El Toro softball beats Norwalk, freshman Camryn Bradshaw hits

LAKE FOREST – Freshman Camryn Bradshaw hit a single in the seventh inning Thursday to give El Toro a 4-3 win over Norwalk in the quarterfinals of the CIF-SS Division 5 Softball Playoffs in El Toro Luo High School.

El Toro (19-9) will play in the semifinals on Saturday for the first time in 32 years, and they are just one win away from reaching the final for the first time since 1990.

The Chargers play Saturday at the Sacred Heart of Flintridge in Canada.

“We play our best softball when we’re loud and weird and loose,” said El Toro coach Shannon Tinsley. “That’s one of the things I have to remind them that they should be here. They’ve taken care of it here. Stress is a privilege. Lean in and enjoy it. There’s no reason to be afraid. I think we’re finally relaxing and getting things done All right.”

Norwalk made it 3-2 in the sixth with a pass that allowed Katrina Slaughter to score.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, El Toro’s Ella Brown hit first base on a turnover and stole the second. She advanced to third base on MacKenzie Vondran’s infield bat.

Olivia Fullerton hit a ground ball that Norwalk could have turned into a game-ending double, but Von Delane hit second base and Brown went home to tie it.

This created a winning moment for Bradshaw. She hit a single to the field on the right, and Vondran scored from second base for the win.

“I know her tendencies,” Bradshaw said of Norwalk’s pitchers. “I faced her and my teammates said the outside (court) was coming. I knew she was going to throw me outside and I was ready to hit the ball in right field for the runners to score from second.”

Norwalk (20-8) led Certvantes’ singles 1-0 in the first set, bringing in Leilani Juan, who reached the bases with a double.

Norwalk’s Kendall Nakano reached first base in the third inning due to El Toro’s error in right field. Nakano scored the second for Norwalk in Jailynn Banda’s suicide squeeze bunt.

“Mistakes will happen,” El Toro pitcher Kylie Loertscher said of the trouble her team had with pitching early in the game. “If we keep playing our game, no matter what happens, we’re going to let it happen on offense. We just have to keep putting the pressure on them.”

The Chargers tied the game in the fifth inning with Brown running a double and Fullerton scoring a goal.

Cervantes went 2 for 3 with doubles and RBIs. Banda pitched 6 2/3 innings and struck out eight innings.

Bradshaw went 2 for 4, including a game-winning RBI. Loertscher pitched seven innings, struck out and gave up just four hits. Fullerton drove twice.

US News .

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