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Mattison Beliveau dominates again as Hillcrest softball team reaches Division 6 final

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Mattison Beliveau dominates again as Hillcrest softball team reaches Division 6 final

RIVERSIDE >> Mattison Beliveau is unbelievable.

The sophomore right-hander struck out 14 – including 10 consecutive – while hurling a one-hitter as Hillcrest’s softball team made Viewpoint feel the heat in a 13-0 victory Saturday in a CIF-Southern Section Division 6 semifinal game.

“Once we got to the playoffs, she’s been a bulldog,” Hillcrest coach Tony Carvajal said. “She’s up in there and you can see that the rise ball is really working for her and the defense is picking her up.”

Beliveau, pitching her fourth consecutive complete game this postseason, did not allow a hit until the seventh inning.

Hillcrest will face Elsinore in the Division 6 championship game at Barber Park in Irvine on May 20 or 21.

Hillcrest (17-14 overall) opted for a 3:15 p.m. start, which is when temperatures were peaking above 95 degrees.

“Home field advantage is big for us,” said Carvajal, whose team advances to its first CIF-SS title game. “(Viewpoint) is used to playing in 75 degrees, and they had to come all the way out here and play in the 96-97 degrees, but this is what we practice in.”

“We’ve got to keep on going,” he added. “Matty had to be out there. The bulldog has to be out there and I know she’s going to continue to throw like she’s been throwing.”

Melody Acevedo slugged a solo home run to give Hillcrest a 1-0 lead in the third inning, and Isabel Villarreal hit a grand slam to cap an eight-run fifth as the Trojans broke the game open.

“As a team that was unranked, it’s great to be showing people what we can truly do,” Beliveau said.

Entering the game with 46 strikeouts in 19 playoff innings, Beliveau (10-0) struck out three of the first four batters she faced before striking out the side in the third, fourth and fifth innings. She then started the sixth with another strikeout for her 10th straight – a new school single-game record.

“I knew when I’d first get a strike on them, and they swung kind of out of their shoes, I knew they were getting off balance,” Beliveau said, “so I had to throw something to keep them even more off balance.”

Nayomi Pryor (2 for 4) added an RBI single, and Emma Martinez dropped a two-run double down the third-base line as Hillcrest added four runs in the sixth.

Pitcher Peyton Rohr had the only hit as Viewpoint (12-8) was shut out for the first time since early March. The Patriots were seeking their first trip to a final since 2008.

“That’s an amazing team. (Beliveau) is an amazing pitcher (and) we could only ride our wave for so long,” Viewpoint coach Jeff Alkazian said.

Rohr could not keep runners off the base paths but kept it close until the fifth when things unraveled after allowing the first two Hillcrest batters to reach to set up the big inning.

Villareal went 3 for 5 with two singles and two runs scored, Martinez reached base three times and scored twice, and Nicole Riddell reached twice, stole a base and scored a run for Hillcrest.

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