Randy Angel

Mira Costa softball team enters CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs on a roll

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Senior pitching ace Elliott Estes leads Mira Costa into the CIF-SS Division 4 playoffs after posting a 12-2 record and 1.35 ERA. Photo by Ray Vidal

By Randy Angel

Bay League champion Mira Costa expects to be tested early when the Mustangs begin their run for a CIF softball championship on Thursday.

First-year head coach Brittany Gardner led her team to a 10-0 Bay League record, winning the title by three games while outscoring opponents 112-9.

The Mustangs are hitting .411 as a team and led by Katie Gould (.598, 39 runs, 18 stolen bases), Jamie Hoffman (.466, 24 RBI, 3 home runs), Serena Ponciano (.473), Alex Orozco (.352), Emily Eudy (.345), Piper Neri (.342) and Elliott Estes (.430).

Estes has been Mira Costa’s ace in the circle, posting a 12-2 record with a 1.35 ERA.

Mira Costa (22-7) opens the CIF-Southern Section Division 4 playoffs with a home game against Whittier (15-8-1).

“We look forward to playoffs getting underway,” Gardner said. “We hope that we can continue the momentum we have built up through league play and carry that forward into the playoffs. It is one game at a time; so this week our focus is solely on getting ready for Whittier.”

If the Mustangs win, they will likely face third-seeded Aquinas in the second round on Tuesday.

Also in Division 4, El Segundo (12-14-1) plays at San Luis Obispo (19-6) in the first round.

With the exception of the finals, all games are scheduled for 3:15 p.m. First-round games are Thursday. Playoffs continue Tuesday followed by quarterfinals on Thursday, May 25, semifinals on Tuesday, May 30. Championship games will be held Friday and Saturday, June 2-3 at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine.

South Torrance (18-7-1) earned the top seed and will host Artesia (11-7). West Torrance (19-7) is seeded fourth and will travel to Oxford Academy (13-9) in the first round.

After winning the Division 4 title last season, North Torrance (19-11) hosts Warren (20-8) in the first round of the Division 2 playoffs.

In Division 3, Peninsula (11-15-1) plays at Rolling Hills Prep (9-2). In a wild-card game on Tuesday, Palos Verdes (10-17) lost at Mayfair 9-6.

In division 6, Chadwick (12-5-1) hosts Schurr (18-3-1) in the first round.

Brackets and results are available at cifss.org.

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