Familiar territory. That’s where the Carlmont High School softball team finds itself.
It was only a year ago that the Scots had their season ended in the Central Coast Section Division I semifinals by San Benito.
They are back in the semifinals, but this time taking on Salinas today with the possibility of setting up a rematch with San Benito, which is playing in the other semifinal against Leland.
“When you’ve played in CCS, and for the most part most of these kids have done that, they can go out there and relax and play their game,” Carlmont coach Jim Liggett said. “You want your kids playing within themselves and not try to do too much.”
Carlmont has seen Salinas once this year, during the Wilcox Tournament in early April, and dropped the contest 5-3.
The Scots had a tough obstruction call against their shortstop that cost them two runs and three total errors resulting in three unearned runs.
“You got to be careful what you bring from that first meeting,” Liggett said. “They haven’t seen the pitcher we’re throwing against them. We’re looking forward to the game.”
Sophomore Danielle Giuliacci allowed nine hits in her five innings that day.
But Salinas won’t be facing Giuliacci.
They will most likely get sophomore pitcher Rebecca Faulkner, who has been near untouchable and continued that dominance in an 8-3 second-round win against Santa Teresa.
“She pitched very well,” Liggett said. “She did everything we expected of her. We just need to give her a little more support.”
She threw a complete game, allowing one earned run and striking out nine.
Carlmont’s best hitter, Kelly Robinson, also did not play in the first meeting. Entering the semifinals, Robinson is hitting .493 with 31 RBIs.
Despite losing three of its better players to graduation last year, Capuchino has not slowed down and stands only two wins away from its second straight CCS Division III title. Another win would place them in their third straight title game. First they’ll need to get past Soquel on Wednesday.
The Menlo School baseball team is two wins away from its third straight CCS championship, which would put them in some elite company. Only three other schools in CCS have ever won at least three straight section championships (Carmel 2005-07; Valley Christian 2000-02; Bellarmine 1985-88).
Menlo meets Monte Vista Christian in the Division III semifinals today.