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SOFTBALL: Hillsdale Bows out with 4-0 Loss at Mitty

Knights miss scoring chances and suffer costly defensive miscues in CCS Division II semifinal defeat.

The Score: Mitty 4, Hillsdale 0.

The Star: Mitty High’s Jazmyn Jackson was a thorn in Hillsdale’s side throughout the Central Coast Section Division III semifinal at Mitty on Wednesday afternoon. The freshman leadoff batter went 3 for 3 with a solo home run and an RBI double. For Hillsdale, pitcher Jordan Richwood capped her standout four-year prep career with a solid effort against a formidable lineup. The Memphis-bound right-hander allowed eight hits and four runs, two earned, in an 11-strikeout, two-walk performance.

The Turning Point: Jackson’s one-out homer in the third inning of a scoreless game. Hillsdale center fielder Keonie Yo initially broke in for the ball, only to realize too late that it was heading over her head. By the time she and left fielder Ashley Izumi tracked the ball down, Jackson was flying around the bases en route to an inside-the-park round-tripper. Though No. 4 seed Hillsdale only fell behind 1-0 on the play, it signified an afternoon in which the visitors were far from sharp. Top-seeded Mitty (25-2) scored another run later that inning on a throwing error on Shannon King’s steal of third base and never lost control of the game.

The Quote: “We’ve got everywhere we’ve got to because of Jordan Richwood—let’s make that perfectly clear. … I think we’re an average team without her. … I’m happy for the kids. (But) I just feel like we’re spinning the wheels here. I love to compete.” – Hillsdale coach Randy Metheany, on the impact his senior ace had on the program and on the disappointment of failing to crack the CCS semifinal barrier during the last three years.

What’s Next? Hillsdale turns the page to the post-Richwood era. Dani Fonseca is expected to take the circle for the Knights as a senior next year. Hillsdale will have plenty of offense back in its bid to win its third straight Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division title—big boppers Fonseca and Courtney Tyler will return, along with four other players who started Wednesday.

The Bottom Line: The Knights (24-6) fell far short of their biggest goal—a CCS title—with their second straight semifinal ouster. Hillsdale knew it needed to play a very strong game to have a shot to beat a Mitty team that had won the Division II championship in five of the last six years, and the visitors didn’t come close to delivering that type of effort. Hillsdale couldn’t capitalize at the plate despite getting a runner in scoring position in four innings, couldn’t stop Mitty’s running game and had a sub-par defensive showing. There’s no doubt the Knights rule the PAL, but as Metheany intimated, the program has not come close to matching its CCS glory of yesteryear.

Notes: Tyler, a sophomore catcher, totaled three of Hillsdale’s five hits. After singling with two outs in the top of the first against Mitty starter Berlyn Rippentrop and taking second when Marissa Cho was hit by a pitch, Tyler tried to score on Richwood’s ensuing single to left. But Mitty left fielder Vanessa Alvarez threw her out at the plate to end the inning. … Hillsdale’s other best threat came when it trailed 3-0 in the sixth. Fonseca led off by reaching on an infield error, Tyler followed with a single and both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch. But Alvarez, who relieved Rippentrop to start the fifth, promptly struck out Cho and Richwood for the first two outs. Petrini drew a walk to load the bases, but then Alvarez induced a Lindsey Nielson pop-up to first base to escape unscathed. … Petrini reached base in all three plate appearances on a single and two walks. … Mitty went 7-for-8 in stolen-base attempts.

________________________________________________________________

Mitty 4, Hillsdale 0

H – 000 000 0 – 0 5 2

M – 002 011 x – 4 8 1

WP: Rippentrop. LP: Richwood.

HR: Jackson (M). 2B: Jackson (M). 3 hits: Tyler (H); Jackson (M). 2 hits: King (M). 2 RBI: Jackson (M).

Records: Hillsdale 24-6. Mitty 25-2.

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