Rise Up Logo

Call Us Today!
(562) 659-9599

Melody Acevedo’s tiebreaking HR gives Hillcrest softball team win over Elsinore in Division 6 final

Melody Acevedo’s tiebreaking HR gives Hillcrest softball team win over Elsinore in Division 6 final

IRVINE — Melody Acevedo said she was trying to become a base runner. Being a base jogger was even better.

With two outs and the bases empty in the top of the seventh of a tied game Saturday, Acevedo hammered the first pitch for an opposite-field home run, providing the difference in Hillcrest’s first CIF Southern Section softball championship game. The blast lifted the Trojans to a 5-4 victory over Elsinore in the Division 6 final.

  • Hillcrest’s pitcher Mattison Beliveau (9) celebrates with teammates after winning...

    Hillcrest’s pitcher Mattison Beliveau (9) celebrates with teammates after winning the CIF-SS Division 6 softball championship against Elsinore at Bill Barber Park in Irvine on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • The Hillcrest softball team pose for a photo after winning...

    The Hillcrest softball team pose for a photo after winning the CIF-SS Division 6 softball championship against Elsinore at Bill Barber Park in Irvine on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Elsinore’s Nakiya Logan delivers a pitch against Hillcrest in the...

    Elsinore’s Nakiya Logan delivers a pitch against Hillcrest in the CIF-SS Division 6 softball championship at Bill Barber Park in Irvine on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Hillcrest pitcher Mattison Beliveau, right, celebrates with Julia Hernandez, center,...

    Hillcrest pitcher Mattison Beliveau, right, celebrates with Julia Hernandez, center, and Isabel Villarreal, left, after winning the CIF-SS Division 6 softball championship against Elsinore at Bill Barber Park in Irvine on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Hillcrest’s Isabel Villarreal rounds third base after hitting a home...

    Hillcrest’s Isabel Villarreal rounds third base after hitting a home run in the first inning against Elsinore in the CIF-SS Division 6 softball championship at Bill Barber Park in Irvine on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Elsinore’s Madison Loftis scores a run against Hillcrest in the...

    Elsinore’s Madison Loftis scores a run against Hillcrest in the second inning in the CIF-SS Division 6 softball championship at Bill Barber Park in Irvine on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Hillcrest’s Melody Acevedo, left, allows a pop fly to glance...

    Hillcrest’s Melody Acevedo, left, allows a pop fly to glance off her glove against Elsinore in the CIF-SS Division 6 softball championship at Bill Barber Park in Irvine on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Elsinore’s Alyssa Jimenez, right, is congratulated by her coach Jasmine...

    Elsinore’s Alyssa Jimenez, right, is congratulated by her coach Jasmine Angello after hitting a triple in the fifth inning against Hillcrest in the CIF-SS Division 6 softball championship at Bill Barber Park in Irvine on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Hillcrest pitcher Mattison Beliveau delivers a pitch against Elsinore in...

    Hillcrest pitcher Mattison Beliveau delivers a pitch against Elsinore in the CIF-SS Division 6 softball championship at Bill Barber Park in Irvine on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Elsinore’s Alyssa Jimenez is safe at third as the ball...

    Elsinore’s Alyssa Jimenez is safe at third as the ball is thrown over Hillcrest’s Isabel Villarreal’s head in the CIF-SS Division 6 softball championship at Bill Barber Park in Irvine on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Hillcrest’s Naomi Pryor scores a run against Elsinore in the...

    Hillcrest’s Naomi Pryor scores a run against Elsinore in the fifth inning in the CIF-SS Division 6 softball championship at Bill Barber Park in Irvine on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Elsinore’s Alyssa Jimenez, left, can’t handle the throw to second...

    Elsinore’s Alyssa Jimenez, left, can’t handle the throw to second on a steal by Hillcrest’s Emma Martinez, right, in the CIF-SS Division 6 softball championship at Bill Barber Park in Irvine on Saturday, May 21, 2022. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

of

Expand

“Honestly, I was just trying to get on base,” said Acevedo, a freshman shortstop. “I knew the girls behind me would have my back.”

It was another big day at the plate for Acevedo, who has been on a tear in the postseason. She had three hits Saturday and finished the section playoffs 10 for 14 with seven RBIs.

“Mel has gotten stronger (since the start of the season),” Hillcrest coach Tony Carvajal said. “She’s grown up. Taller. More muscle. At the beginning, she would get a little nervous. Now, she’s like ‘I’ve got this.’ “

Carvajal also gave an assist to preceding batter Emma Martinez, who worked Elsinore pitcher Nakiya Logan for 13 pitches. Martinez, the leadoff batter, saw 30 pitches in four at-bats.

“Emma deserves props, too,” Carvajal said. “I think she tired her (Logan) out a little.”

Logan showed plenty of grit herself. Just 12 pitches into the game, she was down by three runs after a single, an error and a three-run blast by Isabel Villareal to right-center. It was the third straight game in which Villareal hit a homer run.

Hillcrest starter Mattison Beliveau had allowed just two runs in four playoff games, so a 3-0 deficit was a tall hill. Elsinore, however, battled back to tie, fell behind again and came back to tie a second time.

The Tigers (21-8) had seven hits, including five extra-base hits, against Beliveau. Alyssa Jimenez tripled and scored on a wild pitch to the game 4-4 in the fifth. Mikaela Matamoros, who had tripled in the first, followed with a one-out double.

Beliveau, however, found her extra gear. She got out of the inning on the way to retiring the final eight batters. She finished with 10 strikeouts, giving her 71 in the playoffs.

The championship had a personal touch for Beliveau, who watched her father, the Norte Vista boys soccer coach, lose a section final and regional final last year.

“To me, I feel like I won the plaque for him,” Beliveau said. “It feels good to just be able to breathe again that we won one.”

Carvajal had gotten used to seeing Beliveau cruise through the playoffs, but saw the benefit in a game that was tougher for her.

“This is the kind of game that makes you better,” he said. “Not the 12- or 14-strikeout games.

“Her rise wasn’t working as well as usual. But we kept telling her ‘We’re with you. Just be the bulldog you are.”

Bulldog was an apt description for the way Logan and the Tigers kept fighting uphill, especially after the first-inning shock.

“She’s pretty headstrong,” Elsinore coach Jasmine Angello said. “She can pull herself out of a hole. It kind of riled her up. Her pitches started coming harder and she was hitting her spots better.”

For a program that hadn’t qualified for the playoffs in recent years, this year’s ride was a major step forward.

“We’re the small school in the district,” Angello said. “Maybe this will capture people’s attention, to see the camaraderie and the fight this team had with its small roster.”


Press Enterprise