Granada Hills Highlanders punch ticket into CIF Open Division Finals with Win over El Camino Real
Addison Moormon goes the distance, pitching all seven innings and strikes out six to collect the victory for the Granada Hills Highlanders on Wednesday afternoon in the CIF City Section Open Division semifinals, and eliminate the defending Open Division Champions El Camino Real Royals 5-2. With the win, Granada Hills clinched a spot in the CIF LA City Section Final and are now set to play against the Carson Colts for the championship.
The number one seeded Granada Hills hosted 4th seed El Camino Real after winning their quarter-finals matchup against the Banning Pilots 10-0. The Royals looked to punch their ticket in the CIF Final with a semifinals matchup with the Highlanders after narrowly beating the Kennedy Cougars 2-1.
The right-hander Moormon started in the pitcher's circle for the Highlanders, while her pitching counterpart, Sarah Delgado, started the game for the Royals. Granada Hills' offense was the story this afternoon as, in the second inning, they jumped on Delgado with Jocelyn Jimenez doubling to left field to score 2 runs and drive-in teammates, Malia Plourde and Lainey Brown. The momentum didn’t just stop in the second. In the third inning, Plourde singled up the middle to drive in Jimenez while Brown hit an inside-the-park homerun to drive in not only herself but her teammate Plourde, to cap off a 3 spot in the third.
It wasn’t until the fifth inning when El Camino would put a run on the scoreboard when Rachel Loth doubled down the right-field line and drove in Anne Hoke to cut the Highlanders' deficit to four. In their very next half-inning, it was then Hoke once more who doubled to left field and drove in Senia Gutierrez to make it it a 3-run deficit, and provide a potential opportunity for the Royals to comeback.
Unfortunately for El Camino Real, their chances of being back-to-back CIF City Section Open Division Champions would be squandered as Addison Moormon generated a 1-2-3 inning and retired the side in order in the seventh for her Highlanders to claim victory. Sarah Delgado was unable to gather her footing this afternoon as she grabbed the loss in the stat sheet with five runs allowed, but would strike out seven in the six innings she pitched. Granada Hills finished the game with a victory and a final score of 5-2.
Senior, Francesca Luster spoke after the game about her emotions on having the opportunity to win a CIF title as well as how her chemistry with her teammates and the relationships the team has off the field has translated to the success they have had on the field, “I cannot be more proud of this team and I know this the journey we were meant to go on and we made it and were here, and just so proud of us” she said. “We are all very close and I feel we're so close we all know to hold each other accountable whether it's a lack of energy somewhere we always pick each other up, we make sure we’re on top of our game all the time.”
Luster went on to finish speaking about their team's mindset and gameplan and that no matter what they will continue to play the same way they have all season, regardless of their opponent, “I feel like no matter who we play we know as long as we play our game we’ll be good.”
Granada Hills are now set to return to the Open Division Championship, and look to claim the title after back-to-back defeats in 2019 & 2021 to El Camino. The Highlanders and the Carson Colts will play for the Championship on Saturday, May 20th.