By Derek Wilson

Marinscope

The final score was not what the Wildcats had hoped for, but they certainly made it an exciting finish during Saturday’s North Coast Section Division III softball championship.

Time and again, top-seeded Marin Catholic tried to close the gap against a powerful Moreau Catholic squad. Although the Wildcats looked like they might have enough energy to complete a late rally, they came up short in a 8-6 loss to the No. 2 seed Mariners at San Marin High School.

“We knew they were a good hitting team. We knew we were in for a battle,” Marin Catholic coach Dave Albini said after the awards presentations. Moreau Catholic celebrated with its NCS championship pennant, while nearby, Marin Catholic’s players consoled themselves with the second place pennant.

“This season, we played really well as a team,” said Marin Catholic senior Izzy Incaviglia, who made her third NCS title game appearance with the Wildcats. “We had six freshmen who came in and pulled their weight. They really helped us get this far in NCS.”

Incaviglia, who is considering trying out for a walk-on role at Santa Clara in the fall, won NCS Division IV titles in her freshman and sophomore seasons with the Wildcats.

Incaviglia is one of just four seniors on this season’s young Marin Catholic squad. Makena Regin and Tess Polizzotti were also on the NCS championship teams in 2015 and 2016. Kaleigh Sinnott joined the team in 2017.

“Overall, it’s been a great career at Marin Catholic,” Incaviglia said. “Even if we didn’t win the NCS title this year, it’s been a great season and a wonderful career.”

While the Wildcats seemed to have lost their momentum, they never lost hope in Saturday’s title game.

Moreau Catholic (15-10) scored two runs in the second inning and three in the top of the third for a 5-0 lead. Marin Catholic bounced back with three runs in the bottom of the third to keep the game close.

Marin Catholic trailed the Mariners by five runs entering the bottom of the seventh inning, an unusual circumstance for the Wildcats.

With two outs and the pressure mounting on both sides, Marin Catholic’s Kiera DeLacy singled and Emily Press then got on base as she was hit by a pitch. That set the table for junior Julia Scardina’s three-run homer that sailed over the center field wall as the Mariner outfielders watched in amazement.

Incaviglia singled and the excitement mounted around the Marin Catholic dugout. However, Moreau Catholic pitcher Haley Santa Cruz caught a pop fly to end the game.

While the Wildcats’ NCS title dreams came up short this year, they seem certain Marin Catholic will remain as strong as ever.

“This is a young team, but they’re really talented,” Albini said.

The Marin Catholic roster includes seven freshmen, among them DeLacy and starting pitcher Annabel Teperson, who was a powerhouse during the playoffs.

Earlier in the tournament, Moreau Catholic stopped No. 6 Terra Linda, 11-2, in the semifinals. Vivian Johnson was 3-for-3 with an RBI for the Trojans (16-12). Sierra Cooper was 2-for-4 and Sydney Costan had a hit and an RBI. Pitcher Rachel Reher struck out seven and walked one.

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