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CIF-SS Div. 6 Softball Playoffs-Galvan dominates Moreno Valley as John Glenn cruises in first round victory

May 10, 2023

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter

Through the first nine weeks of the season, the John Glenn High softball team was as hot as any team could be, winning 13 of its first 14 games with the only blemish being a 2-2 tie to Wiseburn-DaVinci High back on Feb. 17. But the Eagles stumbled over the last two weeks of the regular season, losing three of their last four games, twice to 605 League champion Cerritos High, and scoring just 10 runs.

But the good thing about the CIF-Southern Section playoffs is that you get a second chance to redeem yourself, and the Eagles took advantage of this in a big way. Glenn sophomore pitcher Carissa Galvan was perfect through the first four innings against Moreno Valley High last Thursday evening in a Division 6 first round game, had a rocky fifth inning before throwing four pitches in the sixth as she guided the sixth-ranked Eagles to a convincing 11-1 victory over the Vikings.

“It’s like what I tell the girls at every practice; we have to focus and get ready for the next game,” said Glenn first-year head coach Javier Galvez. “That’s what we did. It was a lot of talking to them. Again, the team bonding at every practice…the group of girls cheering their pitcher [and] rooting when they’re up to bat. This is the result when you have good chemistry.”

While Glenn would fall to St. Joseph High 6-1 this past Tuesday to wrap up the season at 15-4-1, the playoff opener was all about Galvan, who also went three for three in the leadoff spot and drove in a pair of runs. In the circle, she faced three over the minimum, needed 55 pitches, struck out eight and allowed three hits, all in the top of the fifth inning. For added measure, Galvan threw a first-pitch strike 13 times and reached a two-ball count only once. At one point in the game, she struck out five straight batters.

“She pitched a hell of a game today, and it’s just the work ethic behind it,” said Galvez. “Her and her catcher are working together and do most of the pitch calling. It was a great outing for her. She also had great at-bats to support that.”

Galvan had averaged 10 pitches through the first four innings, but with one out in the fifth, she gave up a single to Gabby Orellana. Then with two outs, she yielded a single to Liz Mora and a double to Denise Guillen for the only damage on her resume for the night. She bounced back by snaring a line drive off the bat of Melissa Mariscal, then ended her night in the circle by getting Sophia Miramontes to flyout, Natalie Escalera to groundout and Julissa Valle to flyout.

“We weren’t even thinking about that,” said Galvez of the potential perfect game “We were just thinking about winning the game. It’s happened a lot during the season where she’s going for that perfect game or no-hitter and sometimes it doesn’t work out [and] she stays focused. She’s been through it and her team supports her. It’s just a group effort; that’s how I see it right now.”

Offensively, the Eagles returned to the format that saw them score 138 runs through the first 14 games. After not getting a hit in the first two innings despite having runners on base, Galvan doubled with one out in the third. She went to third on an infield single from senior left fielder Kaylani Moncada before being forced at home when senior shortstop Beatrice Galvez reached on a fielder’s choice. That was followed by a two-run single from junior third baseman Julia Cole.

But Glenn would put the game out of reach in the next inning, sending nine to the plate and scoring five runs. The big blows were a two-run single from junior first baseman Anais Perez, then a two-run triple from Galvan, making the score 6-0. The Eagles collected five of their 12 hits in the inning, then got a run in the fifth when junior center fielder Diana Bravo walked, stole second and scored on a Perez single.

One inning later, Galvan completed her banner night with a lead-off single, followed by an infield hit from Moncada and a base hit to right field from Galvez, with one out, a groundout from junior catcher Sienna Contreras plated Galvez to end the game. All nine starters reached base and the top four in the batting order combined to go eight for 15 with five runs driven in.

“It’s been an ongoing thing with the players,” said Javier Galvez. “One girl will get a good hit and then the rest of them will just add to it. It took a while today; I guess it was first round jitters that they had in the first couple of innings.”

Despite the second round loss to St. Joseph, this was the second straight season the Eagles won 15 games, Last season, the team went 15-13, but missed the playoffs after finishing in fourth place in the league. That came off a 10-6 season that saw Glenn reach the quarterfinals, the first time the program had advanced to the postseason since 1990. The combined 40-23-1 record over the past three seasons is the best three-year record since going 29-40 from 2013-2015. On top of the that, the Eagles will be stocked with seniors next season, if they all return, with eight upperclassmen and five potential juniors coming back.

“I can go as far back as three seasons when most of these girls were freshmen,” said Javier Galvez. “They came in knowing that they were a good group of girls, and we were going to work them hard, and we were going to make a difference in this league. And our goal from day one three years ago is still to win league. We’ve surprised Pioneer and Artesia, especially these past two years, with our pitching. I know Carissa has matured a lot this season.”