May 6, 2011 - 3:51 pm
O’Sheyon Rollins had waited her entire career as a Bishop Gorman softball player to reach the Sunset Region playoffs.
The moment finally arrived for the senior shortstop on Friday.
Gorman took a four-run lead after three innings and held on for a 5-4 home win over Bonanza, giving the Gaels their first postseason berth since 2001.
“It’s really exciting. I’ve been here all four years, and this is the best we’ve done,” said Rollins, a four-year starter. “It’s really, really great.”
Rollins went 2-for-4 and scored a run to celebrate Senior Day. The Gaels’ only other senior, third baseman Gracie Martinez, walked twice and scored two runs.
“It’s great, especially for the seniors who are going out,” Gorman coach Kevin Smith said. “They’ve been through the times when it was bad, and they still had a great mindset.”
The Gaels (14-13-1) finished tied at 8-8 in the Southwest League with Bonanza (12-14), but Gorman clinched the league’s fourth and final playoff spot because its beaten league opponents totaled more league victories.
Gorman will visit Northwest No. 1 seed Palo Verde (25-8) in the first round Tuesday.
Bonanza pulled within 5-4 when Nicolette Lind singled home Taylor Gordy with two outs in the seventh inning before Emily Osborn walked to give the Bengals the potential go-ahead run on first base.
But Gorman pitcher Dayton Yingling fielded Tori Lind’s grounder and made the throw to first to end the game.
Yingling, a freshman, was working a no-hit shutout through four innings, as Bonanza’s only two runners reached on a dropped third strike in the first and a walk in the fourth.
Yingling went the distance, allowing five hits and three walks with three strikeouts.
“(Yingling) pulled it out. I’m really proud of her,” Rollins said. “Dayton’s been doing really well.”
Gorman’s Machenzie Tucky went 2-for-3 with three RBIs, including a two-run double to center field with two outs in the third inning to give the Gaels a 4-0 lead.
Yingling and Bailey Zavala added two hits each for the Gaels.
Gorman has gone from a combined 11-48-1 record the past two seasons to the playoffs this year.
“The biggest thing, most of all, was our defense,” Smith said. “Our errors have really cleaned up. When we do that and keep the walks down, at least we have a chance to win.”
Nicolette Lind was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run for Bonanza, which lost four straight games to end the season.