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Makayla Diamond’s clutch hit pushes Tesoro past Westlake in CIF-SS Div. 2 playoffs 

Diamond hit a 2-run rouble in the 6th inning to give the Titans a 2-0 first round win 

Tesoro outfielder Mikayla Diamond rounds third base on the final out of the sixth inning during a CIF-Southern Section first round playoff softball game against Westlake Thursday, May 2, 2024 at Tesoro High School in Las Flores, Calif. Diamond hit what would be the game-winning double earlier in the inning giving Tesoro a 2-0 win. (Ryan Kuhn, SOCoPrepSports.com)

LAS FLORES — Tesoro softball coach Sara Higgins describes her outfielder, Makayla Diamond, as simply a clutch hitter. 

“She’ll surprise you,” Higgins said. “She’ll have one at-bat where you will  think today is not her day and then answer back with a double. I don’t know how many times she has done that over the last two years.”

Thursday afternoon was the most recent example of Diamond’s clutch hitting when her two-out double in the bottom of the sixth inning propelled the Titans to a 2-0 win over Westlake in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division  2 playoffs at Tesoro High School. 

The double redeemed a missed opportunity she had in the first inning when she struck out with the bases loaded. 

“My teammates talked to me before saying I needed to hit it to the outfield,” said Diamond, who her teammates and coaches call MK. “I was so close in my previous at-bat so I knew I was going to do it this time.”

Just last week Tesoro won its second consecutive South Coast League title with a win over Mission Viejo but couldn’t keep their momentum moving forward early on. 

After loading the bases in the first inning the Titans were held to just one baserunner over the next 13 at-bats. 

“I was just worried we couldn’t score and then Westlake would eventually find its stride,” Higgins said. “We just needed our baserunners to come around.”

While the Titans offense remained quiet, Higgins knew her ace Loula McNamara would keep them in the game. 

McNamara, who will play for Boise State next season, allowed just two hits over five innings. 

Her six strikeouts was the most in an outing since a win over Mission Viejo on April 9. 

“My changeup was really working today,” McNamara said. “I’ve thrown it since I was eight (years old). It’s always been my pitch.”

She finished the complete game allowing a pair of runners on base but nothing came from it. 

And when Diamond laced her double into center field, she finally took a sigh of relief and celebrated with her teammates. 

“I was so excited,” McNamara said about Diamond’s hit. “I was jumping up and down in the dugout. It was so exciting.”

Tesoro’s win gives them a second-round meeting at Gahr High School on Tuesday. The Gladiators just beat El Toro 10-1 and has wins over Division 1 Chino Hills and Division 2 Long Beach Millikan. 

But this team wants more than a first-round win. It wants one final run together. 

“This team has a really good connection,” McNamara said. “We all love each other and we don’t want it to be our last game. We want to play as long as we can.”

Ryan was born and raised in Dana Point went to Dana Hills High School. He graduated from Sacramento State University with a BA in Journalism. Throughout his career as a sports journalist, he has covered high schools, colleges, and professional teams. After working for multiple newspapers in as many states, he came to the conclusion that what he really wanted was to make sure the high schools in his hometown area got the sports coverage they deserved. Follow him on Twitter @rskuhn

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