REDONDO BEACH — In a battle of two heavy-hitting softball teams, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy and Redondo Union entered their CIF Southern Section Division V quarterfinal game having scored a combined 37 runs in the first two playoff rounds.
Each side had the capability of sparking its offense, but Redondo Union struck first with a solo home run in the third inning and then received another solo shot in the sixth that started a four-run inning.
Though Sacred Heart had multiple scoring opportunities, the visitors were shut out, 6-0, in a quarterfinal contest Thursday.
“We’ve played well all year,” Flintridge Sacred Heart coach Kirk Nishiyama said. “Their pitcher did a great job. She shut us down. That’s how we’ve won all year, out bats, and we had a couple of opportunities early that if we could take advantage, it would’ve been a different game. You have to hand it to them.”
Flintridge Sacred Heart ended its first playoff run since 2016 after winning a Sunshine League title — its first in 31 years.
“It’s a credit to our seniors,” Nishiyama said. “We have a mix of talented freshmen and seniors. The seniors paved the way for us this year with leadership. They played the game the right way and I think that was key for us this year.”
Flintridge Sacred Heart (18-6) left runners on base in the final five innings, including leaving a pair of runners stranded in the third and seventh.
Redondo Union second baseman Dara English gave the Sea Hawks (12-16) a 1-0 lead in the second with a solo home run to center.
Redondo Union, which finished third in the Bay League, took a 2-0 lead on a fielder’s choice in the third before English hit her second solo home run in the sixth to make it 3-0. The Sea Hawks added three more runs in the sixth to close out the scoring.
“Dara coming in with that second-inning home run — sometimes that’s all it takes,” Redondo Union coach Jennifer Dessert said. “It’s that extra motivation. She hits the home run first and then we score another one in the next inning. Then, she gets the home run [in the sixth] and we get three to follow her. It’s exciting. It’s exciting to have it.”
Tologs first baseman Karrie Nishiyama collected two hits, while Julia Powers, Amesie Noll and Amanda Ramirez each recorded one hit. Starting pitcher Victoria Ramirez tossed seven innings, struck out one, walked one and gave up 10 hits.
Sea Hawks starting pitcher Carly Koltko struck out six, walked two and yielded five hits in a complete-game victory.