Jets Display Grit in Road Playoff Wins

Jasmine Louise -- Junior Celeste Hurtubise struck out 10 Acalanes' batters on May 16.
Jasmine Louise -- Junior Celeste Hurtubise struck out 10 Acalanes' batters on May 16.

Jets Display Grit in Road Playoff Wins

The Encinal High School (EHS) softball team found itself down early in its North Coast Section (NCS) playoff game against Maria Carrillo of Santa Rosa. Despite the Jets being down, 6-1, in the second inning, they told themselves this wasn’t anything new.

“We all stayed positive and kept playing as hard as we could,” said sophomore Jazzy Alcantar. “We told each other we’ve come back many times from leads like this and we just needed to stay focused and play hard together.”

The 10th seeded Jets (14-10) did just that, upsetting second seeded Maria Carrillo (16-5) in the second round of the NCS Div. III on May 19 in Santa Rosa. The Jets scored four runs in the sixth to win 8-7.

“It feels great that our team has grown so much throughout this entire season,” said junior Amy Screechfield. “EHS softball has never made it this far in NCS, so it’s really exciting to be part of this team.”

The rally started in the fifth inning with WACC League MVP Lola Whalen’s three-run home run to make it 6-4. Whalen went 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs.

“[The home run] helped keep the energy going and showed the team that we can win,” said Whalen. “I don’t think Encinal softball has made it this far and I’m glad that we get to represent the Jets.”

The Jets continued to put pressure on the Pumas in the sixth. After freshman Kiely Wong drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 6-5, Alcantar cleared the bases with a timely double to give Encinal an 8-6 lead.

“When I came up, I was thinking about finding any way to get on base, and for me to be smart about my pitch selection,” said Alcantar. “I took a deep breath and tried to have some fun. I knew regardless of what I did I had a good hitter right after me.”

Maria Carrillo added a run in the bottom of the sixth, but junior Celeste Hurtubise pitched a scoreless seventh to hold on for the win. Hurtubise struck out three and walked three.

Hurtubise was a big part of Encinal’s first round win over seventh seeded Acalanes High School of Lafayette on May 16. The junior struck out 10 Dons, including the final batter with the bases loaded in the seventh.

“My rise balls were helping me during most of the game. During their last at bat, I remembered what her weak spots were when hitting against me and I kept pitching rise balls to her.”

Encinal will face six seeded Eureka High School (16-7) on May 24 in the Div. III semifinals.


Hornets Advance Div. II Semis
The Alameda High School (AHS) softball team won their first two games of the NCS Div. II softball tournament against Carondelet High of Concord and Benicia High School.

The third seeded Hornets made quick work of 14th seeded Carondelet, 9-0, on May 16 at home. Jasmine Whorley pitched a gem of a game. The junior pitched seventh complete innings while striking out 16 batters. She only gave up four hits. AHS senior Ashlie Nakano led the Hornets at the plate going 2-for-2 with 3 RBIs. Freshman Leaira Robinson matched Nakano with 3 RBIs, going 2-for-3 at the plate.

The game against Benicia was much closer. The Hornets led 5-1 entering the top of the sixth. The Panthers rallied for three runs in the sixth to pull within 5-4 but Whorley was able to get out of the inning with the Hornets maintaining the one-run lead. Whorley closed out the seventh inning without allowing a run and the Hornets held on for the 5-4 victory.

AHS will face Casa Grande High of Petaluma in the Div. II semifinal on Tuesday, May 23.


Encinal Baseball Team’s Season Ends in First Round
The EHS baseball team's season came to an end after a 10-3 loss to Novato High School in the first round of the NCS Div. III tournament on May 16.

Sixth seeded Novato (17-9) got off to a fast start scoring five runs in the bottom of the first inning — the Novato Hornets hit in the bottom half of the inning because they were the lower seed even though the game was played at Encinal High. The 11th seeded Jets scored all three of their runs in the fourth inning, cutting the deficit to 5-3. However, the Hornets responded quickly with a run in the bottom of the fourth and two runs in the fifth and sixth innings.

The Jets were plagued by poor fielding mistakes in the contest, which led to four errors. Their bats also fell asleep in the game. The Jets went 5-for27 at the plate as a team for a .185 batting average. Meanwhile, the Hornets went 10-26 in the game for a .306 batting average.

The Jets (14-12) entered the tournament after defeating San Leandro High School, 4-1, to win the Shoreline League tournament on May 12.