MORAGA -- Alhambra High's softball team sent its terrific group of seniors out on top.

The top-seeded Bulldogs beat Carondelet 5-0 on Friday at Saint Mary's College for the North Coast Section Division II title, an achievement that had eluded them the past two seasons after winning the Division III crown in 2011.

"These girls were just focused all year," Alhambra coach Paul Buccellato said. "They weren't going to let anybody step in their way."

The victory capped a dominant season for the Bulldogs (25-2), who outscored their opponents 301-41 and belted 34 homers as a team.

After run-ruling each of their first three playoff opponents, Alhambra had a tougher time getting its explosive offense going against Carondelet (15-13).

Seven of Alhambra's starters have pledged or signed with college programs, but it was uncommitted sophomore Cara DiMercurio who provided the biggest spark offensively.

The right fielder drove in four of the Bulldogs' runs, including a three-run homer over the scoreboard in left field with two outs in the sixth inning.

"She had an amazing day," said senior Kylee Perez. "We call her 'Caroids' because she hits the ball so far. She was due and she came through."

DiMercurio also had an infield hit with two outs in the fourth inning that scored Karlee Sparacino from second for a 2-0 lead. Sparacino drove in the first run of the game earlier in the inning when she and Perez hit back-to-back doubles.


Advertisement

The No. 2 seeded Cougars, a battle-tested team out of the tough East Bay Athletic League, had plenty of chances to score, getting baserunners in every inning against Alhambra pitcher Erin Enke.

Carondelet loaded the bases for a third time in the top of the seventh when Perez, a UCLA-bound shortstop and four-year high school standout, made a spectacular barehanded play to end the game.

Carondelet stranded 14 baserunners in all, leaving a runner at third four times.



Alhambra celebrates after shutting out Carondelet 5-0 to win the North Coast Section Division II championship softball game at Saint Mary’s College
Alhambra celebrates after shutting out Carondelet 5-0 to win the North Coast Section Division II championship softball game at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, Calif., Friday, May 30, 2014. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group) ( ANDA CHU )