It was only a matter of time before the Monte Vista High softball team broke through Thursday.
The Mustangs threatened but were held scoreless in the first three innings of their pool play game against Freedom in the Livermore Stampede at Robertson Park. Monte Vista then scored five runs in the fourth inning and four more in the fifth of a 9-0 win that was called due to a 90-minute time limit rule.
"We really feed off each other," said shortstop Lindsay Rood, who went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs. "Once someone gets a good hit, we really feed off that."
Rood delivered a one-out sacrifice fly to center field that scored Rachel Lennon and gave the Mustangs (4-3) a 2-0 lead. Rood came up big an inning later with a two-out double that put Monte Vista up 7-0.
In the circle, Monte Vista sophomore MacKenzie Murphy stymied Freedom's bats most of the game. She retired 10 of the first 11 and didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning. She threw a complete game, allowed two hits, walked two and struck out four.
Monte Vista's Kristen Clark had a two-out, two-run double in the fifth that put the Mustangs up 9-0. Teammate Katherine Tomsic went 1 for 2 and had an RBI.
Pool play in the 16-team, three-day tournament continues Friday. Freedom (3-1) will play Alhambra at 3:30 p.m. and Granada at 5:30 p.m.
Monte Vista plays Alhambra at 9 a.m. and Granada at 11:30 a.m. Alhambra opened the tournament with a 10-0 win over Granada.
Host Livermore, which posted a 2-0 win over Rodriguez and a 6-2 win over Cosumnes Oaks, will play College Park at 11 a.m.
Yorba Linda 3, Amador Valley 1: The Dons, ranked No. 1 in the state by calhisports.com, lost to the Mustangs in their opening game at the Michelle Carew Classic in Anaheim.
All of the scoring came in the fourth inning, as Ashley Lotosynzski hit a solo home run in the top half to give Amador Valley a 1-0 lead, but Yorba Linda scored three runs in the bottom half.
In the consolation round, Amador Valley (8-1) rebounded to beat Valencia 8-0.
Granada 11, Alhambra 1: Using a familiar recipe of shutdown pitching and timely hitting, the Matadors topped the Bulldogs (9-4) in the championship game of the 44th Annual Alhambra Easter Tournament in Martinez.
Starter Jacob Payne threw four no-hit innings to lead Granada, which won the tournament for the second straight year and improved to 12-0 this season.
"I knew coming in (to this year) that we had guys that could swing it and we had some good returning pitching," Granada coach Corrigan Willis said. "But these guys, they've come together. They come out and they're ready to play every game."
Payne kept the Alhambra offense off-balance with an effective breaking ball, showing why he and teammate Anthony Olmo have been one of the region's best one-two punches at pitcher in 2013.
Granada took advantage of two Alhambra errors and used impressive situational hitting to open up a 5-0 lead in the second inning, before adding four more runs in the fourth.
Senior catcher Jordan Thrailkill went 3 for 5 with a triple and three runs scored, and outfielders Ryan Kirby and Casey Soltis each drove in two runs to lead the Granada offense.
"When guys get on, we seem to drive them in," Willis said. "The pitching and the defense have also been real good for us. Proud of these guys."
-- Alex Espinoza, correspondent