Madill, Harris shut down Aquinas; DP heads to CIF Championship

Aquinas High softball is known for its ability to score runs, though the Falcons had never faced Hannah Harris on the mound, until Tuesday.

Harris and the Chargers’ defense held the Falcons to just one run, and Chloe Madill gave them breathing room on offense with a three-run homer to help propel Dos Pueblos to the CIF-SS Division 4 title game with a 4-1 win in San Bernardino.

The Chargers face Kaiser High from Fontana, who defeated La Quinta, 2-1. Kaiser has never reached CIF finals in the school’s history, and marked its first semifinals game with Tuesday’s win.  The championship game will be held at Manning Stadium in Irvine on Saturday.

Harris, fresh off an 11-inning shutout in the quarterfinals, allowed just six hits and struck out a whopping 13.

“Harris came in the dugout in the fourth inning and said, `Just get me one run,’ ” coach Lee Harris said. “We gave her four. She got that lead and all of a sudden the strike zone seemed to get bigger. In the fifth and sixth you could really see her bearing down.”

Ashlynd Williams interrupted a scoreless game by beating a throw to home on a squeeze play for the game’s first run, after a leadoff double.

Madill gave Harris her preferred lead with a game-changing, three-run homer that cleared the fence in center field. Madill was able to capitalize off Aquinas miscues in the fourth, and the Chargers took a commanding 4-0 lead to finish the inning.

“We made some mistakes and a bad pitch and it just happened to all be at the same time,” Aquinas (26-2) coach Chris Ybarra told the San Bernardino Sun. “At this level you pay the price.”

Madill finished 2-3 with 3 RBIs. Marisa Radeke was a perfect 3-3 at the plate.

Freshman Yoselin Navarro hit a solo homer in the fifth inning for the Falcons’ only run.

“Our defense really held up today. They played great out there,” said coach Harris.

Freshman pitcher Cecily Ruiz (24-2) allowed three earned runs off six hits for Aquinas. The Falcons have reached the quarterfinals the past two years, and are losing only two seniors from the team.

The Chargers are looking forward to Saturday’s game, but they must manage to work around the seniors’ busy end-of-the-year schedule.

“We have six seniors graduating this week, with a Disneyland trip planned for Thursday. We’ll do fine, and we are going to continue working hard with practice on Friday to prepare for Saturday’s game,” said Dos Pueblos coach Donn Roberts

The Chargers won the CIF title in 2005, and fell short in the semifinals the following year.

Dos Pueblos moved to 21-9.

Dos Pueblos 4 Aquinas 1

DP…000 400 0–4 8 0
Aquinas…000 010 0–1 6 1
Harris and Peterson;Ruiz and Wetzel. W-Harris (21-9) L-Ruiz


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