NCS Division IV final
Fresno State-bound right-hander Noah Zirkle threw a no-hitter to lead No. 1 seed St. Mary’s-Berkeley to a 1-0 victory over St. Joseph Notre Dame Saturday for the NCS D-IV championship. Zirkle walked three and struck out nine.
The Panthers (18-9-1) scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the sixth when Tristan Huerta walked and came home on Derrick Bedford’s hit. Huerta as sacrificed to second and took third on a passed ball.
St. Mary’s could be a team to keep an eye on in next week’s NorCal Regionals. The Panthers have three pitchers who will play in college. In addition to Zirkle, EJ McGrew will attend Willamette University in Salem, Ore., and Evan Kleinhans is headed to Columbia University in New York.
Zirkle and McGrew have been a strong one-two punch this season for St. Mary’s. In a 5-1 semifinal win over Justin-Siena on Wednesday, McGrew, a lefty, went the first six innings, allowing three hits and striking out 13.
CCS Division IV final
Los Altos sophomore Sophia Asar has pitched all but one inning for the Eagles this season. She saved the best seven of those innings for Saturday, pitching a no-hitter as Los Altos blanked Piedmont Hills 5-0 for the CCS D-IV championship.
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Asar walked three and struck out six as Los Altos improved to 15-12-1. The third-seeded team in the division, the Eagles will learn Sunday where they will play in the NorCal regionals that begin Tuesday.
Alysandra Barrios and Lauren Han each had two hits for Los Altos, which totaled 10 knocks in all. They were among the five hitters who each drove in a run.
Asar has pitched 171 innings this season, relying mostly on a changeup and drop ball.
“She hits the strike zone,” Los Altos coach Robert Herrera said of his tireless left-hander. “She causes hitters a lot of grief.”
Piedmont Hills came into the tournament as an eighth-seed and is unlikely to play next week. If not, it finishes the season at 15-10-1.