High school softball: Defending champs Central back to the final after a walk-off hit

It is back-to-back-to-back Central Section high school softball championships for Central High.

Bella Palma hit a walk-off single that scored Alexis Rossotti from second base for a 2-1 victory over Frontier on Wednesday night.

The defending champions Grizzlies are back to the section championship and will face Clovis North at 7 p.m. Saturday at Margie Wright Diamond.

“Bella is a super clutch hitter,” Central coach Scott Gorton said. “We call her 3-2 Bella because she always works the count, but she also comes up with clutch hits and she’s had a number of walk-offs for us. I don’t trust anybody more than I trust Bella in that situation.”

Palma said she had to make it special for her teammates.

She delivered in a big way to give her team an opportunity to defend its title.

“I was just praying,” she said. “I knew we had speed at second base so I was just hoping that she was on time, enough to score.”

Kaia Galaviz pitched a four hitter and had five strikeouts. She gave up a run in the top of the seventh inning, but was confident her teammates would come through.

They did.

“We have very strong hitters,” she said. “Without question. I believe in them.”

Central will face Clovis North after the Broncos rolled past Buchanan 7-3.

The Grizzlies and Broncos split during the season in a one-run game.

“It’s another TRAC game,” Gorton said. “Every game is tough and I expect another tough game.”


Wednesday’s semifinals

Division I

No. 1 Central 2, No. 4 Frontier 1

No. 2 Clovis North 7, No. 3 Buchanan 3

Division II

No. 1 St. Joseph 10, No. 5 Clovis West 2

No. 12 Monache 5, No. 6 Mission Oak 4

Division III

No. 1 Taft 10, No. 5 Tulare Western 0

No. 2 Bakersfied Christian 3, No. 3 Wasco 2

Division IV

No. 1 Mission Prep 2, No. 4 Kerman 0

No. 3 Pioneer Valley 8, No. 2 Orange Cove 3

Division V

No. 1 Woodlake 4, No. 5 Corcoran 0

No. 6 Porterville 4, No. 2 Orcutt Academy 3

Division VI

No. 8 Nipomo 14, No. 4 Riverdale 0

No. 2 Avenal 4, No. 3 Sierra 3

Championship schedule

At Margie Wright Diamond


Division VI

No. 2 Avenal vs. No. 8 Nipomo, 4:30 p.m.

Division II

No. 1 St. Joseph vs. No. 10 Monache, 7 p.m.


Division V

No. 1 Woodlake vs. No. 6 Porterville, 11 am.

Division IV

No. 1 Mission Prep vs. No. 3 Pioneer Valley, 1:30 p.m.

Division III

No. 1 Taft vs. No. 2 Bakersfield Christian, 4:30 p.m.

Division I

Central vs. Clovis North, 7 p.m.