LIVERMORE -- The Archbishop Mitty-San Jose softball team won the Livermore Stampede championship game Saturday, but it wasn't easy.
Host Livermore loaded the bases twice and scored two runs in the fifth inning, but Mitty took an early lead and prevailed 4-2 at Robertson Park.
Mitty (16-0) was clicking on all cylinders early. Kiersten Nordin, the second batter of the game, lined a home run over the left field fence. Later in the first inning, Madeleine Kim hit an RBI single into left for a 2-0 Mitty advantage.
"All weekend long it seemed the team had a different hero every game. We stayed consistent," said Mitty coach Brian Yocke, whose team is ranked sixth in the state by Cal-Hi Sports.
The Monarchs added a single run in the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Kim, but Livermore (8-4) loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth inning on a double by Hannah Bennett, a single by Samantha Whalen and pitch hitter Audrey Vaughn's hit by pitch.
But Mitty pitcher Desiree Severance induced Morgan Meyer, who had a single in her previous at-bat, into a groundout.
Mitty took a 4-0 lead in the top of the fifth inning on an RBI double by Ashley Chestnut. But in the bottom of the inning, Livermore cut Mitty's lead in half with an RBI single by Kristin Paulazzo and a run-scoring ground-rule double by Bennett.
Bennett's double put runners on second and third with one out. Severance induced a grounder to herself, looked back the runner at third and threw out the runner at first. Pinch hitter Leah Taulton then walked to load the bases again for Livermore, but Rachael Laront's flyout to right field ended the inning.
Livermore had hits in each of the final two innings, but could not get another runner home. "When I have runners on, it can be really stressful, but I know the defense behind me will back me up," said Severance, who was named the MVP of the tournament.
Jazmyn Jackson had three hits for Mitty. Bennett was 2 for 3 for Livermore, which advanced to the championship game with a 3-0 semifinal win over Monte Vista on Saturday. Mitty beat Whitney 6-2 in the other semifinal.
"I couldn't be more proud of these girls. They've got the biggest heart," Livermore coach Larry Bird said. "We had our opportunities to score. We didn't get the clutch hit. ... It wasn't a blowout. We deserved to be there."
The Mission San Jose program has come a long way in the last five years, becoming a fixture in the postseason and making the finals of the North Coast Section Division I playoffs for the first two times in school history.
The Warriors, though, had never won a tournament title.
That changed Saturday as Mission San Jose beat Drake-San Anselmo 25-19, 25-22 in the finals of the Foothill Tournament in Pleasanton. Since a 2-3 start, the Warriors have won six of seven matches.
"It's a great accomplishment," Mission San Jose coach Alvin Nguyen said. "We are starting to reach our potential, but I feel like we could potentially be even better."
Mission San Jose (8-4) overcame an 11-4 deficit in the first game, and then pulled away in the second when it was tied 20-20. Middle hitter Brennon Ng had 13 kills in the match, including eight in the second game.
In the semifinals, the Warriors defeated host Foothill in three games, and the Pirates (14-4) topped Washington in three games.
-- Matt Smith,