No. 6 St. Vincent de Paul took down No. 11 Hercules 11-0 in five innings Wednesday afternoon for a first round victory in the North Coast Section Division 4 playoffs. This dominating defensive performance was highlighted by a one-walk no-hitter tossed by senior Sophia Skubic.
“I knew I had to do my part, and my off speed pitches were working really well,” Skubic said. “Dela (senior catcher Maddy Delamontanya) made some great plays too, we work really well together.”
Skubic and Delamontanya are both having incredible seasons. Skubic currently holds a 19-4 record with an incredible 0.92 ERA. She also has 179 strikeouts in 145 innings pitched. Delamontanya is leading the team in several major batting categories, including a .477 batting average and 34 RBIs.
The powerful senior duo did not disappoint in their contest against the Titans. Along with the no-hitter, Skubic also recorded a base hit at the plate. Delamontanya was on fire once again with the bat, going three for three including two RBIs and a double.
"These two girls are the absolute dynamic duo. They work so hard and the fact that they can lead this team is so important,” Mustangs head coach Morgan Selmi said. “Once this season is over they will be missed so much, so I hope that the younger players are taking notes because there will be a couple of very important missing holes to will.”
The Mustangs came out swinging following a 1-2-3 inning from Skubic in the circle. Skubic and sophomore infielder Izzy Badaglia both singled and Delamontanya recorded a base hit that would score both baserunners. That was due in large part to one of the six errors committed in the contest by visiting Hercules. Two more errors in the inning led to three more runs as the Mustangs took a commanding 5-0 lead early.
St. Vincent de Paul kept their offense alert in the bottom half of the second. Sophomore outfielder Alicia Hartmann walked, and Skubic then reached first due to an error. Still with no outs, Badaglia recorded an RBI base hit, and an error in the field allowed Skubic to score from first as well as Badaglia advancing to third. She scored shortly after thanks to a Delamontanya single, making it 8-0. Later in the inning, junior outfielder Sofia Romano singled home a run of her own, extending the lead to 9-0.
The Titans got their only baserunner of the game in the top half of the third. Head Coach Melvin Figueroa did what he could to keep his team's spirits alive.
“I just needed them to stay in the game, they have worked so hard throughout the entire season.” Figueroa said. “We’ve had some tough starts to games and they’ve come back. I knew that we had been down this road before, and that they could do it.”
In the bottom of the fourth, Delamontanya smoked a double that scored Badaglia. Romano later grounded into a fielder’s choice that would score Delamontanya and extend the lead to 11-0.
In the Titans’ final inning at the plate of the season, Skubic recorded two strikeouts and solidified the no-hitter.
Looking ahead for St. Vincent de Paul, they will see the No. 3 seeded Fort Bragg on Saturday at 1:00 pm at Fort Bragg High School.
As for hercules, their season comes to an end. They finished the season 11-5 overall and 10-2 in Tri-County - Stone league play.