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NCS Softball: Finals

Well, tomorrow’s the big day. Whatever corner of the Bay Area you’ll be in, you can find some good softball and hey, it’s your last chance. Let’s get to the matchups.

DIVISION I
No. 2 Livermore at No. 1 Freedom:
The top two teams in the East Bay for much of the year square off with a title on the line. By now, you all know the players involved. This game should actually provide quite a contrast in styles. Freedom will bunt, but they’ll also roll the dice a lot in terms of the straight steal. Livermore will always bunt, choosing to move that runner into scoring position every time it gets a chance. One key for Freedom will be the production from the top of the order. If hitters like Malena Padilla (note: one of our most consistent posters, SoftballBob, says Padilla hasn’t played in the playoffs… good inside info SoftballBob – we’ll see if that makes a difference tomorrow, eh?), Kim Westlund and Chrissy Stalf can get on in front of Hannah Williams, it could be a long day for Livermore. And it’s the same on the other side, as Katie Keller and Brittany Sabatini will try to set the table for Kaitlyn Taylor. Hey, Freedom has been the gold standard for softball for quite a while now, so the Falcons are favored until someone knocks them off the perch.

DIVISION II
No. 1 Montgomery-Santa Rosa vs. No. 3 Pinole Valley at San Marin:
I saw the Spartans play on Wednesday and, except for one brief lapse in the seventh inning, they looked awfully good. I can’t say I’ve seen Montgomery but pitcher Taylor Stroud comes in with gaudy numbers (0.12 ERA), and we all know much pitching means at this point in the season. Still though, there’s just something about Pinole, something the Spartans haven’t had in past years. Also, in a defensive battle, Pinole SS Claire Scott is among the best around (ask Concord about a couple of the plays she made the other day). Montgomery is geographically the home team, but I wouldn’t put anything past Pinole Valley. I think the Spartans may have what it takes to bring home a title.

DIVISION III
No. 1 Bishop O’Dowd vs. No. 2 Albany at Chabot College:
I wish I had a chance to see BOD this year because, from all accounts, the Dragons are the real deal. I have seen Albany a couple times and there’s no doubt in my mind that this is a championship-caliber club. That’s saying something too because the Cougars lost some great talent from last year’s 2A East Bay title team and they only have one senior (Hannah Kramer) on this year’s team. This one’s going to come down to execution. If Albany can move runners and set itself up with chances to drive in runs, I think the talent of the Cougars will really shine through. It’s a toss up, but I picked Albany before the playoffs began and I won’t stray now.

DIVISION IV
No. 4 Clear Lake at No. 1 St. Patrick-St. Vincent:
I think my opinion of SPSV is well documented, so you probably know who I’m taking in this one. Plus, there’s something to be said for being able to step on the field for a championship game, look at the center field fence and see a banner that says you won it last year. I know I talk a lot about the Bruins’ battery, but don’t overlook the table-setters in this one. If Chelsea Carlay and Taylor-Anne Harris can get on base, SPSV is going to have a good day. Clear Lake knocked off Moreau with a sac fly in extras on Wednesday, and the question will be can they do it again?

Well, short and sweet this time around. I’ll be in Oakley for the Division I final but I’ll be eagerly awaiting the results from the other games. Good luck to all the teams and hey, enjoy the day. See you all tomorrow.

Ben Enos

  • mckbooth

    Well I’m going against you in all categories execpt, well all:) Livermore it’s time, Montgomery because I’ve seen Pinole and I can’t believe they are there, Odow’d because Del Norte was the final game. Read the article in the cresent city newspaper. Wow , what a game. By the way Odow’d beat Albany last year 8-5. It really wasn’t that close. Clearlake beat a good Moreau team so I’ll go with them.

    Good luck to all, That’s why they play the game.

  • SoftballBob

    D1 – You may not have noticed – Padilla is not playing in these NCS games?

    I would look for one of Freedoms other offensive weapons to be the catalysts to put this game over the top.

    The last time Livermore saw a pitcher like Hannah, they lost 3 – 1. I would expect something similar. It’s easy to hit straight fastballs, and mediocre junk, it’s another thing to hit good off speed pitching.

    Freedom 2 – 0!

  • SoftballBob

    Correction….they lost 2 – 0.

    Prediction Freedom 3 – 1!

  • miss percepcion

    We look forward to the start of ice fishing season in Minnesota so that we can find out what Mckbooth has to say about a sport he probably understands.

    Of course “Odow’d” will win since they are playing a team that was towed out of these playoffs in the first round by old St. Mck.

    Back in the real world we’re likely to see a good game between 2 very good teams. Actually we can expect four very good games between four very good teams. But if Pinole and Albany and St. Pats manage to pull through they’ll be alot of dancing along the much dissed 80 East corridor.

    As for brother Tollbooth he’ll be stressing his liver more than usual as he watches them play out the string at Freedom High.

  • miss percepcion

    pardon me that’s 8 very good teams.

  • mckbooth

    Yes miss Percepction I had Albany out of the race early last year also. Now to be fair I did mention that they are good team and have earned my respect as one of the better programs. They have surprised me everytime.

    Yes it will be a good contest tommorrow. You don’t go 46-4 over the last two years and be considered a fluke.

    And i do know a lot about fishing:)

  • Fastpitch fan

    D-I Softball upset prediction:

    I can’t help but notice the following facts:

    1. FACT: Livermore has a better overall record (MAXPREPS 23-2) compared to Freedom (MAXPREPS 23-3), TRUE;

    2. FACT: Livermore has an equal if not stronger strength of schedule advantage, TRUE;

    3. FACT: The EBAL is every bit as strong as the BVAL – Livermore beating Foothill 4 times this season was much more difficult than Freedom’s 4 wins against Antioch, TRUE;

    4. FACT: Had CAL ran the bases semi-aggressive in the 2008 championship and beat Freedom (bad base running/coaching…DOH!!!), Livermore would be hosting and have the home field advantage, TRUE;

    5. FACT: Freedom’s loss to Camarillo???.., very suspect as they finished 16-14 with their only quality win against Freedom, TRUE;

    6. FACT: But for a fluky 1-0 early season loss to San Ramon Valley at the Queen (SRV ended 15-10 with quality wins against Livermore, Concord, Foothill and Berkeley), Livermore would be 24-1 with their only loss against Sheldon (common loss with Freedom), TRUE.

    DRUMROLL……………………………

    Final score prediction: The team with the best defense will win this one. Livermore 3, Freedom 2, but Livermore has to play their A-GAME on defense.

    I will be at the game, then dash to the D-II game, and then head to the Coliseum for the D-I baseball championship. PLAY BALL!!!

  • BSALfan

    Actually, Albany 48-4 over the last two years (NCS bracket from 2008 has error starting in semi-final game).

  • ss396

    I don’t see the tougher schedule argument for Livermore. Freedom went to the Nike Faster to First Tournament, which featured the top teams from all over the U.S. Freedom lost only 1 game, 1-0, and beat Pleasant Grove, 7-0, who knocked off Sheldon for the section championship. Freedom also lost to Mitty, 2-0.

    Livermore scheduled a soft pool for themselves in the Stampede, had a competitive loss to Sheldon in the
    semi finals then edged Foothill 2-1 in extra innings.

    The Brentwood area has been a hotbed for travel ball players for years, and most of them seem to end up at Freedom. In high school, the team with the greatest depth of travel ball players, who are playing and working on their game outside of the season, usually wins.

    I have to give a big edge to Freedom in this game.

  • mckbooth

    Then again BOD is 46-6 over the last two years with a win in the only confrontation of the two.

    Lets play, lets play

  • mckbooth

    How’d the other finals pan out? The Dragon’s went to the wood shed old fashion trashing BOD 9 Albany 0. Congrats Odow’d 1st championship.

  • Ben Enos

    Mckbooth, Livermore won its first NCS softball title with a 2-0 win over Freedom. Kaitlyn Taylor hit a 2-run home run in the first.

  • mckbooth

    Ut oh, I’m 2 for 2 with two to go:)

  • Ben Enos

    Ha, you are. Good luck!

  • DIII

    When will All BSAL teams be announced?

  • Ben Enos

    Just as soon as the BSAL sends them to us.

  • http://ibabuzz.com/prepcorner Jimmy Durkin

    Your guess is as good as mine with that league. Usually takes quite a long time to get anything from them.

  • threegirls

    Who won the freedom and livermore game today?

  • Ben Enos

    Livermore 2-0.

  • threegirls

    thanks!

  • Ben Enos

    Mckbooth, I got one. Pinole beat Montgomery 1-0.

  • Ben Enos

    Looks like we tied. SPSV beat Clear Lake 2-1. Good day of softball.

  • DII

    The CCT listed Shelby Asbury as the BSAL MVP in the finals predictions: “thanks in large part to their catcher, Bay Shore Athletic League MVP Shelby Asbury, and pitcher Paige Gomez.” So someone there has them!

  • Ben Enos

    Ha, you got me there. Actually, I know Asbury was the MVP because one of the league coaches told me. I still haven’t seen the full list.

  • PV Parent

    Here’s to all you Pinole Valley haters out there, and you know who you are.
    We beat a tough Alameda team for the third time, beat a very tough Concord team (who was favored to win it all), and beat the #1 seed Montgomery 1-0 to win the D-II Championship.

    Here’s to all the haters (not you Ben, thanks for your support).

    We are the Champions my Friends, and We’ll Keep on Fighting to the End. We are the Champions, We are the Champions, no time for LOSERS cause WE are the CHAMPIONS.

  • Livermore Fan

    How about those Cowboys from Livemore. Whoever said that the BVAL is just as competitive as EBAL has not had to sit through an EBAL season.

    NO WAY!!!!

  • Fastpitch fan

    Saw Livermore softball win today, and they were the better team, especially the defense which made several stellar plays.

    Saw Pinole Valley softball win today, and they were the better team, especially in the clutch.

    Saw Freedom baseball win today, and they were the better team, especially the tough starting pitcher who threw a dominating 1-hitter while surviving a head wound attempting to steal.

    10 hours, 205 miles, $43 for tickets and parking, 21 innings of high caliber championship ball with quality umpires up to the challenge. And it was perfect weather to cruise in the cabriolet.

    ONE HECK OF A CHAMPIONSHIP DAY!!!

  • Jorge Molina

    PV Parent: Congratulations to the Pinole girls on their championship victory…you are humble winners. I saw Pinole play a couple of times this year and they have a solid team. And while I’m not a Pinole Valley hater I think the championship might have been more difficult for you without your ace pitcher. You know she should have been either sitting out this year or playing for DeAnza. DeAnza coach told me the “hardship” transfer was all BS. Nothing against the girl, she’s talented and seem like a great kid.

  • mckbooth

    I don’t know, I saw her at the Hayward tournment and I don’t think she was that dominant. They have surprised me the whole way. Pinole must have had something besides pitching. Sounds like a team that plays together under pressure. If my memory serves me correctly they lost two games in that tourmnment, Logan and Carondelet?? One of those was like 8-2.
    Hate the game not the player.

  • PV Parent

    Thought I would correct your faded memory Mcdoof.

    Pinole lost to a strong D-1 team Logan by the score of 5-1. It was their only loss in the tourney.

    Her only other loss was to Concord 2-1 which was avenged when PV beat Concord in the playoffs 4-3. Maxpreps has it all if you need to see it.

    Yes, they did play well under pressure, and peaked late in the season defensively.

  • Jorge Molina

    PV Parent: Are you the one who puts the data into Maxpreps? Love to see your scorebooks… .517 league team batting average? Really? Not one batter reached base on an error? Oh they did? Then that’s not exactly a hit in the book. Gotta think one of the batters on your team might have had a ball misplayed in one of the “battles” you had vs. Richmond, El Cerrito, or Hercules. If not, congratulations on a WORLD record league team batting average.

  • Jorge Molina

    P.S. You brag that you beat a “tough” Alameda team three times. Couldn’t have been that tough…don’t even see them mentioned in the final polls.

  • mckbooth

    Pv parent,

    Are you mad because I said that Pinole played good team ball and weren’t pitcher heavy or are you the mom of the pitcher who transferred. My God grow up.

  • Nick

    I think it’s a little silly to talk about Pinole Valley haters – almost all fans spend more time rooting for their team than caring whether other teams are good or bad. But I do think Pinole Valley has been underrated consistently. 4 of the last 5 years they have outperformed their seeding in NCS (and the other time they were an 8, losing to a 9). 2 of those years Pinole won as a 14 over a 3 and a 15 over a 2. And now Pinole won the championship as a 3 seed. So if we’re going to talk about softball, let’s talk about whether the seeding’s been right the past few years.

  • PV Parent

    Mcdoofus,

    You ask why I am mad at you?

    1. “Montgomery because I’ve seen Pinole and I can’t believe they are there”
    2. “If my memory serves me correctly they lost two games in that tourmnment, Logan and Carondelet?? One of those was like 8-2.” Wrong on both counts.

    No I am not the mother, just a proud parent of the entire PV Softball Championship team, who is ranked #3 in the final season polls. Win a medal before you try dumping on us Mcdummy.

  • Jorge Molina

    PV Parent:

    You comments are just about as classy as Pinole’s 30-0 drubbing of hapless Richmond.