Foothill, Amador Val­ley meet for D-I ti­tle

The Mercury News Weekend - - BAY AREA PREPS - By Mike Le­fkow Cor­re­spon­dent

It will be an all East Bay Ath­letic League af­fair Satur­day at Di­ablo Val­ley Col­lege when Foothill and Amador Val­ley tan­gle for the North Coast Sec­tion Di­vi­sion I soft­ball cham­pi­onship.

The Pleasan­ton pow­ers earned the right tomeet for the fourth time this sea­son when No. 3 seed Foothill (24-3) beat sec­ond-seeded Her­itage 2- 0 on Wed­nes­day in Brent­wood while fourth-seeded Amador Val­ley (22- 5-1) took care of No. 1 seed Free­dom 3- 0 a few miles away in Oak­ley. The fi­nal is sched­uled to start at noon.

Foothill was led by hard-throw­ing Ni­cole May, the sopho­more right-han­der who has been com­mit­ted to Ok­la­homa since be­fore her fresh­man sea­son. She sailed through the first six in­nings, al­low­ing only an in­field sin­gle in the first to Her­itage star Xiara Diaz be­fore re­tir­ing 16 in a row.

But Mor­gan Hess opened the home half of the sev­enth by rolling a sin­gle into cen­ter, then Diaz sin­gled to right. A force on a close play at third gave the Pa­tri­ots (17- 4) run­ners at first and sec­ond with one out, but a baserun­ning gaffe al­lowed Foothill to get a weird double play to end the game. Her­itage cleanup hit­ter Paige Sasser lifted a popup that was ruled an in­field fly, mean­ing the bat­ter was au­to­mat­i­cally out and those on base run at their own risk. When the in­field pop fell un­touched, Foothill got the fi­nal out by forc­ing one of the baserun­ners.

Foothill coachMatt Sweeney said he was hop­ing for an­oth­er­matchup with Amador Val­ley in the D-1 ti­tle game. Foothill won two of the three pre­vi­ous meet­ings, and Satur­day’s game will pit May against Amador Val­ley se­nior Danielle Wil­liams.

Other NCS fi­nals

No. 4 seed Caron­delet (19-8) and No. 6 seed Bishop O’Dowd (17-5) will play for the Di­vi­sion II ti­tle Satur­day at 2:30 p.m., also at DVC. … In the Di­vi­sion III fi­nal, No. 2 seedMoreau Catholic (14-10) will play top seed Mar­inCatholic (21-5) onSatur­day at 7 p.m. at SanMarin High. … In the Di­vi­sion IV fi­nal, Fri­day at 5 p.m. at Saint Mary’s Col­lege, No. 1 seed St. Joseph Notre Dame (21-2) will take on No. 2 seed Del Norte (22- 4).

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