The Mountain View High softball team has come a long way since March, building confidence that coach Dave Campbell said proved crucial in last week’s win over Salinas to open the Central Coast Section Division I playoffs.
Undeterred after allowing the Cowboys to score three runs in the seventh to force extra innings, the host Spartans clipped the Cowboys 5-4 on Nicole Nakahama’s walk-off triple in the ninth.
“The difference between this team two months ago and now is that they know that they are capable of providing the offense when needed,” Campbell said.
Senior Nakahama – facing a full count – drilled the ball to left centerfield for a standup triple that easily scored junior Jackie Olivares, who was on first base after drawing a walk.
The play pushed seventh-seeded Mountain View (16-9) into the CCS quarterfinals for the first time in four years. The Spartans were scheduled to meet No. 2 Leland (21-4) Saturday, after the Town Crier’s press deadline.
Mountain View hopes the hits keep on coming. The Spartans produced 12 hits against 10th-seeded Salinas (14-13). Sophomore Sophie Karolczak went 3-for-3 and freshman Tiana Bolin was 2-for-2; both girls scored a run. Freshman Emma Bice added two hits and two RBIs.
Olivares not only scored the decisive run – she prevented the Cowboys from doing the same two innings earlier.
“Her winning run apart, without her cannon in centerfield, Salinas would have scored their fifth in the seventh, eliminating the extra innings,” Campbell said. “The doubles in the top of the sixth and ninth would have been triples.”
Bolin earned the win in relief of junior Reanna Lancaster, who struck out 11 over eight innings.
2014 softball: Mountain View High School - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier