(l to r) View Park seniors Kamarie Blacksher, Ro’nae Pumphrey, Janell Brown, Sam Johnson and Savannah Lovelace-Swann (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

May 9 marks the fourth consecutive year that the View Park Knights softball team reached the playoffs. This season presents a new challenge to the program as they were upgraded to division I competition. View Park finished their season with a contending 11-4 overall record and a 10-0 Coliseum League record.

The Knights will face the Hamilton Yankees on Thursday in the first round of the playoffs.

“It was very good but at the same time very challenging,” senior Sam Johnson said about the season. “We’re trying to get through them as best as we can.”

View Park battled the Hawkins Hawks in their final in-season game, routing them 20-0. The Knights were generous with their strikes and steals, keeping the Hawks in the outfield for long periods of time.

After the game, the Knights honored the five graduating seniors on the team: Johnson, Kamarie Blacksher, Savannah Lovelace-Swann, Janell Brown, and Ro’nae Pumphrey.

Hawkins senior Edrianna Owens preparing to pitch (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

Knights sophomore Heaven Alverez was the starting pitcher, helping hold the Hawks to three at bats for the first three innings. Senior Savannah Lovelace-Swann earned the first RBI of the game off of a single. Senior Janell Brown was at bat next and hit a homerun.

In the second inning, four consecutive View Park batters scored. By their first out, the Knights had nine points. View park ultimately scored 10 points during that inning.

“We kinda realize we shouldn’t be so tense,” Johnson said. “It’s senior night, just have fun and we just kind of pulled it together,”

Pumphrey and junior Coi Brown scored a double RBI each in the third inning. The Hawks continued competing; Shelsea hit a single, but could not advance after Esmeralda T. earned a third out during the fourth inning.

“If my players are down, I still have to get through it no matter what to show them that I got your back, so have mine as well,” said Hawkins senior pitcher Edrianna Owens.

Senior Janell Brown was subbed in to finish on the mound and struck out three hitters to end the game.

View Park Junior Haley Veazie at bat (Amanda Scurlock/L.A. Sentinel)

The View Park Knights started out as a division IV team upon the request of students back in the spring of 2016. Since their inception, the Knights won three consecutive City Section titles and was invited to compete in a tournament in Hawai’I. Alvarez mentioned how resilient the View Park squad is.

“We’re proud of each other and we help each other embrace one another,” she said. “Where we lack in some areas, we help each other, we build off each other.”