Lewis led the team with 37 hits while junior Jacob Embleton recorded a team-leading 34 runs scored. Senior Spencer Davis topped the team with 34 RBI. Junior Nico Tomasello (2.88 earned-run average, 46 strikeouts in 48.2 innings) and sophomore Chandler Henry (2.92 ERA, 47 strikeouts in 50.1 innings) both logged 7-1 pitching records in 11 game appearances. Lewis (0-3, 3.41 ERA) struck out 35 batters in 26.2 innings while senior Ethan McNish- Heider (3-0, 3.78 ERA) struck out 27 hitters in29.2 innings. Senior Tanner Vielguth (4-0, 1.46 ERA) struck out 26 batters in 33.2 innings. The Eagles pitching staff cobbled together a 2.80 team ERA and 196 strikeouts in 202.1 frames. Granite Hills boasted a 0.326 team batting average with 24 home runs.

Eagles advance to softball, baseball regional playoffs

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here