Chavez Eagles Walk off for a 7-6 Victory, Claiming the City Section D1 Champsionship
Jessica Ramos hit a single into right field setting off a raucous celebration as Audrey Campos and Izabella Munoz came in to score the tying and winning runs in the CIF City Section Division 1 championship game. The Chavez Eagles rallied from a 6-5 deficit to the San Fernando Tigers in the seventh inning for a 7-6 victory, to claim their second straight D1 title and fifth softball championship in the school’s 11 year history.
It was the second rally of the game for Chavez, who came down from a first inning deficit of 2-0 with a run in the bottom of the first, and three in the bottom of the second inning to take the lead. The Eagles would add another run in the fourth inning for a 5-2 advantage. Pitcher Kailey Duran held the Tigers to zeros on the scoreboard for the second, third, and fourth innings, including two where she retired the side in order. “I think I didn’t have my best stuff today,” Duran said after the game, “It was great to have my team have my back. Just having them to support me was amazing.”
San Fernando was not ready to concede the championship just yet, as Kaylie Morales led off the top of the fifth inning with a double to right field. Adriana Hernandez reached on a bunt to Duran that was bobbled and ruled an error, advancing Morales to third. She came in to score when Bernyce Villegas hit a sacrifice fly to right. Erika Deniz hit an infield single and Melissa Cabrera walked to load the bases. Natalia Hernandez hit the first pitch into the left-center gap for a triple, scoring Adriana Hernandez and Deniz to tie the game at 5-5. Jasslyn Rodriguez, who had come on as a pinch runner for Cabrera, was thrown out to end the inning trying to steal home after a wild pitch to the next batter.
The Tigers were able to keep Chavez off the scoreboard in the bottom half of the inning despite a leadoff single by Mandie Figueroa. She was thrown out trying to take second on a wild pitch, and Deniz sandwiched two strikeouts around a 4-pitch walk to get out of the inning. San Fernando took a 6-5 lead in the top of the sixth when Mariana Briones led off with a single to right. After taking second base on a wild pitch, Briones came around to score on an error that allowed Villegas to reach base. “Our girls did well,” reflected San Fernando head coach Danny Arguello, “We had the number one team on the ropes, we just didn’t close that last out”
A scoreless bottom half of the sixth and top of the seventh set the stage for Ramos’ heroics. Campos got the action started drawing a one-out walk. Munoz then hit a two-out double to right, giving the Eagles runners in scoring position and a chance for a walk-off win with a hit. Mya Corona drew a 5-pitch walk to bring Ramos to the plate. She watched two pitches miss the plate, and knocked the third just over the outstretched glove of second baseman Zoila Vitela and Chavez rushed the field once Munoz came across with the winning run. “In those high pressure situations you gotta stay within yourself and play smart and that’s what they did.” Said Chavez coach Stephanie Boshae when asked about her team’s patience in the seventh inning. “That’s what they did, they stayed composed and were able to battle through and have smart at bats and made the pitcher work."