College Park moves up to No. 1 in baseball with one week to go in the Bay Area season after St. Francis gets ousted on a no-hitter in the CCS. Salesian win in NCS highlights the best of softball. We produce these rankings in support of the Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area TV show, which airs live on KUSI Channel 20 in San Francisco on Sunday nights.
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Baseball: No-hitter eliminates St. Francis
Throughout the Bay Area baseball season so far, St. Francis of Mountain View has been in and out of the No. 1 rankings.
After Saturday, it’s now known that the Lancers won’t be No. 1 for good. They were no-hit by Bellarmine’s Corby Punian as the Bells beat St. Francis 2-0 in the CIF Central Coast Section Open Division quarterfinals.
The fact that the Bells and Lancers had to face off in the quarterfinals instead of later due to questionable CCS seeding procedures was overshadowed by Punian. He was effective but not overpowering and let the defense make all the plays.
In this week’s rankings, St. Francis has dropped from No. 1 to No. 4 behind new No. 1 College Park of Pleasant Hill, No. 2 Archbishop Mitty and No. 3 Bellarmine.
Mitty won in its CCS quarterfinal game 4-3 over San Benito of Hollister on a home run in the top of the seventh inning by Luke Rasmussen.
College Park, meanwhile, won its first two games of the CIF North Coast Section Division II playoffs over Cardinal Newman of Santa Rosa and Petaluma. The Falcons won’t have to worry about three-time defending champion Campolindo (lost in first-round) or Maria Carrillo (which was 25-2 before losing in a quarterfinal game to Marin Catholic) in that bracket, either.
Here is this week’s Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Top 20 (compiled by Mark Tennis; after games of Saturday, May 24; previous ranking in parentheses):
*Indicates season complete.
**Indicates forfeit win not included.
1. (2) College Park (Pleasant Hill) 25-3
2. (3) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 24-6
3. (6) Bellarmine Prep (San Jose) 25-6
4. (1) St. Francis (Mountain View) 26-5*
5. (10) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 19-7
6. (11) Valley Christian (San Jose) 22-9
7. (12) De La Salle (Concord) 18-8**
8. (9) San Benito (Hollister) 22-7*
9. (18) Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 22-5
10. (4) Maria Carrillo (Santa Rosa) 25-3
11. (19) Wilcox (Santa Clara) 23-8
12. (NR) Leland (San Jose) 21-9
13. (NR) Foothill (Pleasanton) 15-11
14. (NR) Berkeley 17-10
15. (8) Leigh (San Jose) 24-7*
16. (13) California (San Ramon) 17-8*
17. (NR) Montgomery (Santa Rosa) 19-7
18. (15) San Leandro 21-7*
19. (5) Campolindo (Moraga) 20-5*
20. (14) Serra (San Mateo) 16-12*
Previous No. 7 Clayton Valley (Concord); No. 16 Amador Valley (Pleasanton); No. 17 Granada (Livermore); No. 20 Los Gatos.
Teams On The Bubble:
Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 16-9*, Clayton Valley (Concord) 22-5*, Granada (Livermore) 17-9*, Justin-Siena (Napa) 21-7, Lowell (San Francisco) 22-9*, Menlo-Atherton (Atherton) 18-12-1, Petaluma 20-8*, Sequoia (Redwood City) 21-7-1, Tamalpais (Mill Valley) 19-8, Washington (Fremont) 17-9, Westmont (Campbell) 22-9.
Softball: Birthday Special For Salesian’s Conley
(Writeup by Harold Abend)
Talk about giving yourself an 18th birthday present. Well, that’s exactly what Salesian of Richmond ace pitcher Zoe Conley did on Saturday in her outing against Walnut Creek Berean Christian in the CIF North Coast Section Division IV quarterfinals.
The Cal State Northridge-bound senior didn’t let the fact the Pride girls bats were a little dormant in the first four innings bother her at all. Despite some fielding gaffes that cost the hosts a run and left them trailing 1-0 going to the bottom of the fifth inning, Conley already had nine strikeouts from the circle, given up only a hit and hit a batter, and led off two innings and reached base twice.
The Pride eventually broke through for a 5-1 victory and Conley ended up tossing a two-hitter with 12 strikeouts, a hit batter, and no walks. At the plate, the Salesian leadoff hitter led off four innings and was on base all four times with two singles and two walks with two runs scored.
After the birthday girl walked to open the bottom of the fifth and reached third on a sacrifice bunt and a fly out to right, junior catcher Madison Pozzi was hit by a pitch and then went to second on a passed ball.
Up stepped freshman Mariah Schuchart. She smoked a double that plated Conley and Pozzi for the game winning runs batted in. The Pride added another run in the fifth when sophomore Lysette Zaragoza walked with the bases loaded.
Salesian scored twice in the sixth inning including an RBI single by Schuchart that made her 2-for-3 with a double, a hit by pitch, three RBIs and a run scored.
“Our bats were cold early but it ended up being a pretty good outing for our whole team,” Conley told the Cal-Hi Sports Caravan. “Early on we had to keep our heads up.”
“We had to keep battling,” echoed Conley’s battery mate Pozzi.
“The secret to this team is they gel,” said Salesian head coach Dolores Bonds, who is in her 23rd year at the Pride’s helm. “They’re all equal, there are no superstars on this team.”
There may not be any superstars on Bonds’ squad but her star pitcher comes pretty close. Plus, Conley gave herself and the Salesian faithful something to celebrate about on Saturday night when she plans on hanging with the girls and other friends.
The only thing that certainly can top it will be another NCS title.
Here is this week’s Cal-Hi Sports Bay Area Top 20 for softball (compiled by Harold Abend & Mark Tennis; previous ranking in parentheses; after games of Saturday, May 24):
*Indicates season complete.
1. (1) Amador Valley (Pleasanton) 25-0
2. (2) Archbishop Mitty (San Jose) 28-1
3. (3) Alhambra (Martinez) 23-2
4. (4) James Logan (Union City) 23-2
5. (5) Pioneer (San Jose) 23-4
6. (6) Valley Christian (San Jose) 22-7
7. (7) Leland (San Jose) 22-4
8. (8) Carlmont (Belmont) 25-3
9. (9) San Benito (Hollister) 22-3-1
10. (10) Notre Dame (Salinas) 23-3
11. (11) Granada (Livermore) 18-8
12. (14) Foothill (Pleasanton) 16-10
13. (13) Salesian (Richmond) 16-1
14. (12) Heritage (Brentwood) 19-5*
15. (15) San Ramon Valley (Danville) 17-9*
16. (16) St. Patrick-St. Vincent (Vallejo) 23-5
17. (18) Carondelet (Concord) 13-12
18. (20) Livermore 13-13
19. (NR) Arroyo (San Lorenzo) 19-7
20. (NR) Hillsdale (San Mateo) 21-7
Previous No. 17 Presentation (San Jose), No. 19 Newark Memorial (Newark).
Teams On the Bubble
California (San Ramon) 8-15*; Castro Valley 18-10*; Encinal (Alameda) 15-9; Half Moon Bay 22-7; Los Altos 20-8*; Maria Carrillo (Santa Rosa) 19-6*; Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 18-6; Monte Vista (Danville) 11-12*; Moreau Catholic (Hayward) 15-6; Newark Memorial (Newark) 19-7*; Notre Dame (Belmont) 17-12*; Petaluma 21-7*; Presentation (San Jose) 22-8*; Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 18-7-1*; Redwood (Larkspur) 18-6*; San Leandro 14-9*; Santa Catalina 18-4-1; Santa Rosa 16-6*; Soquel 22-8; Tamalpais (Mill Valley) 17-8; Terra Linda (San Rafael) 14-9; Wilcox (Santa Clara) 22-7.