Gilroy Relishes Playing the Unknown

Mustangs Pounded by Salinas, Can't Clinch Title

Gilroy
– Gilroy enters its Central Coast Section Division I playoff
game Wednesday against Piedmont Hills knowing very little about its
opponent – and it likes it that way.
Gilroy – Gilroy enters its Central Coast Section Division I playoff game Wednesday against Piedmont Hills knowing very little about its opponent – and it likes it that way.

“We don’t know a lot but we usually play a lot better when we don’t know a lot about a team,” Mustangs coach Catherine Hallada said. “That’s why we’re looking forward to CCS. You just go in and play your game.”

Gilroy, the No. 6 seed, opens its playoff run at 4pm today at Salinas Sports Complex on Field No. 1. The winner will face Lynbrook at 10am Saturday.

The Mustangs enter the postseason on the heels of a 16-0 win over Alisal which matched their most lopsided game of the year. Hallada realizes Piedmont Hills presents a stiffer challenge but said there could be some residual effect.

“We’re playing a different team. We’re looking at different pitching and a much more competitive team,” Hallada said. “But when everyone gets going with each other and starts hitting, they all feed off each other and some of that could carry over.”

The key, Hallada believes, will be getting off to a good start.

“I think scoring in the first inning and having some strong pitching from the very beginning and playing clean defense will be key.”

Piedmont Hills finished the season on a high note in its final game after stumbling for most of the final month. The Pirates beat Live Oak, which won the Blossom Valley Athletic League Mt. Hamilton Division, 1-0 in the final game to snap a stretch of nine losses in their past 10 games. After a 10-4 start to the season, they finished a game below .500 at 12-13, but Hallada said she’s not worried about her team looking past them.

“I don’t even think the girls know what their record is,” she said.

Last year, the Mustangs opened the playoffs with a 4-0 win over Mt. Pleasant before falling to eventual CCS champion San Benito 7-0. This time around, Gilroy wouldn’t face the Haybalers – who have beaten the Mustangs in their two meetings this year – until the semifinals, a problem it would welcome.

“That’s fine because each time we play them, we get closer,” Hallada said.

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