Encinal’s Magical Run Ends; Lose to Pinole in Championship

Trevor Marsh --  Encinal junior Lola Whalen hits a home run in the fourth inning, the Jets' only run of the game.
Trevor Marsh -- Encinal junior Lola Whalen hits a home run in the fourth inning, the Jets' only run of the game.

Encinal’s Magical Run Ends; Lose to Pinole in Championship

Given the pitching talent both teams had, the Div. III North Coast Section Softball Championship game between #1 Pinole Valley and #10 Encinal High School was expected to be a low-scoring affair. However, the Spartans’ bats came alive early, en route to a 6-1 win at Diablo Valley College on May 27.

Led by senior Aneesa Brewer, Pinole scored four quick runs in the first inning and two more in the third to go up 6-0. The outfielder went 3-for-3 with an RBI.

Senior standout Kailani Tatro struck out seven Encinal batters to record her 28th win of the season. The Pinole pitcher will play for Robert Morris University in Moon Township, Penn. next season.

However, West Alameda County Conference co-league MVP Lola Whalen hit a moonshot in the fourth to give the Jets their first run of the game. It was the junior’s 11th homer of the season.

“Everyone congratulated her with her good hit,” said Encinal sophomore Jazzy Alcantar. “It helped boost the energy in the dugout and made the game more exciting.”

The run was the only one the Spartans allowed all postseason.

“It was really exciting because I wanted to represent Encinal and show that they couldn’t shut us down completely,” said Whalen.

After a rocky start, Encinal pitcher Celeste Hurtubise settled down and pitched four scoreless innings to finish the game. However, the damage was already done as the Jets could not overcome the six-run deficit. Hurtubise played a huge role in Encinal's 4-1 semifinal win over #6 Eureka on May 24, allowing just two hits and striking out nine. Freshman Cameron Tran went 1-for-3 from the plate with two RBIs.

“It was so amazing to make it as far as we did,” said senior Sophia Tramel. “I could not be more proud of this team and the amazing work everyone has put into making it this far. To go from 10th seed in the league all the way to the championship game was incredible.”

Encinal’s season ends with a 15-11 overall record and an 8-2 record in the WACC Shoreline League. Pinole Valley advanced to the NorCal Div. III tournament. They will face Foothill High of Palo Cedro in the first round on Tuesday, May 30.

Hornets Fall in Section Semifinals
The Alameda High School softball team lost to Casa Grande High of Petaluma, 5-0, in the NCS Div. II softball semifinals on May 23. The Gauchos struck early in often in the contest. They scored a run in the second and fourth innings. They pulled away from the Hornets with a three-run sixth inning. Alameda High ends its season with an 18-6 overall record and an undefeated 10-0 record in the WACC Foothill League.

Joshua Linville is a contributing writer and the Publication Design teacher at EHS.

Trevor Marsh -- EHS freshman Sherrielyn Ferrer makes a diving catch to prevent Pinole Valley from scoring more runs in the NCS Championship on May 27.