Softball gets knocked out of CIF playoffs in wildcard game against the Nordhoff Rangers


Quinn Kennedy

The team rejoices after Celia Porrazzo ’22 slams a home run, causing high spirits around the field.

Claire Hernandez, Reporter

Dragon fans filled the stands of the Ventura College softball field as the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) girls laced their cleats against Nordhoff High School. The Dragons were confident in their play, ready for the wildcard California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) playoff game. 

The Dragons had played the Nordhoff Rangers twice before, Coach Mark Young saying, “The last time we faced the same pitcher we had 19 hits and 27 runs,” so certain expectations were set for both teams.

Natalie Nunes ’22 winds up to pitch, as onlookers stare in anticipation for the next play. (Quinn Kennedy)

Starting pitcher Danielle Bishop ‘23 began the game by giving up a base hit for the Rangers. She allowed two more to load the bases before one came in by tagging up on a pop fly to right center.

With two runners on base, the Rangers hit a double to knock in two. Catcher Celia Porrazzo ‘22 made sure to uplift her team throughout, despite the runs already given up. She later commented on the game, saying, “We had a good vibe going, I think this game we actually all kind of clicked regardless of winning or losing.”

During this dominant first inning, the Rangers recorded their second out off a ground ball to the pitcher, yet still scored a run batted in (RBI) to increase their opening lead to 4-0.

The Dragons finally got out of the half inning from a ground ball to shortstop Madalyn Huovinen ‘22.

The bottom of the inning, however, did not look too bright for the Dragons, as they had two strikeouts and a line out to the Nordhoff shortstop for a quick three-and-out. 

A cloud of sand sprays in the air as the Foothill Tech player successfully slides into third base. (Quinn Kennedy)

The top of the second inning brought in second pitcher Natalie Nunes ‘22, as well as more runs for the Rangers. The score was raised to 7-0 before the Dragons stopped the bleeding with a line out to center field and a strike out.

Foothill Tech’s half of the inning was highlighted by a solo home run by Porrazzo, putting their first run on the board. 

The third inning was a quick sequence for both teams, with neither of the squads able to score. 

The Dragons picked up their defense in the fourth inning with Jaelyn Perez ‘25 making a diving catch in center field. This lit a spark under the Foothill Tech girls, who finished the half inning with a chopper to third base to make a force play.

Carrying the high energy going into their at bat, Porrazzo took the stage and hit yet another home run. The score now 7-2, the Dragons were still determined to get back into the game. 



The top of the fifth showed the final run for the Rangers, coming in on a single over the head of the Dragon’s left fielder.

The Dragons felt their optimism grow during their half of the fifth inning. Linda Manzo ‘23 got the ball rolling for her team as she took a hit-by-pitch, getting an automatic walk to first. A double by Bishop brought in Manzo to bring the score up 8-3. A dinker to no man’s land by Huovinen brought Bishop in shortly after, making the score now 8-4. 



The inning ended with a strikeout, and no new score could be recorded thereafter for either team. The Dragons saw glimpses of hope in the bottom of the sixth inning, with choppers, steals and singles. Houvinen took a walk after a tremendous battle at the plate, but her team left her stranded on base.

This was my last game, probably for a really long time, so enjoy it while you can.

— Cecilia Porrazzo '22

The Dragons fell short of the win, the 8-4 final score knocking them out of CIF playoffs. Young concluded by saying, “I am looking forward to next season. I’m looking forward to some new players joining the core of the group here and most importantly, I’m really going to miss the six seniors and I wish them all the best.”

What do you think?