The 2014 Division 1 CIF-SS Ford Softball Championships started Monday and four Southwestern League teams were right in the middle of the action. The top three finishers in the league, MurrietaValley, Great Oak and Vista Murrieta earned automatic spots in the tournament. Chaparral received an “at large” invitation due to strength of schedule and their overall record.
The Wildcard round which started on Monday featured two Southwestern League teams in action.
Vista Murrieta was at home to take on Eleanor Roosevelt and the Broncos dominated from the first pitch of the game. Vista Murrieta defeated the Mustangs 19-0 to advance to the first round of the Ford CIF SS Division 1 Softball Playoffs where they will travel to Anaheim to face Esperanza this week. Bronco senior Selina Ta’amlio was flawless as she threw a no-hit shutout. She struck out 16 Mustangs and cruised to victory over Roosevelt. Ta’amlio also went 3-for 5 at the plate with a home run and four RBIs.
The Broncos finished third in the Southwestern League with a 6-4 record and were 14-11 overall. The Mustangs were the “at large” invitee from the Big VIII and were 12-10 this year.
In the second Wildcard game, Chaparral traveled to Rancho Cucamonga on Monday to face the Cougars who finished the season with a 12-13 record. The Pumas were 5-5 in league play this year and their season did indeed come to an end as Karissa Frazier pitched well but could not overcome a series of Puma mistakes and mental errors that plagued her in key innings in the 3-1 loss. Frazier struck out nine in her final High School start.
The Pumas lone run came in the first inning on a solo blast over the center field fence by Cheyenne Balzer. Balzer was 3-for-3 in the game and could have had three home runs had the wind been with her. The only other hit of the game for the Pumas was a single by Kristen Williams. The Mustangs move on to play mighty Norco, the Big VIII Champions at Norco this week.
Chaparral ended the 2014 season with a 19-13 overall record and placed fourth in the Southwestern league. The Pumas will be losing seniors Amanda Wille, Karissa Frazier, Nizjoni Billie-McLendon, Lorena Ruiz and Kristen Wiliams to graduation this year. A young core of talent remains and the Pumas are looking forward to 2015.
Great Oak finished second in the SW League with a 6-3 record and were 14-11 overall. The Wolfpack travels to Orange this week to battle El Modena who finished second in the tough Century league. The Vanguards were 18-9 overall and captured second place in their league with an 8-3 record.
Undefeated Southwestern League Champion Murrieta Valley will be at home in their first round game. The Nighthawks will face the winner of Monday’s Wild Card game between Los Alamitos who finished third in the Sunset league Santa Margarita, the at large invitee from the Trinity League.
Murrieta Valley finished the season 21-7 overall, 10-0 in league play and have an11 game winning streak going. “We play in arguably the toughest CIF division in the state and there are great teams throughout the division” said Nighthawk Coach Sean Parks. “The team is excited to be playing and they are hungry to go farther than they did last year.
“We had a young team last season and made it into the second round” added Parks. “Most of the girls are back and they know what to expect once the playoffs start next week. The intensity gets ratcheted up and they will be ready to go. Anything can happen and they can compete with the best of them. It should be fun.”
All games start at 3:15.