The Scotts Valley High softball team celebrates in the middle of the infield after beating San Lorenzo Valley High to capture the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League crown in the teams' regular season finale May 10. (Juan Reyes/Press Banner)

Scotts Valley High junior pitcher Sofie Seese last week put on another strong performance in the circle to help the Falcons capture the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League crown for the first time in seven years.  

The ace hurler allowed four runs (two earned) on five hits, while recording one strikeout for the 9-4 complete game victory against San Lorenzo Valley High in the teams’ 2024 regular season finale May 10. 

Seese was a freshman at Soquel High when it shared the league title with these same Cougars in 2022. She took a break from the game during her sophomore year and returned this season with full vengeance. 

“I’m back now at a new school, a better team, and we wanted it more,” Seese said. “I mean, I’m sure they wanted it, but we were out here we were gonna win. We weren’t gonna split anything between a three-way tie. It was all or nothing.” 

Seese was rushed by her teammates who sprinted to the middle of the infield for celebratory hugs and tons of shouting for joy.

Prior to Friday’s game, Scotts Valley had a 12-2 record and was one game ahead of SLV at 11-3 in league play following a 10-3 win on May 9. 

Aptos was sitting with a 12-3 record and still in the mix for a league crown, hoping for the Cougars to beat the Falcons.  

Instead, it was Scotts Valley that walked away victorious, bringing home its first SCCAL championship for the first time since 2017.

“I think they just had confidence in the ability that they could hit the ball,” Scotts Valley head coach Jeremy Wilson said. “It took us most of the season to get it started but this is the offense that I’ve envisioned and since I came. It’s finally great to see them come full circle.”

Scotts Valley junior Abby Howell was clutch at the plate with one double and one home run to go along with four RBIs and one run scored.

“The dugout was hype, I was hyped. I don’t think we ever lost energy,” Howell said. 

SLV was cooking in the third inning that started with a base hit single from Sophia Sarmiento and a double by Cheyenne Owen.

Olivia Renouf then hit a routine pop fly to first baseman Jazzy Phillips but she dropped the easy out, allowing the Cougars to take a 3-2 lead.

SLV was on the verge of adding more runs until shortstop Gracie Delgado made an incredible play on defense. She stopped the ball from getting into the outfield, picked it up and still got the runner out at first base to prevent a run from scoring, and to end the inning. 

It was the momentum shift the Falcons needed. They poured in four runs in the fourth and an additional three in the sixth, including Howell’s first career home run.

“Honestly, a lot of pressure because I think it was two outs, somebody was on, and then two strikes. I gotta protect, got to make sure I get a hit,” Howell said. “I think [the pitcher] missed, so perfect pitch. I roped it, I was excited. I didn’t think it was gonna go over.”

Scotts Valley freshman Chloe Kent batted 3-for-5, including two doubles, one RBI and one run scored, while Delgado also had three hits and scored twice.

Junior catcher Nick Powell had two hits with one RBI and one run scored, and Natalie Murry-Skalland’s one base hit produced two RBIs.

Junior third baseman Taylor Wilson had one double and scored two runs. She also made two impressive plays on defense, including a throw from third to first base while on one knee for the force out.

Fellow teammates Jazzy Doubek and Jazzy Phillips each had one base hit and scored one run.

Next up, the No. 5 Falcons (14-6) play at No. 4 Milpitas (17-9) in the Central Coast Section Division II playoffs on Saturday at 4pm.

SLV (15-10) earned the No. 2 seed in the D-IV playoffs. They will host No. 7 Cupertino (14-6) on Saturday at 11am.

Wilson believes they have a good enough squad to make a run in the CCS playoffs. He knows the Falcons hitters are going to face some premier pitching, but they’ll be up for the challenge. 

“I’m looking forward to it. I want to see what this team can do,” he said.

Seese is also excited to see how deep of a run this Scotts Valley team can make in the postseason. 

“I’m gonna need to work harder on hitting my spots and spinning the ball, and we’re just going to need to work harder on hitting the ball first out of the gate, scoring first,” she said. “Keeping a positive attitude. If you go out there saying ‘I’m gonna win. We are the best players on the field.’ You’re gonna walk off as the best players on the field like we did today.”

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A Watsonville native who has a passion for local sports and loves his community. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College, San Jose State University and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumnus, he primarily covers high school athletics, Cabrillo College athletics, various youth sports in the Pajaro Valley and the Santa Cruz Warriors. Juan is also a video game enthusiast, part-time chef (at home), explorer and a sports junkie. Coaches and athletic directors are encouraged to report scores HERE.


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