CASTRO VALLEY -- Facing a two-run deficit with one inning to go, the Freedom High softball team didn't go quietly.

Instead, the No. 5 seeded Falcons advanced to the North Coast Section Division I semifinals for the second straight season after scoring four runs in the top of the seventh inning to earn a 6-5 win.

Thanks to the comeback victory against the WACC-Foothill champions, Freedom will host a semifinal on Wednesday against No. 8 San Ramon Valley. The Wolves stunned No. 1 Amador Valley 4-1 in its quarterfinal.

No. 4 Castro Valley led 4-2 heading into the final frame, but Freedom (18-5-1) rallied, using two errors and a walk to load the bases with no outs. Senior Niki Kaleiali tied the game by smoking a two-run double, and the Falcons took the lead on Madison Williams' ground ball to second base.

Emma Ryan then added an insurance run with a sacrifice fly.

"The girls got together on their own (before the seventh)," Freedom coach Brook Russo said. "They did their own little thing, and as coaches we just decided we weren't going to say anything to them and let them be, and they pulled it off."

The extra run ended up being crucial when the Trojans put together a rally of their own in the bottom of the seventh, getting runners at first and third with no outs. But Castro Valley ended up getting just one run in when Ryan started a 6-4-3 double play.

Baserunners were hard to come by for both teams most of the afternoon.


Advertisement

Freedom struck first on a two-run homer by Ryan in the fourth inning. Adrienna Davenport nearly made it back-to-back homers for Freedom, but her shot to center field was ruled a double after a conference by the officiating crew.

Castro Valley responded in the bottom half, taking the lead with four runs on six hits. The Trojans recorded five straight hits before Freedom got its first out of the inning.

Freedom's victory avenged a 3-2 loss to Castro Valley during the Livermore Stampede tournament in April.