BURBANK — The Bellarmine-Jefferson High softball team moved through the first two rounds of the CIF Southern Section Division VI playoffs with relative ease.
With wins against Frazier Mountain and Pasadena Poly, the Guards scored 18 combined runs and surrendered just one.
But in a quarterfinal contest Thursday against Cantwell Sacred Heart, Bell-Jeff found itself in a close contest. Fortunately for the Guards, they were able to receive a clutch hit in the third inning by Sofia Palacios to lift them to a 3-1 victory at Gross Park.
The win enables the Santa-Fe-League-champion Guards (20-10) to advance to the semifinals for the third straight year. The team reached the final four in Division VII in 2011 and 2012.
Bell-Jeff will take on host Santa Paula in a semifinal game at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday. Santa Paula defeated host Boron, 8-1, in its quarterfinal game Thursday.
Guards Coach Florencio Galindo said the ability of his team to win a tight contest is something that it desperately needed.