Carlmont victory gives Hillsdale a leg up

Jim Liggett and Carlmont took down host Half Moon Bay on Thursday. -- Photo by John Murphy

Jim Liggett and Carlmont took down host Half Moon Bay on Thursday. — Photo by John Murphy

By John Murphy 

Hillsdale High’s softball team got a little help from its Alameda de las Pulgas neighbor Carlmont to at least temporarily take control of the PAL-Bay softball race.

The Scots rallied to defeat Half Moon Bay 4-2 on Thursday to put Hillsdale one game up in the loss column ahead of the Cougars and Carlmont in the league race.

“We just didn’t freak out (after falling behind) and just kept doing what we do, which is swinging the bats and hitting the ball,” said Carlmont pitcher Mailey McLemore. “We were getting key hits in key situations.”

Trailing 2-0 in the top of the fourth inning, Carlmont scored three times on RBI singles by McLemore, Michaela Spielman and Kate Berce.

Half Moon Bay put the potential tying run on first base in the seventh inning, but McLemore, the daughter of former San Francisco 49er Dana McLemore, retired the next three batters.

“We dug ourselves a hole, but we bounced back,” said Carlmont coach Jim Liggett who is in his final season as the Scots’ mentor and won his 1000th game earlier this season. “We played well – we got two double plays which is something you don’t see too often in high school softball, especially 6-4-3 or 4-6-3 double plays.”

Half Moon Bay took a two-run lead in the first inning on Riley Donovan’s two-run single to left field.

The Cougars (18-4, 9-3) have lost three consecutive games and are now looking up at Hillsdale (16-7, 9-2) in the standings) and are even with Carlmont (21-3, 9-3).

“We’re getting better,” Half Moon Bay coach Claire Rietmann-Grout said of her team’s recent struggles. “We’re showing energy and getting better at-bats. They were just getting the clutch hits and we weren’t.”

McLemore (7-0) struck out one and allowed four hits and seems fully recovered from a quadriceps injury that kept her out two weeks.


Half Moon Bay High grad Donovan tearing it up for CSM

College of San Mateo's Harlee Donovan grew up at Martin's Beach, just south of Half Moon Bay.

College of San Mateo’s Harlee Donovan grew up at Martin’s Beach, just south of Half Moon Bay where she attended high school. 

By John Murphy

Half Moon Bay High grad Harlee Donovan hit three home runs including a grand slam to help lift the Lady Bulldogs to 13-0, 9-0 victories against College of the Sequoia on Thursday.

Donovan, a sophomore catcher, now has a state-leading 15 home runs for the season and 35 home runs in two years. She led the state in HRs with 20 last season.

Harlee is the sister of Half Moon Bay High softball stars Abbey and Riley Donovan. The sisters have grown up in the Martin’s Beach area south of Half Moon Bay, first in a beachfront house at Martin’s Beach and more recently at the sprawling Triple-D Ranch across the Cabrillo Freeway from Martin’s Beach.

Harlee also leads the state in runs scored with 49. Her exploits helped CSM lengthen its three-year home winning streak to 55 games.

Harlee’s grand slam in the fourth inning capped the 13-0 win in the opener. She led off the second game with a solo blast, which proved to be the winning run, and then had a two-RBI homer in the second frame for seven RBIs on the day. Donovan was also walked twice on the day, upping her lead in that category to 25 this season, as she scored five times.

Another Half Moon Bay High grad, Morgan Jones (14-1) got the win in the first game.

Donovans are also lifting the Half Moon Bay High softball team with senior Abbey hitting .542 with one home run and seven RBIs and sophomore Riley hitting .500 with two homers and 18 RBIs for a team that is 10-1 overall and 6-0 in the PAL-Bay, holding a lead over co-second place Hillsdale and Carlmont (both 3-1).

CSM has already wrapped up a fifth consecutive Coast Conference-North title and will close out conference play on Tuesday by hosting Chabot College at 3 p.m. The Lady Bulldogs will also host Shasta College on April 16.

San Benito seeking softball coach after highly successful Smith let go

Hollister logo

By John Murphy 

Scott Smith has been let go as the San Benito High softball coach.

“The school/we decided to move on without Scott,” said San Benito athletic director Tod Thatcher when asked by email about the change. “I have the utmost respect for Scott and I wish him well … someone will be lucky to have him as their head coach.”

Smith was the 2015 Prep2Prep CCS Coach of the Year after leading the Haybalers to the section title. He was not immediately available for comment.

The North Salinas High grad led San Benito to nine section Division I titles in 10 years, including an 8-5 win over Wilcox for the 2015 championship. He coached the Haybalers for 14 years.

Said Thatcher by email regarding the Haybaler opening: “Our program is one of the top softball programs in the CCS having won nine Division 1 CCS championships in the last 10 years.  There are several top returning players for the 2016 season.  Possible teaching positions available for qualified applicants.”

Interested parties may contact Haybalers’ athletic director Tod Thatcher at

All MBL softball teams announced



The All Monterey Bay League softball teams have been released. Here they are:


Most Valuable Players: Suzy Brookshire, San Benito, Jr.; Marisa Given, Notre Dame, Sr.

Most Valuable Pitcher: Lauren Castro, Gilroy, Sr.


San Benito: Suzy Brookshire, Jr.; Callee Heen, Jr.; Adriana Ibarra, Sr.; Isha Gonzalez, Sr.;

Notre Dame: Marisa Given, Sr.; Sarah Muzik, Sr.; Vanessa Gonzalez, Fr.; Brittany Plascencia, Sr.; Spencer Hyosaka, So.

North Salinas: Kaitlin Shipman, Sr.; Tobi Mendoza, Sr.

Gilroy: Lauren Castro, Sr.

Christopher: Mackenzie Holt, Sr.

Monterey: Gina Bruno, Jr., Lexi Singh, Fr.


San Benito: Chloe Cortez, Fr.; Maddy Gutierrez, Jr.

Notre Dame: Lauren Pullara, So.; Aly Gomonet, So.; Kaeli Bush, Fr.

North Salinas: Alyssa Salazar, Sr.; Serena Castaneda, Jr.

Gilroy: Liezl Clark, So.; Maddy Cox, So.

Christopher: Brook Loesch, Sr.; Nikki Villanueva, Jr.; Michaela Decker, Jr.

Monterey: Kaci Singh, Fr.; Jada Williams, Fr.

Salinas: Harley Noda, So.


San Benito: Brittney Rossi, So.

Notre Dame: Emily Nguyen, Sr.; Alexia Torculas, Fr.

North Salinas: Shayla Castaneda, Jr.; Alissa Foster, Jr.; Kaitlyn Doyle, Sr.

Gilroy: Adrianna Figone, Fr.; Makenna Weiler, Fr.

Christopher: Patti Soria, Jr.; Karli Martinez, Sr.

Monterey: Catie Montante, Fr.; Ashley Brady, Sr.

Salinas: Juliette Guerra, Fr.; Josephine Villalreal, So.


Most Valuable Player: Marielle Tuazon, Seaside, Jr.

Pitcher of the Year: Sammi Sakai, Watsonville, Jr.

Sportsmanship: Watsonville, Seaside, North Monterey County

First Team

Watsonville: Sammi Sakai, Jr.; Savanah Quintana, Fr.; Malena Cueva, Sr.; Zaira Pena, Fr.; Mariah Rocha, Fr.

Seaside: Marielle Tuazon, Jr.; Malia Usrey, Jr.; Kaitlyn Hernandez, Jr.; Nicole Sayre, Jr.; Stephanie Lizarabe, So.

Alvarez: Viviana Soria, Sr.; Angelina Ruiz, Jr.; Giana DeLeon, Fr.

MVC: Hillary Guerrero, Sr.

Alisal: Brittney Birlem, Sr.

Second Team

Watsonville: Liyah Lopez, So.; Desiree Gomez, Jr.

Seaside: Ruby Gonzales, So.

Alvarez: Andrea Gutierrez, Jr.; Irene Villa, So.; Melissa Belnas, Fr.

MVC: Kelli Graham, Sr.; Maddie Schmidt, Sr.; Rachel Vanni, So.; Elissa Cooper, Jr.

Alisal: Brianna Lee Moreno, So.

North Monterey County: Delmeza Perez, Jr.; Amber Duplissie, So.; Michaela Galli, Fr.

Pajaro Valley: Madison Gil, So.



All-SCVAL softball teams released

The All-SCVAL softball teams have been named. Here they are:


MVP: Amanda Ramirez (Wilcox) Sr.

MVP Pitcher: Lizzy Beutter (Los Altos) Jr.

MVP Offense: Morgan Ratliff (Wilcox) Sr.

MVP Defense: Noa Yakir (Homestead) Sr.


Hailey Thompson (Wilcox) Sr.

Katie Stensrud (Wilcox) Sr.

Kaitlyn Schiffhauer (Los Altos) Sr.

Angelica Minor (Los Altos) Jr.

Megan McKinney (Los Altos) Jr.

Julie Davis (Homestead) So.

Brittany Prock (Homestead) So.

Samantha Holmgren (LosGatos) Sr.

Amelia Dunn (Los Gatos) Jr.

Eleni Spirakis (Saratoga) Jr.

Shaye Felix (Milpitas) Jr.

Anna Tevanian (Gunn) Jr.


Breanna Ledesma (Wilcox) Sr.

Jessica Bradley (Wilcox) Jr.

Janelle McAfee (Los Altos) Jr.

Audrey Jones (Los Altos) So.

Maggie Matzinger (Homestead) Sr.

Nancy Liu (Homestead) So.

Madeline Colombo (Los Gatos) Jr.

Ashley Mains (Los Gatos) Sr.

Annalissa Ruff (Saratoga) Sr.

Gwyneth Savella-Dye (Milpitas) Jr.

Emma Wager (Gunn) Jr.


Leila Fletcher (Wilcox) Sr.

Ashley Young (Wilcox) Jr.

Elle Lowe (Los Altos) So.

Krissy Ikeda (Los Altos) So.

Carrine Peterson (Homestead) Fr.

Rachelle Cepeda (Homestead) Jr.

Sydney Tucker (Los Gatos) Jr.

Shelby Copper (Los Gatos) So.

Savannah Green (Saratoga) Jr.

Shancee Gaskin (Saratoga) Fr.

Brenda Cruz (Milpitas) Sr.

Sarina Bolden (Milpitas) Sr.

Katie Garvey (Gunn) Jr.


MVP: Maddie Martinson (Palo Alto)

Offensive MVP: Danielle Koontz (Monta Vista)

Defensive MVP: Janaya Sakkas (Monta Vista)

MVP Pitcher: Reanna Lancaster (Mountain View)


Aly Olkein (Monta Vista)

Marissa Lee (Monta Vista)

Alison Lundberg (Mountain View)

Emma Bice (Mountain View)

Tiana Bolin (Mountain View)

Shannon Peterson (Santa Clara)

Larrissa Ostander (Santa Clara)

Natasha Sachdeva (Santa Clara)

Celina Arranaga (Cupertino)

Agnes Jang (Cupertino)

Jesse Kim (Palo Alto)

Katie Wingrove (Fremont)

Kasey Chuang (Lynbrook)


Hailee Huber (Monta Vista)

AnnMarie Manley (Monta Vista)

Katie Moran (Mountain View)

Rachel Lopez (Mountain View)

Kathryn Caravalho (Santa Clara)

Alyson Teixeira (Santa Clara)

Leah Ramirez (Cupertino)

Leina Pada (Cupertino)

Sophie Frick (Palo Alto)

Heaven Rodriguez (Fremont)

Chantal Naugle (Lynbrook)


Monica McCarthy (Monta Vista)

Mika Maenaga (Monta Vista)

Haley Walker (Mountain View)

Cece Pellizzari (Mountain View)

Kira Marquez (Cupertino)

Jordan Amick (Cupertino)

Sarah LaRue (Cupertino)

Siobhan Taylor (Santa Clara)

Hailey Hiett (Santa Clara)

Maggie Renteria (Palo Alto)

Maddy Jones (Palo Alto)

Kinsey Mangan (Fremont)

Jennifer Clinton (Fremont)

Theresa Prada (Lynbrook)

All-WBAL softball teams named

The All WBAL softball teams have been named. Here they are:



Co-Most Valuable Player: Kris McIntyre (King’s Academy); Aisley Njissang (Pinewood)


Danica Crowley (Notre Dame-SJ)

Jessa Cruz (King’s Academy)

Erin Dougherty (Mercy-Burlingame)

Catherine French (King’s Academy)

Bailey Heit (Pinewood)

Megan Johnson (Castilleja)

Kasaia Langi (Mercy-Burlingame)

Tara Thakurta (Castilleja)

Kate Wang (Castilleja)

Second Team

Sarah Caylor (King’s Academy)

Taylor Kinnett (King’s Academy)

Sara Lasher (King’s Academy)

Abby Lowell (Castilleja)

Alexis Luciano (Mercy-Burlingame)

Alia Rubaie (Pinewood)

Alisa Wakita (Harker)

Allison Zanolli (Castilleja)


Megan Andersen (Castilleja)

Marisa Auby (King’s Academy)

Brooklyn Baldock (Notre Dame-SJ)

Alan Bartke (Mercy-Burlingame)

Simrin Bhargava (Notre Dame-SJ)

Deidre Bonitz (Mercy-Burlingame)

Vivian Isenberg (Harker)

Stella Kailahi (Pinewood)

Jolie Kempt (Castilleja)

Kristin LeBlanc (Harker)

Quinn Mitchell (Pinewood)

Isabella O’Connor (King’s Academy)

Malaya Street (King’s Academy)

Kikaela Topper (Pinewood)


Co-Most Valuable Player: Jessica Flohr (Crystal Springs), Lily Weidhaas (Priory)


Becky Berman (Crystal Springs)

Sabrina Bermudez (Alma Heights)

Tatiana Gastrock (Mercy-San Francisco)

Grace Hamren (Priory)

Tori Knapp (Nueva)

Alcia Lopez (Mercy-San Francisco)

Angelica Padilla (Alma Heights)

Prisilla Sanchez (Crystal Springs)

Brenda Uribe (Priory)


Vanessa Baltodano (Mercy-San Francisco)

Melissa Barroso (Mercy-San Francisco)

Kaylana Beccerra (KIPP)

Cailtin Chin (Alma Heights)

Alma Hekkert (Alma Heights)

Camille Klein (Nueva)

Megan Love (Priory)

Cynthia Quan (KIPP)

Alejandra Sanchez (Priory)


Florence Anderberg (Alma Heights)

Stephanie Benzi (Mercy-San Francisco)

Anne Boyd (Alma Heights)

Sara Chang (Priory)

Marina Dalton (Mercy-San Francisco)

Adrienne DeWitt (Mercy-San Francisco)

Rose Gold (Crystal Springs)

Itzyana Hernandez (KIPP)

Manamea Lafo (KIPP)

Polina Lissin (Nueva)

Katie Nachtsheim (Priory)

Niyati Narang (Crystal Springs)

Katherine Nico (Crystal Springs)

Mayra Ramirez (Latino College Prep)

Rosalba Rodriguez (Latino College Prep)

Gail Romer (Nueva)

Claudia Tamer (Priory)

Scotts Valley’s Reyes player of year in SCCAL softball

Here is the All SCCAL softball team, as picked by the league coaches:

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Sarah Reyes, Scotts Valley
PITCHER OF THE YEAR: Michelle Firebaugh, Aptos
COACH OF THE YEAR: Shawn Gallardo, Soquel
SPORTSMANSHIP: Mariah Lambert, Harbor

First Team:

Faith Apolskis, Soquel
Jamie Corder, Soquel
Sarah Reyes, Scotts Valley
Marissa Bugayong, Aptos
Seryna Tapuloa, Scotts Valley
Katrina Agosti, Soquel
Amanda Ang, Aptos
Anna Gurr, Soquel
Rita McCreesh, Aptos
Sigrid Holtrop, Scotts Valley
Malia King-Jones, Santa Cruz
Michelle Firebaugh, Aptos
Makenna Provancha, Soquel
Bailey Lotz, San Lorenzo Valley

Second Team:

Nina Odegaard, St. Francis
Jenessa Carmona, St. Francis
Amber Martinez, St. Francis
Toni Vargas, St. Francis
Kellie Linkletter, Santa Cruz
Mikal Cuellar, Santa Cruz
Malia Yamashita, Santa Cruz
Emma Wilson, Aptos
Kate Jeffery, Aptos
Adrienne Smith, Scotts Valley
Erica Costella, SLV
Gabby McClelland, Harbor
Hannah Bossard, Soquel
Lela Bombaci, Soquel

Honorable Mention:

Santa Cruz: Haley Burrous, Sydney Falcon
St Francis: Sabrina Bargetto
Soquel: Melissa Provancha, Grace Harrison, Maddie Marlatt, Paolina Valdez
Scotts Valley: Michelle Ponos, Lexi Stevens, Bailey Affolter
Aptos: Jennifer Segura
Harbor: Gianna Stagnaro, Julia Jones, Hannah Christensen, Carly Christensen
SLV: Leah Viele-Verner, Kendall O’Conner

All PAL softball teams named


Mills Vikings softball

Here are the All PAL softball teams:


Pitcher of the Year:  Eryn McCoy                            Hillsdale                                  Junior

Co-Players of the Year:  Allie Steins                       Capuchino                               Junior

Lauren Quirke                   Hillsdale                                  Junior


First Team

  1. Meagan Wells                                               Hillsdale                                  Senior
  2. Bailey Nestor                                                Hillsdale                                  Senior
  3. Jacey Phipps                                                Carlmont                                 Junior
  4. Kelsey Ching                                                  Carlmont                                 Junior
  5. Lauren Racioppi                                               Carlmont                                 Senior
  6. Mailey McLemore                                             Carlmont                                 Frosh
  7. Miki Solorzano                                                 Capuchino                               Senior
  8. Rachel Topper                                                 Burlingame                              Senior
  9. Haley Crowell                                                   Burlingame                              Soph
  10. Kallista Leonardos                                            Half Moon Bay                       Senior
  11. Kait Grech                                                        Woodside                                Soph


Second Team

  1. Gabby Mataele                                                   Hillsdale                                  Soph
  2. Kelly Miller                                                          Hillsdale                                  Senior
  3. Cameron Kondo                                                 Carlmont                                 Soph
  4. Karina Chavarria                                               Capuchino                               Soph
  5. Sam Dean                                                          Burlingame                              Senior
  6. Soraya Frick                                                   Aragon                                          Soph
  7. Angela Brazil                                                     Half Moon Bay                       Junior
  8. Sophia Fanucchi                                               Woodside                                Senior
  9. Stephanie Scofield                                           Woodside                                Senior
  10. Kelly James                                                       Woodside                                Senior



Honorable Mention

  1. Sara Cadona                                            Carlmont                                 Senior
  2. Adriana Picazo                                           Capuchino                               Soph
  3. Nicole Condon                                             Burlingame                              Soph
  4. Allison Amaya                                              Sequoia                                   Junior
  5. Jen Horita                                                     Aragon                                  Soph
  6. Allyson Sarabia                                             Half Moon Bay                       Soph
  7. Morgan Jones                                                 Half Moon Bay                       Senior



Co-Players of the Year:  Gabriella Zucchiatti      Mills                                        Junior

Pitcher of the Year:  Sara Cisneros                     Mills                                       Junior


First Team

  1. Lusi Stanley                                            Mills                                        Senior
  2. Emily Katz                                               Menlo-Atherton                      Senior
  3. Nicole Chiu                                            San Mateo                               Senior
  4. Kela Kapuniai                                         Terra Nova                              Soph
  5. Senara Faleafine                                     Jefferson                                 Junior
  6. Gina Pozzi                                              South San Francisco               Senior
  7. Alicia Ortega                                           El Camino                               Senior
  8. Aubrie Businger                                       Mills                                        Soph
  9. Maia Borovina                                          Terra Nova                              Soph
  10. Rebecca Kerrisk                                       El Camino                               Senior
  11. Makana Pember                                        Mills                                        Frosh
  12. Paige Stoveland                                      San Mateo                               Junior


Second Team

  1. Caitlin Ung                                                   Mills                                        Junior
  2. Delilah Kline                                                Menlo-Atherton                      Junior
  3. Erin Goode                                                  Menlo-Atherton                      Senior
  4. Tori Jaques                                                 Terra Nova                              Frosh
  5. Emily Cotla                                                    South San Francisco               Senior
  6. Giovanna Cornejo                                         El Camino                               Soph
  7. Natalya Cerecedes                                     South San Francisco               Soph
  8. Makena Borovina                                       Terra Nova                              Junior
  9. Coralie Rignuette                                          Terra Nova                              Senior


Honorable Mention

  1. Valerie Celentano                                           Mills                                        Soph
  2. Sarah Tiemann                                               Menlo-Atherton                      Soph
  3. Jerica Chavarin                                             San Mateo                               Senior
  4. Alyssa Waller                                                 San Mateo                               Senior
  5. Leanna Cruz                                                    Jefferson                                 Soph
  6. Janessa Cayabyab                                          South San Francisco               Soph
  7. Ashley Deinla                                                    El Camino                               Junior
  8. Gabby Spencer                                                 Terra Nova                              Junior


Mitty overpowers Sacred Heart Cathedral

Mitty rapped out nine hits overall and scored seven times in the second inning en route to an 11 to 2 victory against SHC.

Mitty rapped out nine hits overall and scored seven times in the second inning en route to an 11 to 2 victory against SHC.

By John Murphy 

SAN FRANCISCO — The Mitty softball team played in cold and windy weather on a field full of bad hops that was a stone’s throw away from a boys’ baseball practice. None of that mattered as the Monarchs dispatched Sacred Heart Cathedral 11-2 at Lang Field.

The victory secured for Mitty (20-3, 10-0) at least a tie for the WCAL title. It has just two league games left, against visiting Valley Christian on Tuesday and versus visiting Notre Dame-Belmont on Friday. A Mitty victory in either of those games will give the Monarchs an outright league title.

A seven-run second inning during which Mitty sent 10 batters to the plate took the suspense out of this one. McKinsey Thorpe, who went 3-for-4 on the wind-swept day, struck the key hit with a two-run single that made it 4-0.

“I was just trying to be confident and go up there and get (quality) AB’s,” Thorpe said. “Sometimes they’re not pretty, but you just have to get the runners in any way you can.”

Brian Yocke, coaching his last year of softball at Mitty before he replaces Bill Hutton as the Monarch baseball coach, was delighted with Thorpe, who was a reserve last season.

“She’s a stud,” Yocke said. “She’s the girl we’ve been referencing all year as what we want 17 girls to do. We want them to play their (rears) off every single practice, every single game and do all of the little things. And when we do all of the little things, we’re fun to watch.”

Mitty wasn’t nearly done after Thorpe’s hit. Haley Wymbs followed with an RBI single to make it 6-0 and then Cal-bound Danielle Bowers launched a tremendous drive almost all the way into that aforementioned baseball practice for an inside-the-park home run and a seven-run lead.

Bowers had a home run, a triple and two RBI in four at-bats. Also pacing the Mitty attack besides Thorpe and Bowers were Wymbs, Maddie Kim, Lindsey Gobeaux and Erika Jaeger with one hit apiece.

It was more than enough support for senior right-hander Desiree Severance who allowed nine hits, struck out two and walked one.

Gabbie Garlow had a big day at the plate for SHC, knocking in the Fightin’ Irish’s first run with a groundout and going 3-for-4 overall. Her single in the seventh helped the Irish score their final run which came home on a Mitty error.

SHC pitcher Carmel Gisslow yielded nine hits but didn’t pitch badly. An error by the Irish in that big seven-run Mitty second didn’t help her.

“They’re a good team,” SHC coach Frank Sinkavitch said of the Monarchs. “But if we don’t make that one error at third base it’s a different game. (Gisslow) is a little young and she needs to get stronger, but she’s only a sophomore; she’s done really well and we expect more from her.”

Besides Garlow, Siobahn Murphy also had two hits for the Irish (7-17, 0-10).


Wilcox’s Thompson excited about committing to Iona

By John Murphy 

Wilcox High senior softball player Hailey Thompson has committed to Iona University in New Rochelle, NY she said.

“I feel pretty good,” Thompson said. “I visited the school and met all the girls and they all seem to like it. Most are from the L.A. area and we had a lot in common. (I) never thought I would go that far but I think with the visit it will help me grow and it’s going to be a good fit for me.”

Thompson hit .371 last season with four home runs, seven doubles and 24 runs batted in.