Held to one hit, Lincoln uses 18 walks, earns No. 1 seed

Any time a team is held to just one hit, they are almost assured of a loss. But that was far from the case in the Lincoln-Washington softball game Thursday at Rossi Field.

Despite batting just 1-for-21 as a team, Lincoln scored plenty of runs — taking advantage of 18 free passes from Washington pitchers — to win 14-8 in an Academic Athletic Association game.

Mary Ganal walked four times and scored four runs and three other Mustangs scored twice as Lincoln (17-1 AAA) clinched the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye in the San Francisco Section playoffs.

As a result of their 17-1 win over Galileo on Thursday, Lowell clinched the second seed in the playoffs, while Washington, which is the five-time defending champ in the AAA, finished third, meaning they will play O’Connell in the opening round of the playoffs.

Lincoln jumped all over Washington (14-3 AAA) immediately, scoring eight runs in the top half of the first inning on the strength of six walks and two errors. Ganal scored twice and drew a bases-loaded walk in the inning, while Monica Saint, Tuai Tunai, Krislyn Li and Karena Leong also added RBIs on walks.

“It was huge getting those runs in the first,” Mustangs coach Kevin Grayson said. “We just told our hitters to be patient at the plate and look for their pitch and they showed a lot of discipline up there.”

The Eagles stayed close courtesy of the efforts of freshman Lana Buchbinder, who, despite struggling on the mound (she registered just two outs and surrendered five earned runs), was a force at the plate, pounding two home runs and driving in four runs.

However, after her last home run in the bottom of the sixth brought Washington to within 14-8, the Eagles could not muster any more offense and the game was called early due to reaching the time limit.

Lincoln, which has not won a section title since 1985, will look to break that long drought when the playoffs start next week.

“We don’t talk about how long its been for Lincoln, but all the girls know about it,” Grayson said. “We’re going to be taking it one game at a time, but we’ll have that in the back of our minds as well.”

Lowell 17, Galileo 1

Jill Perez went 3-for-3 with a grand slam and five RBIs as the Cardinals (16-2) clinched a bye in the first round of the San Francisco Section playoffs with a win over the Lions (9-9).

Samia Zuber earned the win for Lowell, which exploded for seven runs in the third inning and ended the game with six in the fourth. The Cardinals will open the playoffs against either Washington or International Studies Academy Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., with the site of that game still to be determined. Galileo will face ISA on Monday at 3:30 in the first round, with the location of that contest also yet to be determined.

“We’re playing our best ball of the season, and the momentum is just carrying us into the playoffs,” Lowell coach Sascha Ray said. “I’m very confident, and even more importantly, so are the girls.”

— Staff report

BASEBALL

Athenian 9, Jewish Community 0

DANVILLE — The Wolves (1-3) were held to just two hits by Demitri Tarabini as the Owls (10-8) used a six-run fourth inning to post the nonconference win. Jewish Community was locked up in a scoreless duel until allowing three runs in the third and the big fourth. But pitcher Spyq Sklar blanked Athenian over the final two innings.

— Staff report

SOFTBALL

Lincoln 14, Washington 8

Lowell 17, Galileo 1

Athenian 9, Jewish Community 0

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