St. Francis High senior pitcher Alicia Mendez led the Sharks softball team to a 17-0 win against Trinity Christian in non-league play April 14. (The Pajaronian file photo)

St. Francis High senior Alicia Mendez and sophomore Aaliysah Gomez are quietly turning into the 1-2 punch in the circle for the Sharks softball team.  

Both pitchers combined for seven strikeouts in four innings of work in their 17-0 win against Trinity Christian High in non-league action Thursday.

Gomez gave up one hit and three walks while striking out four for St. Francis, which recorded their third consecutive shutout and sixth one of the season. 

“That kid [Gomez] is a ball of energy,” said St. Francis coach Adam Noto. “When softball is all done she is going to make one hell of a coach. She’s so knowledgeable of the game.”

Noto said the plan was to have senior catcher Mariah Montalvo be the No. 2 pitcher this season, but Gomez stepped in to fill that role and things have worked out.   

“Anytime I can get Alicia out and just get her some rest, and get Aaliysah in to get some innings just to kind of keep Aaliysah happy, too… it’s great,” Noto said.  

The Sharks have outscored their opponents 38-0 and are riding on a three-game win streak.

During that stretch, Mendez has recorded 18 strikeouts in just 10 innings of work in the circle. She has 107 strikeouts in 70.1 innings pitched this season, according to stats published on the MaxPreps website.

Mendez and Gomez combined on a no-hitter in Tuesday’s 11-0 win over Rancho San Juan High in non-league play. It’s the third no-hitter for the Sharks this season.

Mendez batted 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, three RBIs and two runs scored on Thursday against Trinity. 

Gomez was 2-for-2 with a double, two walks, one RBI and three runs scored.

Montalvo, who is committed to play next year at NCAA Division I Santa Clara University, batted 3-for-3 with three doubles, a walk, four RBIs and three runs scored. 

Seniors Aaliyah Gomez and Sabrina Noto each had two RBIs and scored once, and fellow freshman teammate Demaria Bolden batted 3-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored.

Junior Brisea Raygoza had a triple with two runs scored and an RBI, and freshman Olivia Arce and sophomore Gigi Calderon each had an RBI. 

“In my opinion, these are games we should win and the girls know that,” he said. “The girls know that and they’re just doing what they need to do to win.” 

St. Francis (11-2, 3-2) will play Soquel High in the Watsonville High Tournament on Saturday at 11am. 

The Sharks will then play against the host Wildcatz at 1pm, followed by a game against Santa Teresa at 5pm.

Soquel 3, Aptos 0: The Mariners were edged by the Knights in Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League play Thursday night. 

Senior pitcher Ada Neu gave up three runs—one earned—on four hits and two walks while recording two strikeouts in the circle for the Mariners (9-6, 4-3), who host Scotts Valley on Tuesday at 4:30pm.

San Lorenzo Valley 4, Aptos 2: Raegan Fulton batted 4-for-4 with an RBI for the Mariners in their loss to the Cougars in SCCAL play Tuesday afternoon.

Lilly McGee batted 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI for Aptos, and fellow teammate Ada Neu was 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored.

Neu gave up four runs—two earned—on three hits and four walks while recording four strikeouts in six innings. 

Jewels Chavez batted 1-for-3 with one run scored and a sacrifice hit for the Mariners .  

Boys tennis

Aptos 7, SLV 0: The Mariners swept in singles and doubles action against the Cougars in SCCAL play Thursday afternoon. 

Aaron Buchanan, Heath Hegna, John McGowan and Jack Eldredge all won their singles matches.

The No. 1 team of Sean Spencer and Nick Hambright won their doubles match. Andrew and Patrick Morrissey won their No. 2 doubles match, and Adam Allen and Jack Hickey won their No. 3 doubles match.

The Mariners (10-1, 8-0) will attempt to keep their unblemished record in league play intact against Soquel High on Tuesday at 4:30pm.    

Boys golf

Aptos 204, Harbor 241: Dominic DeLuca shot a 35 (even par) to earn medalist honors for the Mariners in a win against the Pirates in SCCAL play Thursday afternoon.

Vito Riccabona shot a 40 for Aptos, which improved to 6-0 in league play. Fellow teammate Patrick Mackle shot a 41, followed by Ben Meltzer (44) and Seamus Carey (44). 

Matt Munro shot a team-best 41 for Harbor, followed by Ian Holbert (45), Jason Tucker (48), Holden Ellis (52) and Nash Campbell (55).

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A Watsonville native who has a passion for local sports and loves his community. A Watsonville High, Cabrillo College, San Jose State University and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumnus, he primarily covers high school athletics, Cabrillo College athletics, various youth sports in the Pajaro Valley and the Santa Cruz Warriors. Juan is also a video game enthusiast, part-time chef (at home), explorer and a sports junkie. Coaches and athletic directors are encouraged to report scores HERE.


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