Softball: NorCal wins Carew and Stampede

Amador Valley wins Michelle Carew Classic
Archbishop Mitty wins third-straight Livermore Stampede

The top two Bay Area and Northern California players and early Ms. Softball State Player of the Year candidates each came through big-time in leading their respective teams to tournament titles in the top two California softball tournaments.

Amador Valley of Pleasanton UCLA-bound ace Johanna Grauer gave up a run, but it wasn’t earned, and the Dons came from behind to win 2-1 over Los Alamitos in the title game of the Anaheim Canyon-hosted Michelle Carew Classic.

After Los Alamitos scored an unearned run in the top of the second inning, Grauer (one run, three hits, eight strikeouts, five walks) held the Griffins scoreless the rest of the way .

Down 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning Nicole Yozzo got an infield single. Sammy Sulustri bunted her way on and No. 2 Amador Valley (12-0) had runners on first and second. Grauer sacrifed the pair to second and third and UC Davis-bound Ashley Lotosynski was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Up stepped Victoria Molina and the senior catcher doubled to the right center-field fence plating Yozzo and Sulustri.

In the top of the seventh Grauer gave up a single, and the runner eventually advanced to third base, but the Amador Valley star pitcher was able to retire the side on a pop-up to first.

Along with the win, Grauer, who was named the Carew Classic MVP, has now started the season going 86.1 innings pitched without giving up an earned run and with 130 strikeouts, and it includes five games against the best Southern California had to offer.

“The best pitcher in the nation gets the Carew Classic MVP, and it only seems right. Grauer was dominating,” said Tournament Director Lance Eddy.

“It was no cakewalk,” said Amador Valley head coach Teresa Borchard around midnight after the victory on the bus ride home. “The girls fought every step of the way against five tough Southern California teams.

In the third place game No. 18 Alhambra of Martinez (13-1) was a winner over a No. 5 Anaheim Esperanza team that didn’t pitch South Carolina-bound Hayley Copeland.

20th Annual Livermore Stampede

The Livermore Stampede title game wasn’t a nail-biter like the Carew Classic championship, but the Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 6-0 victory over Elk Grove Pleasant Grove showcased the talents of one of the top position players in California, Mitty’s Cal-bound shortstop Jazmyn Jackson.

For the first time in several years the Stampede MVP was not a pitcher, and it went to Jackson, although Mitty pitcher and 2013 MVP Desiree Severance could very well have won it for a second-straight year.

Instead, in a difficult decision, it went to Jackson. In the title-game victory she was 3-for-3 with three doubles, a walk and three runs scored. Overall fore the Stampede Jackson was 8-for-13 with six doubles, an RBI, six runs scored, four walks and three steals.

In the title game victory Severance pitched a five-hitter with eight strikeouts and three walks, and she stranded nine Pleasant Grove runners.

Both Mitty (13-0) and Pleasant Grove (13-4-1) punched their ticket to the finals with hard fought 1-0 semifinal victories.

The Mitty win over San Ramon California came on an unearned run in the fourth inning. Haley Wymbs singled to open the inning, was sacrificed to second and stole third on the same play when California pitcher Lindsay Chalmers covered third but started walking back to the mound leaving the base uncovered while action was still alive.

Rattled by her mistake Chalmers uncorked a wild pitch to the next batter on her first pitch and Wymbs scampered home for the game’s only run.

Severance was very solid in the circle. She pitched a one-hitter with seven strikeouts and four bases on balls.

The Pleasant Grove victory came on a fifth inning RBI single by Marissa Maligad that plated Katherine Antigua.

Livermore loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth but couldn’t score. They also loaded the bases in the final inning and had 10 total left on base. That wiped out a super effort by Samantha Whalen. The junior pitcher had a three hitter with five strikeouts and one walk.

Livermore won the third place game 5-1 over a California team that didn’t pitch Chalmers. Alyssa Ramirez was the Livermore star after going 3-for-3 with three runs batted in.

This year marked the fifth and final year in the tenure of Stampede Tournament Director Denise Meyer, who has done a remarkable job of continuing the tradition that makes the Livermore Stampede the top girls high school softball tournament in Northern California.

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