LOS GATOS — Mitty has been the bane of Peninsula Athletic League softball over the years, as the Monarchs have consistently handled the best the Bay Division has to offer in the Central Coast Section playoffs.
In the early 2010s, it was Hillsdale who ran up against Mitty when the Monarchs were in the their heyday.
Now, it’s Carlmont’s turn. For the second year in a row, the Scots’ season ended with a loss to the Monarchs. In 2018, Mitty beat Carlmont 3-1 in the first round. Wednesday night, the San Jose school, seeded eighth, knocked out the fifth-seeded Scots 12-3 in the Open Division semifinals at Los Gatos High School.
“It felt like we were ready to play early,” said Carlmont head coach Marco Giuliacci. “But then we lost our focus. Once the game got out of hand, we couldn’t recover.”
Carlmont (17-10) jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead and starting pitcher Sanni Karhiaho worked out of a couple early jams to hold down the Monarchs early.
Mitty (17-7) would tie it in the top of the third — which was the first of three straight scoring innings for the Monarchs. They took the lead for good with three runs in top of the fourth and broke the game open with six runs in the fifth. When the dust finally settled, Mitty had collected 17 hits and left 11 runners on base.
It wasn’t so much the Monarchs bludgeoned the Scots to death. They had only three extra-base hits, all doubles. Instead, Mitty simply strung hits together and used their speed to beat out six infield hits and steal a half dozen bases.
In the fifth inning, when Mitty scored six runs on seven hits, three of the ball never left the infield. The Monarchs also had half of their six steals in the uprising.
“We have to make those plays,” Giuliacci said. “We weren’t aggressive enough to the ball to make those plays.”
The Scots made the plays offensively in the bottom of the first, scoring a textbook softball run. Leadoff hitter Ashley Trierweiler legged out an infield hit of own and was sacrificed to second by Karhiaho. She went to third on a wild pitch to Amanda Kondo before scoring on second wild pitch, this one with Eimer Cunningham at the plate.
Karhiaho gave up single hits to the Monarchs in the first two innings before they tied the game in the third. Savannah Whatley led off the inning with a single and stole second. She went to third on a groundout and then scored by beating a throw from shortstop on a Elon Butler grounder.
Carlmont, however, answered right back in the bottom of the inning.With two outs and Kondo on first via an infield hit, Tayler Wise hit rountine grounder to third, but the throw to first was low, skipping past the first baseman.
Kondo, who was running on the play, came all the way around from fist, beating the throw home to put the Scots back on top, 2-1.
The Monarchs countered with three more in the top of the fourth to take a 4-2 lead, with an error, a double and sacrifice fly providing the runs.
Again Carlmont answered, scoring once in the bottom of the frame. With one out and Andrea Racioppi on first, Samantha Chu blasted the Scots’ only extra-base hit, a double to the left-center gap to put runners on second and third. Trierweiler followed and hit a fly ball toward left that sailed well into foul territory. The left fielder made the catch, but Racioppi tagged up and scored from third to cut the Scots’ deficit to 4-3.
It would be as close as they would get as Mitty pitchers shut the Scots down the rest of the way by not allowing a hit over the final three innings. Carlmont managed just five hits for game, with Chu picking up two of them.
Trierweiler finished with just one hit on the night, leaving her one shy of the 200-hit mark for her four-year varsity career.
“I think she’d trade a win any of the week for that 200th hit,” Giuliacci said. “She’d rather have the win.”
A two-run single was the key hit during the Monarchs’ six-run fifth. Six Mitty players drove in a run, while Diamond Holland, Whatley, Savannah Smith and Taryn Kern all had three hits each for the Monarchs.