LA wins division, joins MV and SF in softball playoffs

Town Crier file photo
Los Altos High’s Cassie Chou, pitching in a league game last month, is the Eagles’ ace and among their best hitters this year.

The Los Altos High softball team’s domination of its division didn’t translate into a lofty seed in the Central Coast Section playoffs, but the Eagles aren’t too upset about that. They’re just happy to be in the postseason.

“We’re excited to get there,” said Robert Herrera, who took over as coach this year. “The kids are so ecstatic to be in it – especially after the lashing they took last season.”

A year ago, Los Altos suffered through a 4-21 campaign that included a 1-11 mark in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division. That led to the Eagles’ demotion to the SCVAL El Camino Division, where they’ve thrived this year. Los Altos went 11-1 in the division, finishing four games ahead of second-place Saratoga.

“They were disappointed to move down,” Herrera said of his players, “but I think they now realize it was a good thing.”

It’s not so good when it comes to the Central Coast Section playoffs, however, as El Camino teams are typically seeded well below those in the De Anza. That explains why the Eagles have been seeded eighth in CCS Division I. Los Altos (15-11 overall) is scheduled to host No. 9 Alvarez (18-7) 4 p.m. today, with the winner advancing to Saturday’s quarterfinals.

The Eagles enter the CCS playoffs on a five-game winning streak in which they outscored their opponents by a whopping 49-6.

“We’ve progressively improved over the season,” Herrera said.

Los Altos scored an average of 10 runs per game in league while allowing its foes only three per contest. The Eagles stole nearly 80 bases as well.

Ace Cassie Chou has a 1.64 ERA for the season and batted .488 in league. The sophomore drove in three runs Thursday as Los Altos closed out league play with a 15-1 road rout of Lynbrook.

Courtney Athens had four hits in the game, which ended in five innings due to the mercy rule, and she drove in a pair of runs. The senior batted a team-best .564 in league.

Junior Lili Ahern added three hits and an RBI in last week’s league finale. Sophomore Tessa Meyn went 2-for-3, raising her batting average to .512 in league.

Freshman Shelby White earned the win. She limited Lynbrook to two hits, struck out four and walked two.

Spartans seize third seed

After tying for first place in the De Anza Division, Mountain View has landed the third seed in CCS Division I.

The Spartans (14-11) are slated to host No. 14 Presentation (10-9) 4 p.m. today.

Mountain View whipped Wilcox 16-2 last week to finish tied with Los Gatos for first place in the De Anza Division at 10-2; the Wildcats handed the Spartans both of their losses.

Mountain View racked up 22 hits against Wilcox May 9. Rachel Dove led the way with four hits. Her double in the second drove in a pair of runs, part of a seven-run inning that featured a homer by Jessica Day.

Maddy Garcia earned the win, surrendering seven hits and striking out seven in a game that ended in five innings on the mercy rule.

Two days earlier, the host Spartans squeaked by Monta Vista 6-5 on Emily Klemm’s solo homer in the sixth. She and Emily Heltzel each collected multiple hits.

Garcia picked up the win in relief of Samantha Hernandez.

Lancers land spot in CCS Open

St. Francis has qualified for the eight-team CCS Open Division as the No. 2 seed.

The Lancers (20-6) are scheduled to face No. 7 Valley Christian (19-6) in Saturday’s quarterfinals at a time and place to be determined.

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