Roundup: Katella halted; Savanna, Garden Grove advance


There were few high points for Katella's softball team during a 12-1 loss to Paraclete of Lancaster in a CIF-SS Division 6 semifinal game Tuesday at Katella High.

The Knights were outhit, 14-6, and did not have a base runner reach second base until the fifth inning, but when it was over they were able to appreciate all of the success they had leading up to the semifinals.

After starting the season with two wins in their first 11 games, they regrouped, finished second in the Orange League and surprised many with their first run to the semifinals since 1991.

“It means a lot,” Katella coach Melissa Graham said. “We had a tough preseason, we tried to play some tougher teams. We got it going during league. For them to rally back, it’s just been a lot of fun for these girls.

“They have this never-give-up attitude, and we’re just really proud of them. The school has rallied behind them, and it’s been fun.”

The Knights (15-13) didn’t have much success against Paraclete starting pitcher Kailla Searcy. The junior pitched a complete game and did not allow a hit until the fifth inning. She struck out eight.

Katella shortstop Stephanie Rojas went 2 for 3 with a double and a run scored.

Second-seeded Paraclete (26-3) will face Savanna in the finals.

Rojas’ fifth-inning double broke up Searcy’s no-hit bid. Already trailing 10-0, the Knights were able to scrape across a run and avoid being shut out.

“We just told the girls to keep fighting until it’s over,” Graham said. “We told them that we’re proud of them and the run that we’ve made. We’re pretty proud of this group. We just hit a buzz saw (today), so to speak.”

Also in Division 6:

Savanna 12, Alverno of Sierra Madre 2: The Rebels steamrolled their way to the school's first CIF-SS finals appearance with their seventh consecutive game of scoring at least 10 runs.

Junior Kristin Worley finished with four hits, Marisa Meza was 2 for 4 with a home run and triple, and Jezabelle Quintana added a grand slam for Savanna (31-1), which is the division’s No. 1 seed.

Savanna will play Paracelte in the championship game.

The Rebels have outscored their first four playoff opponents by a combined 63-5 margin.

In Division 5:

Garden Grove 2, Cabrillo of Lompoc 1 (8 innings): Junior Alyssa Fernandez hit a two-out, solo home run to right-center field in the eighth inning to give the Argonauts (20-11) the victory after the Conquistadores tied the score in the bottom of the seventh.

The third-seeded Argonauts will play St. Bonaventure of Ventura (21-7) in the finals.

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