By defeating Valley Christian Academy 12-1 at home Thursday, May 11, the Coast Union softball team locked up the Coast Valley League championship with an 8-0 record and earned a home CIF Division 5A playoff game.
Coach Steve Kniffen said this about his No. 1 pitcher, Ani Corbet: “Our success begins with her. If she’s on, we have a chance,” and that was certainly true of the victory over VCA last week. Corbet allowed two hits, struck out five, walked three and threw 86 pitches in five innings.
Ailyn Casas, who makes quality plays at shortstop, has “solidified our defense by going to the ball so well,” Kniffen remarked. She picked up two hits, scored twice and drove in two runs against VCA. Corbet also had two hits, scored three runs and stole two bases for Coast.
We have finally created the will to win, and we are hitting as well as we have all year. ...
Steve Kniffen, Coast Union softball coach
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Zoe Markham had a hit and scored two runs while Keana Valenzuela drove in four runs on one hit and her sister, Serena Valenzuela, tallied two runs. On the season, Corbet leads the team with a sparkling .511 batting average; Casas is hitting at a .462 clip; and Serena Valenzuela has a .431 average.
Kniffen said his team is “In a very good space mentally” coming into this week. “We have finally created the will to win, and we are hitting as well as we have all year, so I am good with that.”
Moreover, Kniffen is “very proud” that his team did not break the Coast Union softball winning streak in the Coast Valley League. The Lady Broncos have won the CVL championship every year since the league was created, in 2011.
The Lady Broncos open postseason play by entertaining a very tough opponent, Santa Ynez High School, in a 3:30 p.m. game Thursday, May 18. Santa Ynez plays in the Los Padres League along with Templeton, Lompoc, Nipomo, Cabrillo, Santa Maria, Orcutt and Morro Bay.
Santa Ynez, which is ranked No. 3 in the LPL and No. 2 in Division 7, comes into the CIF playoff matchup as a heavy favorite.