NEWMAN — After claiming the last two Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII pennants, Ripon Christian is ecstatic to finally add a Southern Athletic League title to its growing resume.
Even if it means a bump up to the more competitive Division VI bracket for the playoffs.
“We’re ready for it,” Knights coach Lenny Rizzuto said.
With the outright championship already in hand, Ripon Christian ended its remarkable regular season with a 7-1 victory at Orestimba. It’s just the second league title in program history, with the first coming in 1993.
“I have to be honest, the section titles are really important, but being that we’ve only done it one time at the school about 25 years ago this became more and more important,” Rizzuto said. “It was important to the girls, and for that reason I became excited about it, too. I’m so proud of the girls. They’ve done a great job this year.”
The Knights (13-1 SAL, 20-3 overall) built a 5-0 lead through five innings and broke it open with three in the top of the seventh, getting a two-run homer from Elizabeth Thomas. She earlier had a double, finishing 2 for 4. Madison DeGraaf also went 2 for 4 with a double and two runs scored. Sarah Brown was 2 for 2 with three runs and an RBI.
DeGraaf pitched a four-hitter, walking one and striking out five. The Warriors (6-7, 13-11) scratched across their line run in the seventh.
The SJS playoffs begin next Monday.