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May 31, 2011 > Mariners diamond squads battle into NCS Quarters

Mariners diamond squads battle into NCS Quarters

By Biff Jones, Photo courtesy of Loren Long

In first-round action of the North Coast Section (NCS) baseball and softball high school playoffs on Wednesday, May 25, the two Moreau Catholic High School teams, coming out of the Hayward Area Athletic League, came away victorious in Division III brackets (divisions determined by school enrollment).

Softball action at Larry Standley Field in Hayward's Weeks Park Community Center saw the No.8 Mariners, of head coach Christine Krisman, coming in at 13-8, host No.9 Sonoma Valley High School (12-11) in the 16-team, single-elimination tournament. First inning saw MC starter Shelby Long strikeout the first batter she faced then walk the second batter. After a stolen base and a ground out put the runner on third. Sonoma clean up hitter Ashley Vail deposited a triple over Mariner right field, Daniel Gaumer's head to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the first, MC answered on singles by first baseman Cassidy Lyon and Long followed by third baseman Alyssa Castillo being hit by the pitch. Catcher Leilani Akai a hit fielder's choice that Sonoma booted for an error to allow the tying run to score.

Moreau would score three more runs in the third as center fielder Lauren Brown reached on an error followed by a single from Gaumer. After an out, shortstop Savanna Ulloa walked before both Lyon and Long smacked their second singles of the day for a 4-1 lead.

Inning number four was the crusher when Akai led off with a single, second baseman Kyralyn Kawasaki reached on another Sonoma error and Brown belted an inside-the-park, three-run homerun. Two more singles by left fielder Kanna Sanchez and Ulloa followed by Long's two-run double (her third hit of the day) plated two more runs to give the Mariners a 9-1 lead after 4 innings.

That would be all the scoring on the day by either team as Long only allowed just one more base runner, a sixth-inning single, after the first inning while striking out seven Sonoma batters. Long improved to 8-4 on the year.

Next up for the Lady Mariners was a trip to Martinez on Saturday, May 28, for a quarterfinal meeting with No.1 seeded Alhambra High School and the visitors battled to the bitter end before falling 2-1 in nine innings. Gaumer's two-out double in the top of the seventh scored Brown to break a scoreless tie. Alhambra then tied it in the bottom of the seventh before winning it in the ninth.

Long took the loss despite giving up only two hits over the first six innings. Her record dropped to 8-5; Moreau finished the season at 14-9.

Over at Moreau Catholic High, on Wednesday, May 25, the No. 9 seeded baseball team (18-6) hosted No. 8 seed El Cerrito High School (16-7). However, as the lower seed, head coach Ceasar Brown's Mariners would have to bat first and they made the most of it by taking a 3-0 lead after half an inning.

This is all they would need as MC starter Richard L'heureux, would go the distance giving up just one run on two hits and four walks while striking out 11. MC added another run in the sixth and two more in the seventh while El Cerrito's only run came in the bottom of the seventh for the 6-1 Mariner win.

Hitting star for the hosts was designated hitter Richard Zelaya who was 2-3 with two homers and four RBIs. L'heureux helped his cause with two hits and an RBI; and Daniel Aguirre drove in the other Moreau run with a hit. Brian Hickel, David Souto and Michael Temple also had a single each. Zelaya was an All-HAAL DH this year, hitting .500 in league play and .404 overall.

Last Saturday, May 28, the No. 9 Mariners (19-6) traveled to No.1 San Marin High School (20-5) of Novato for a quarterfinal match up. Moreau was to have started their ace pitcher Aaron Acosta (8-2) but the game was suspended and is scheduled to resume at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31 at San Marin.

Whoever prevails in the Moreau Catholic-San Marin contest will face No.4 Sonoma Valley (17-8) on Wednesday, June 1, in a semifinal match. Site and time to be announced after the conclusion of the quarterfinals match. For all results and schedule changes, check out the TCV Sports website, http://sports.tricityvoice.com.

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