Woodlake Tigers fall in state semifinals

Woodlake’s Noemi Aldana bats at home against Nipomo in a regional playoff game.(Kason Clark)

Woodlake softball loses 4-1 to Garfield in the semis of the Division IV CIF SoCal Championships; Tigers finish the season with a 29-3 record, a league title and a Central Valley championship

LOS ANGELES – Since April 3, Woodlake softball had not lost a game. Over that two-month span, the Tigers won 17 straight games, a Central Valley title and their opening game of the Division IV CIF SoCal Championships. But in the state semifinals this past Thursday, that run finally came to an end. 

Down in Los Angeles on May 30, the No. 4 seed Woodlake Tigers struggled to keep pace with the No. 1 seed Garfield Bulldogs. With their offensive struggles, the Tigers went on to lose, 4-1, to Garfield to end the season and their run.

“It was a competitive game,” Woodlake head coach Ramon Lara said. “We had chances to score more runs but never got the big hit.”

As the Woodlake offense had a slow start, the Bulldogs took advantage by jumping out a 3-0 lead. The Tigers responded in the top of the fourth inning when Mareli Zamora drove in Giselle Valencia for the run to get Woodlake on the board. But the Tiger offense could not build off that big play as Garfield held them scoreless the rest of the way.

The loss ended the Tigers’ season, which they finished with an overall record of 29-3. While they finished one game out of the state regional title game, the Tigers had an excellent season where they went undefeated in league play and won the Division V Central Section Championship. As he reflects on the season, Lara was proud of everything that the Tigers had accomplished. 

“It was a great season for our girls,” Lara said. “They competed in every game this year and took on any challenge they were presented with.”

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