Tornio turned two of those pitches, each a changeup, into two home runs to lead the Wolf Pack to a 4-2 win over St. Mary’s in the third round of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs Monday, May 21, at the Sacramento Softball Complex.
The playoff win over West’s Tri-City Athletic League rival advances the Wolf Pack to the SJS Division I semifinals on Tuesday, May 22, and also brings satisfaction to a West team (19-11 overall, 8-2 TCAL) that finished second to St. Mary’s (25-6, 9-1) this year in league play.
“I’ve played them since freshman year, and they’ve always been a challenge,” Tornio said. “This year we’ve lost to them twice, and to come back at them in playoffs was an amazing feeling.”
As a sophomore in 2011, Tornio led the Wolf Pack varsity in home runs with five for the season.
While she batted .395 this year, including an .818 average in playoffs, and has been one of the team’s leaders in extra-base hits, her third-inning solo shot over the center-field fence Monday was her first home run of 2012.
That hit put West up 1-0, and it made up for a frustrating first inning, when Tornio doubled and two more West batters walked, but all were stranded.
West made it a 2-0 game in the fourth when Ciara Ervin singled, Miranda Gannon doubled and Julia Ramirez batted Ervin in with a sacrifice fly.
Shelby Weeks walked to start off the fifth inning, and with one out Tornio again homered over the center-field fence to give West a 4-0 lead.
It gave West the advantage, but the Rams weren’t finished.
St. Mary’s opened the bottom of the seventh with a single. Another batter reached on an error, but West second baseman Celena Carrisosa salvaged the play with a throw to third baseman Jalissa Sims to catch the lead runner.
The Rams’ Noel Montes hit a two-out double to bring in a run, and Kayla Gascon singled up the middle to bring in Montes. But Sims fielded a grounder on the game’s last play to and made the throw to first to end the game.
“What do you expect when these two teams get together to play a game?” West coach Steve Anastasio said. “There’s always something that happens.”
West sophomore pitcher Amanda Riley, who gave up seven hits and struck out three batters Monday, said she was confident in her team all the way through.
“I felt if we stuck together as a team and kept doing what we were doing, we would end up on top,” she said, adding that the Rams’ previous wins over West during the league season were no longer relevant. “We were not going to worry about the last two games and just focus on this one, and take this one like any other game.”
Monday’s win advances West to Tuesday’s semifinal game at 5 p.m. against Sheldon High of Sacramento.
The Rams played again on Monday in the double-elimination bracket, and finished their season with a 10-4 loss to Ponderosa High of Shingle Springs.
West 9, Davis 1
West’s Ashley Tornio went 4-for-4, including a double, and Sam Asbra, just up from the junior varsity team, hit a solo home run and a single to lead the Wolf Pack to a 9-1 win over Davis Senior High on Saturday, May 19, at the Sacramento Softball Complex.
Starting pitcher Amanda Riley allowed one earned run on six hits.
West 5, Pleasant Grove 3
Celena Carrisosa tripled in the sixth for West and hit an RBI single in the seventh as the Wolf Pack overcame Pleasant Grove’s 3-0 lead to open the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs with a win Saturday, May 19.
Ashley Tornio also hit an RBI single in the seventh to tie it up, and Ciara Ervin hit a two-RBI double to put the Wolf Pack ahead.
Starting pitcher Amanda Riley allowed four hits and three runs, one of them earned, for the win.