CIF Southern Section Finals week has arrived

Linfield’s Elijah Butler (14) and teammates celebrate during the teams come from behind win in the 6th inning of their quarterfinal matchup against Brea Olinda Friday, May 12. Valley News/Action Captures Media Group

The CIF Southern Section playoffs are coming to an end for local high school baseball and softball teams as well as boys’ tennis, boys’ volleyball, girls’ beach volleyball, boys’ and girls’ lacrosse, boys’ golf, and track and field.

As always, there were some great wins this past week, and there were some tough losses, but that’s the name of the game. In order to be called a CIF Southern Section champion, and be the last one standing, you have to win or go home. With that said, the following update tells the tale of the teams that are still in the hunt, and who might still have a shot at a state bid, with their semifinal success.

CIF-SS Baseball Playoffs

While a total of 20 area teams qualified for the seven divisional single-elimination tournament, only one team remained as the week got underway. Down three runs, and with two innings to play, Linfield Christian (23-7) put together a huge sixth-inning rally to run away with a 6-3 victory over Brea Olinda Friday, May 12, in their CIF Southern Section Division 4 baseball quarterfinal. Linfield, the No. 2 seed, traveled to Anaheim Tuesday to face Canyon, a 13-3 winner over Barstow in Friday action as well.

Linfield first baseman DJ Kerr (2) makes the play at first base against Brea Olinda Friday, May 12. Valley News/Action Captures Media Group

With a win, the Lions would have found themselves in the championship finals slated for Friday and Saturday, May 19-20, at Blair Field in Long Beach. Unfortunately, Linfield fell to Canyon, 7-3, ending the local run for area teams in the baseball playoffs.

All games, apart from championship games, are scheduled to begin at 3:15 p.m. unless otherwise noted. All championship games from Blair Field will be streamed live by The NFHS Network and Bally Sports. Specific date, time and location for each divisional final game will be announced on May 17.

Other games last week included: Division 4 – Friday, May 12: Quarterfinals: Sultana – 17, Chaparral – 6; Division 5 – Friday, May 12: Quarterfinals: Peninsula – 3, Liberty – 1; Division 7 – Friday, May 12: Quarterfinals: Brentwood – 3, Cornerstone Christian – 2

CIF-SS Softball Playoffs

In total, 16 area teams qualified for the CIF-SS Ford Softball Championships, and in some heated battles last week, two local teams find themselves in the final game of the CIF-SS postseason. See the full recap in this week’ issue from Derryl Trujillo. Championship games are set for Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20, at Irvine’s Deanna Manning Stadium. Great Oak will play Saturday, May 20, at 6:30 p.m. and Liberty will play Friday, May 19, at 3:30 p.m.

Other game this past week included: Division 1- Tuesday, May 9: Quarterfinals: Murrieta Mesa – 12, Huntington Beach – 11; Thursday, May 11: Semifinals: Norco – 8, Murrieta Mesa – 1; Division 2 – Thursday, May 11: Quarterfinals: Great Oak – 3, California High School – 0; Tesoro – 2, Vista Murrieta –-1; Saturday, May 13: Semifinals: Great Oak – 7, Moorpark – 0; Division 5 – Thursday, May 11: Quarterfinals: Liberty – 12, Paraclete – 6; Saturday, May 13: Semifinals: Liberty – 6, Northwood – 3; Division 7 – Thursday, May 11: Quarterfinals: Crean Lutheran – 8, Tahquitz – 3 (As mentioned in this issue’s Derryl Trujillo story, Crean Lutheran was removed from playoffs for a batting practice violation); Saturday, May 13: Semifinals: Ganesha – 15, Tahquitz – 3.

Other Playoff notes include:

Boys Lacrosse Playoffs, no local teams remaining.

Girls Lacrosse Playoffs, no local teams remaining. Scores from last week include: Division 2 – Wednesday, May 10: Semifinals: Crescenta Valley – 13, Murrieta Mesa – 11; Division 3 – Quarterfinals: Portolo – 17, Heritage – 4; Chaparral – 15, Orange Lutheran – 5; Semifinals – Monday, May 8: Huntington Beach – 9, Chaparral – 8.

Boys Tennis Playoffs

Division 5 – Quarterfinals – Monday, May 8: Whittier – 15, Hemet – 3

Swimming and Diving

Murrieta Mesa’s Sonja Aarsvold advanced to her championship race with strong performances Friday, May 12, during the preliminaries portion of the CIF State swimming and diving championship meet at Clovis West High School in Fresno. Aarsvold, a senior, also made the A final in the girls 100 freestyle, as she qualified fifth with a time of 50.69. Aarsvold was also in the B final of the 200m-freestyle after qualifying 11th (1:50.67). Lakkeside junior Max Reis-Trovillion placed eighth (511.70 points) in the boys diving final held Thursday.

Track and Field

Orange Vista’s Kailah McKenzie successfully defended her Division 1 girls 100-meter hurdles title when she matched her personal-best time of 14.03 seconds. McKenzie also claimed the Division 1 high jump crown with a mark of 5 feet, 6 inches. McKenzie won that title on a tiebreaker over Makena Bailey of Chino Hills, who also went 5-6.

The Great Oak boys track and field team brought home the Division 1 runner-up plaque, Which came down to the final event. Austin Pepito finished third in the pole vault, giving his team six additional points. The Wolfpack (40 points) went from fourth to second with that result, leapfrogging both Jordan (37) and Vista Murrieta (35).

Vista Murrieta’s Aspen Fears, pictured here earlier this season, won the Division 1 girls pole vault title for the second straight season. Valley News/Action Captures Media Group

Vista Murrieta’s Aspen Fears won the Division 1 girls pole vault title for the second straight season. Fears went 12-9 and won a tiebreaker over three others, including Murrieta Valley’s Madisyn Negro and Great Oak’s Shayna Hinds.

Great Oak’s Gabriel Rodriguez won the Division 1 title in the boys 1600 meters with a PR of 4:13.15. He edged out teammate Westin Brown (4:13.24) at the line.

Murrieta Valley’s Taylor Anyansi captured the championship in the Division 1 girls 100 meters in a personal-best time of 11.83. Claremont’s L’Mio Edwards turned in a personal best to win the Division 1 girls 800 meters (2:09.45).

Elsinore’s Daj’Eauna Williams claimed the Division 1 title in the girls triple jump with a PR of 40-1.25.

Boys Golf

Central individual regionals at Bear Creek Golf Course begin Monday, May 8.

Girls Beach Volleyball Playoffs

The girls beach volleyball playoffs concluded Saturday, May 6 at Long Beach City College. No local teams were in the postseason.

Boys Volleyball Playoffs, no local teams remain.

If there are any changes in times, dates, or sites please email either Derryl at or JP at with corrected information. Track and Field contributions made by Action Captures Media Group.