(San Gabriel) – Monrovia thought its season ended with an upset win over San Marino last Thursday, only to be given a reprieve by the “Softball Gods” with a CIF-SS Division 5 Wild Card game against Gabrielino.
The Lady Cats took advantage of its good fortune to advance to the First Round of the CIF Playoffs with a 6-4 win over the Eagles.
For Monrovia the game couldn’t have started any better.
Back-to-back singles by Elyse McCarthy and Kelli Williams helped ignite a two-run first. Schae Simpson worked a walk to load the bases for Samantha Saucedo. A Sacrifice-Fly by Sauced scored McCarthy for the game’s first run. Adrienne Guerra followed with a sacrifice bunt to score Williams.
Heading into the second with a one-run lead, the Lady Cats exploded for three runs.
Shelbi Zernickow doubled to start the inning. Emmy Orozco singled to get runners at the corner. Stephanie Garcia’s grounder to second scored Zernickow. McCarthy’s smash to short that wasn’t handled properly and allowed Orozco to move to third. After McCarthy reached second on catcher’s indifference, Saucedo singled to score Orozco and McCarthy for a 5-1 lead.
All season Gabrielino battled back when down, it earned a spot in the preseason with a spectacular comeback against Rosemead last week.
Today it was no different.
The Eagles got within one run in the fourth inning with a three run inning of its own.
Emily Prince’s bloop single behind third base started the inning. Autumn Gallegos singled to have runners at first and second. After a passed ball allowed the runners to advance to second and third, Rebecca Sanchez singled to score Prince and Gallegos.
With two outs, Vanessa Mijares singled to score Sanchez from third to cut the deficit to one.
An insurance run in the sixth helped Monrovia get a little breathing room. Shellee Parker bunted herself on and advanced to second on Zernickow’s single. Garcia’s second hit of the game loaded the bases full of Lady Cats. McCarthy’s shot to right field was misplayed and it allowed Parker to score.
Maite Reece made the play of the game on Kelli Williams shot to left that was headed for a single to score both Garcia and McCarthy. Reece raced toward the fly ball and made a sliding catch to rob Williams of at least two runs and keep Gabrielino in the game.
With one final attempt to tie in the seventh, the Eagles began its half of the seventh with a double by Brianna Delgadillo. Rachel McKiernan’s shot back to the pitcher ended up getting Delgadillo caught in a run down between second and third. Delgadillo eventually was called out at third. A single by Prince kept Gabrielino’s hopes alive.
Guerra shut the door on the Eagles when she induced a grounder to short by Gallegos for the final out.