Sequoia missed mark, but could still squeeze into playoffs 

The Sequoia High School softball team has not controlled its own destiny since midseason and, short of an enormous upset, will fail to reach its goal of winning the Peninsula Athletic League Ocean Division outright.

“When we lost to San Mateo and Woodside the first time around, we knew we could get them back,” Sequoia coach Scott Reynick said. “But [winning the Ocean] would be out of our hands.”

The Cherokees (12-8, 7-2 PAL Ocean) wrap up their regular season today and trail San Mateo, which also plays its finale today, by one game.

Sequoia will travel to Atherton to take on fourth-place Menlo-Atherton, whereas San Mateo’s remaining game is against fifth-place El Camino, which it defeated Wednesday.

A win against M-A today clinches, at worst, second place for the Cherokees. But a Sequoia win combined with a San Mateo loss forces a tie atop the league. The Ocean Division has one automatic bid for the Central Coast Section playoffs.

The head-to-head matchup is the first tiebreaker and the two teams split this season. After head-to-head, it goes to CCS points.

Varying number of points are given for wins depending on the league an opposing team plays in.

Should it come down to CCS points, Sequoia’s 5-6 nonleague record may sink its chances.

“We don’t deny it’s disappointing,” Reynick said of falling behind early in league. “It was a successful season from midseason to the end.”

Sequoia scuffled early in Ocean play, but was able to refocus on its strengths, which Reynick said was his team’s defense and hitting.

“We thought our defense and hitting would overcome that,” Reynick said of San Mateo and Woodside’s pitching. “Our goal was to compete for first.”

Sequoia ended in a three-way tie for first place last season with San Mateo and Woodside, but missed out on the CCS playoffs.

The hitters came alive toward midseason and none more so than Mikayla Wilkes.

The sophomore third baseman has been the Cherokees’ most consistent hitter while batting primarily in the third or fourth spot in the lineup, but has been moved to the leadoff spot of late.

Niki Serrano, one of only two seniors on the team, has contributed more than just with her bat. Reynick said the leadership she has brought has been invaluable.

Junior Nicole Kielty does not have the most talent or best velocity, but has beaten San Mateo and Woodside head-to-head and, as Reynick said, has the heart and guts to get a win.

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Zack Farmer

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