Capuchino hoping to end lengthy CCS title drought 

Everything has played out according to plan in the Central Coast Section Division III softball playoffs, with each of the top four seeds reaching the semifinals.

No. 2 Capuchino is looking to make its ninth trip to a CCS title game and claim its sixth championship. It would be the first since the school won five titles in a row from 1993-97.

“All the [championship] banners hang in the gym,” Capuchino coach Todd Grammatico said. “They want their banner in the gym.”

Capuchino (21-6) reached the championship game last year, but fell to Valley Christian 2-1.

“Our goal, as it is every year, is to win CCS,” Grammatico said. “None of my kids had been to CCS before last year.”

The Mustangs will face third-seeded Notre Dame-Salinas (17-10), which is coming off a close 3-2 victory against Carmel, today at 7 p.m. at PAL Stadium in San Jose.

“I remind the kids, ‘It doesn’t matter what seed you are,’” Grammatico said. “Everybody’s good.”

The Mustangs came into CCS battle tested, finishing two games behind first-place Hillsdale in the Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division.

“It’s an advantage to play in our league,” Grammatico said. “Anybody can beat anybody on any day.”

Capuchino has been led by PAL Player of the Year Jaime Navarro. She is batting a team best .464.

Another force has been Jennifer Lewis. She has two home runs and a team-high 24 RBIs to go along with her .453 batting average.

Right-hander Michele Pilster will be in the circle today for the Mustangs.

PAL Bay foe Hillsdale (24-5) will be playing in the CCS Division II semifinals today and meet top-seeded Mitty (25-2).

The Knights are coming off two convincing wins against Willow Glen in the opening round and defending CCS Division II champion Burlingame in the quarters.

Hillsdale is led by University of Memphis-bound Jordan Richwood, who tallied a 0.59 ERA with 309 strikeouts in the regular season.

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Zack Farmer

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