KINGSBURG - One more game to go.
Behind a two-hitter thrown by Kayla Medrano and timely hits early on, the top-seeded Vikings advanced to the Valley championship after defeating No. 4 Redwood 5-0 in the Central Section Division II semifinals on Tuesday.
“This is really about a complete a game as we could play,” Kingsburg head coach Randy Sieger said. “We had a couple more opportunities to score some runs, but other than that, defensively it was just outstanding. Our outfield, Blaire [Willson], Carla [Duarte], and Caitlyn [Vela] just made catch after catch after catch, which is probably the difference in the game.”
Now the Vikings will have it’s sights set on the No. 2 seeded Hanford Bullpups (23-6, 9-1 WYL) at Margie Wright Diamond at Fresno State on Saturday night.
It’s Kingsburg’s first Valley championship appearance since 2014. The Vikings will be seeking it’s first Central Section title since 2013.
Sieger’s daughter Savanna Sieger played in the 2013 and 2014 title games for Kingsburg. In 2014, the Vikings were on the losing end, falling 9-3 to Redwood in the Division III championship game. That game was a rematch from a year prior. The Vikings defeated the Rangers 3-2 in 2013.
Randy, who wasn’t the head coach of the program at the time, was in the stands at Margie Wright Diamond to watch Savanna in those two games, but Saturday will be first time he’ll be in the venue’s dugout.
“I’ve been there 100 times, but I’ve never been on the field,” Randy said. “This will be pretty good.”
In the first inning, Kingsburg scored it’s first two runs with runners in scoring position. Marissa Gonzalez knocked in Marissa Montelongo from third base with an RBI double. Two batters later, Gonzalez scored from third on a run-scoring single hit by Brianna Vela. Gonzalez stole third base during Taryn Irigoyen's at-bat.
Gonzalez would later add to the Vikings lead with a solo home run, her 11th of the season, in the fifth inning. The sophomore’s solo shot went over the center field fence.
Medrano (12-3) pitched a two-hit complete-game shutout in her second-straight start. The sophomore struck out one batter and allowed two hits and two walks in seven shutout innings.
In two playoff starts, Medrano has allowed four hits in 14 scoreless innings.
Redwood’s only hits off of Medrano were from Prya Burns in the fourth inning and Emily Ibarra in the seventh.
Medrano used her defense all afternoon including getting out of jam with no outs in the third inning. With runners on second and first base, the Vikings defense used a 5-4-2-1 triple play to keep the Rangers scoreless.
“Kayla pitched a heck of a game,” Randy said. “Her team supported her so well.”
Kingsburg (23-5-1, 9-3 CSL) will play the Hanford Bullpups in the Central Section Division II championship game at Margie Wright Diamond on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The game will be the final Valley championship matchup of the weekend.
It’s the Bullpups’ first Section title appearance since 2016, which was the last time Hanford were Valley champions.