Senior left-hander Michael Echavia pitched a two-hit shutout and the host Amador Valley High baseball team beat Heritage 4-0 on Saturday to earn a rematch with East Bay Athletic League rival Granada in the North Coast Section Division I semifinals.

No. 4 seed Amador Valley (16-10) was outscored 20-0 in two losses to the top-seeded Matadors in league play, but the Dons are eager for another shot Wednesday in Livermore.

"Playing Granada at Granada to go to the finals is just the way we want it," Amador Valley coach Lou Cesario said.

Echavia walked three in the first two innings before he settled in, allowing only three base runners over the final five frames.

"I struggled the first couple innings but found it," Echavia said. "I kept pumping strikes and let the defense work."

Amador scored all four of its runs in the third inning, with three Heritage errors leading to three unearned runs. Bradley Pluschkell and Nick Carney both had RBI singles during the rally.

Freshman pitcher Kevin Milam walked three and allowed four hits in 21/3 innings of work for the Patriots (17-9) before he was relieved by Roger Kruse, who kept Amador Valley scoreless the rest of the way.

The Dons suffered a four-game losing streak late in the season, but have bounced back strong in the playoffs with a pair of 4-0 wins.


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"The last three games they've played great," Cesario said. "They've pitched really well. We got some timely hitting, playing great defense again. We went through a little speed bump. ... All that matters is we're still playing right now."

Softball

Concord 5, Pinole Valley 2: After fouling off 14 pitches, A.J. Ross finally got one she liked. The senior hit a two-run single during an eventful fifth inning that keyed host Concord's win in the NCS Division II quarterfinals.

The Minutemen (20-4) scored three times in the fifth to take the lead for good after visiting Pinole Valley (20-6) had tied the game in the top half of the inning.

Monique Cook scored the go-ahead run, sliding in just in time to avoid a force out on a ground ball by Aleyna Benipayo. Then Ross delivered another blow by finishing off her 17-pitch at-bat with a two-run hit.

"That was great to see her battle and then come back and get a hit," Concord coach Megan Coddington said. "That deflates a pitcher's ego right there. I think you could see it on the defense's faces."

No. 4 seeded Concord advances to play top-seeded Petaluma in Tuesday's semifinals. The game will be a rematch of last year's title game, which the Minutemen won 2-1.

Concord held a 2-0 lead through four innings, but Pinole Valley struck for two unearned runs in the fifth. Jessica Rogers and Bailey Simmons, who reached on back-to-back base hits, both scored when an errant throw to try to get Rogers stealing third base sailed into the outfield.

The lead didn't last long as Concord loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom half of the inning.

Concord pitcher Kelly Drake retired the final eight batter she faced to make the lead stand up. She junior struck out six.

-- Stephanie Hammon

Clayton Valley Charter 5, Maria Carrillo-Santa Rosa 3: Shannon Mestas got out of a one-out jam with the tying runs on in the top of the seventh to lift the host Eagles (21-3) over the Pumas (20-6) at Clayton Valley.

The Eagles held a 5-1 lead entering the seventh but a two-run home run by Rochelle Schulze off of the glove of left fielder Julia Arteaga cut the lead to 5-3.

Megan August and Hannah Chew followed with singles, with August beating the throw to third. Chew took second on the throw.

Mestas then got Mariah Gabriel to hit a soft pop-up to first. Next up was No. 9 hitter Natalie Oropeza, who drew three walks in her first three plate appearances.

Mestas got ahead 0-2, then Oropeza fouled off three consecutive pitches. Finally, Oropeza sent a ground ball to the right of shortstop Jacee Almond, who made the play and threw Oropeza out.

"The last inning, I just had to find it," Mestas said. "I had to throw strikes and just let my team do all the work. I couldn't strike anyone out and my arm was tired. But I know my team has got my back."

Mestas needed 164 pitches to finish off the win, as she struck out seven but walked eight. She also was touched for a solo homer by Shelby Holzworth, a shot that cleared the center field wall by plenty.

The Eagles had 10 hits and jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first. The RBIs were spread amongst five players with first baseman Ashley Daniels driving in one to go along with two hits and a run scored.

Daniels singled in Rachel Silver during a two-run fourth and hit a one-out double in the sixth and eventually scored.

Clayton Valley advanced to Wednesday's semifinal at Alhambra.

-- Damin Esper, correspondent