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SAN JOSE — Archbishop Mitty held its graduation ceremony Saturday morning. A few hours later, four of its seniors celebrated in style as the Central Coast Section Open Division softball champions at PAL Stadium in San Jose after a 6-0 victory over rival St. Francis.
One senior in particular, right-hander Savanna Smith, delivered an opus for her swan song as Monarch in the circle, tossing a three-hit shutout against one the most potent offenses in CCS.
“It’s just the best feeling in the world,” Smith said. “And to top it all off, it’s post-graduation and I’m on a high right now. It’s amazing.”
For a third straight time, Mitty met St. Francis in the Open title game. Mitty proved victorious in 2017, but the tables were turned last year.
In the rubber match, the eighth-seeded Monarchs (18-7) left no doubt after meticulously adding runs throughout the afternoon to come away with the 16th CCS title in program history.
“We have a group of girls who come out for a reason,” Mitty coach Joe Gron said. “They don’t just come out because we go out and practice, they come out and practice their tails off for this exact moment in the season.”
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If speed kills, the top of the order for Mitty should be on a most-wanted list.
Leadoff hitter Diamond Holland and shortstop Savannah Watley, the WCAL co-player of the year as a junior, made it 2-0 in the top of the first after a double steal and errant throw plated Holland, then Watley sprinted home on an ensuing wild pitch.
Watley manufactured another run in the top of third after drawing a two-out walk, then swiping two bases and scoring on another errant throw.
“They outplayed us, bottom line,” St. Francis coach Mike Oakland said. “Hat’s off to them, they deserve every bit of it.”
“It’s such a humbling feeling,” said Whatley, a Pac-12 commit to Utah. “I know we had some rough patches in our season, but I’m so glad that our team really came together and we were able to pick it up and finish this last game.”
Freshman cleanup hitter Elon Butler did the rest of the damage with a leadoff triple in the fourth inning that forced a pitching change from the No. 3 Lancers (24-6-1), as the outright WCAL champion went to Boise State-bound Jordan Schuring.
Butler scored on an RBI grounder by senior Kaitlyn Matherly, then in the sixth inning the freshman capped the scoring with a two-run blast to deep left field estimated at 260 feet right after senior Hannah Edwards had reached on a single.
That was more than enough cushion for Smith, who retired eight of last nine batters she faced, allowing only one walk to go along with four strikeouts.
“My thing with CCS is I come out and I give it my all, I give 110 percent,” Smith said. “And today just happened to be probably one of the best games I’ve ever had.”
St. Francis is losing five seniors of its own to graduation: Schuring, third baseman Hannah Damore, left fielder Andrea Delfino, second baseman Alexandra Attard and backup catcher Natalie Blanc
“They’ve been with me for the last three years and they helped build a culture of the program and bring us to the Open championship three years and won one of them, which is the first one in school history,” Oakland said. “It’s a sad day that they’re going to be gone, but they’re going to do great in the future.”
Mitty’s farewell to its seniors, including four-year varsity players in Smith and Edwards, turned into an unforgettable day.
“To go out on top, especially after graduation, is always fun,” Gron said of his first four-year class.
Aragon makes history with D-I title
The Aragon softball team poses for a photo after claiming the first CCS title in program history with a 6-1 victory over top-seeded Watsonville in the Division I championship game at PAL Stadium in San Jose on Saturday, May 25, 2019. (Vytas Mazeika / Bay Area News Group)
The year was 1986. That the only previous time Aragon advanced to a CCS softball title game. The Dons lost 2-1 to North Salinas.
Fast forward more than three decades, Aragon crowned itself the Division I champion on Saturday afternoon after a 6-1 victory over top-seeded Watsonville at PAL Stadium in San Jose.
“It feels amazing,” said Aragon senior Holly Fletcher, the ace.
“It’s crazy,” said Aragon freshman Megan Grant, the slugger.
“Oh my gosh, I was crying,” Fletcher added. “I’m so happy.”
The No. 3 Dons (22-6) put together a four-run rally in the top of the second to take command, with centerfielder Shannon Galliano’s two-run single the crushing blow.
“All the talent came together at the right time and we all just turned it on at the end of the season,” Fletcher said. “It’s just absolutely amazing.”
Fletcher took care of the rest as she tossed a four-hitter with two walks and 11 strikeouts, including the last two batters of the game.
“I had tears coming down my face and I was like shaking hands,” Fletcher said. “I was beyond excited.”
Grant, a UCLA commit who hit 13 home runs in her varsity debut, scored the first run and ripped an RBI single in the seventh for insurance.
“I came in with high expectations and we achieved it,” Grant said.
How did the Dons plan to celebrate?
“A lot of screaming, apparently,” Fletcher said.
• Division II: No. 5 Pioneer 5, No. 3 Hillsdale 0 … It’s the third CCS title for Pioneer and first since 2010.
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