The Woodland Hills El Camino Real softball team claimed the City Section Open Division championship Saturday afternoon with a 9-0 victory over West Valley League-rival Granada Hills.
And the Conquistadors can thank Jordyn VanHook and Jillian Kelly the most. The victory gave El Camino Real (21-9) its 16th City softball title and first since 2016.
“Winning the championship is always the goal,” coach Jodi Borenstein said. “Especially with ECR it comes with the territory.”
The Arizona State-bound VanHook hit three home runs with seven RBIs and Kelly pitched a one-hitter. VanHook blasted a two-run home run in the third inning and another in the fourth inning. VanHook’s three-run shot in the fifth off Granada Hills pitcher Kit Zenga put the game away.
“It’s just crazy because I never thought it would be like this or get this far like this,” VanHook said. “It’s a great way to end my senior year. To finish my senior year like this and go out with a bang like this is great. It’s great to leave ECR with an experience like this.”
VanHook finished her career with 30 home runs and no one can remember anyone hitting three round-trippers in a championship game. Certainly not in the section’s highest division.
“Our team chemistry was amazing,” VanHook said. “We had a young team but we all had the physical capability.”
Kelly finished with six strikeouts. The lone single she surrendered came in the fifth with the Conquistadors ahead 6-0.
“I am so in shock,” Kelly said. “We came into the playoffs as such underdogs. We lost five seniors from last year. Nobody expected much from us. I felt really good about all my pitches. The screwball, changeup and rise ball. My teammates backed me up. But Jordyn is insane to watch. I have never seen a hitter like her.”
El Camino Real had an impressive playoff run, outscoring its opponents 21-1. The only run given up came in a first-round game against Banning. El Camino Real shut out Chatsworth 5-0 before the victory against Granada Hills. The Conquistadors beat the Highlanders for the third time this year after earlier victories on March 22 and April 10, 13-1 and 7-1, respectively.
VanHook was simply too good. The right-handed hitter went four for four, including a single in her first at-bat. VanHook finished the three-game playoff run five for five with seven walks and four home runs.
“Jordyn was such a workhorse,” Borenstein said. “From where she came from her freshman year until now is remarkable. It’s unbelievable. She didn’t know how good she was. She came in as a freshman trying to figure it out and fit in. She had a good sophomore year. The junior year was the turning point. She wants to be the best. I wasn’t surprised she hit three home runs. I was surprised they pitched to her. She has become a better student, better teammate, better softball player and just better overall.”
In the Division 1 championship, San Fernando Chavez had no problem with Los Angeles Roosevelt in a 3-0 victory.
Arianna Martinez pitched a complete game with seven strikeouts to lead the Eagles. Paola Rodriguez hit a two-run home run and had an RBI single for Chavez.