AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsThe Rebels have a .352 team batting average, with 11 players batting .333 or higher, and are slugging .557. They have 68 extra-base hits, including 25 home runs, and a 1.72 team ERA. Junior first baseman Candice Miller is batting .472 and leads the team with 10 homers. Sophomore outfielder Jordan Hood is batting .438 with six homers, and junior outfielder Aliana Devenney is batting .405 and slugging .865. “It’s just a combination of everything,” Quartz Hill co-coach Maury Cauchon said. “The bats, the pitching and the defense came together all at one time. “Right now, we’re running on all cylinders.” Cauchon said senior leadership the team has been provided by second baseman Christine Priestley, right fielder Traci Wolf, third baseman Jessica Franklin and catcher Amie Ganske. About a month into the season, Quartz Hill High’s softball team went from very good to dominant. The red-hot Rebels (18-3-1) outscored their opponents 88-5 in a nine-game winning streak to close out the season. They are peaking at the perfect time. Quartz Hill is among four Golden League teams and eight Antelope Valley teams that play first-round Southern Section playoff games today. The Rebels play host to Nordhoff of Ojai in a Southern Section Div. III game at 3:15 p.m. Quartz Hill has emerged as one of the area’s most statistically dominant teams. Confidence also has been a key factor in the surge. Cauchon pointed to a 3-1 upset over Alemany of Mission Hills on April 13 as a turning point. “(Alemany) was playing really well, and when we defeated them, that showed we could play with anybody,” Cauchon said. “It was a good win for us to get.” The return of a healthy junior pitcher Kristin Ware from a leg injury suffered in late March has solidified the team. Ware is 12-2 with a 1.90 ERA and is batting .400. Quartz Hill is hoping the momentum will carry over into the playoffs. The Rebels haven’t won a playoff game since 2002, when they advanced to the Div. I quarterfinals. No Antelope Valley team has won a section title since Boron won the Div. VI title in 2000. “In the beginning of the season, our goal was to win league, but it’s a new season, and now we have to switch gears,” Cauchon said. “We’re representing out league and our area.” No fear: Knight, a second-year program with no seniors, won its first postseason game Wednesday, defeating Hoover of Glendale in a Div. III wild-card game. It will play today at top-seeded Oaks Christian of Westlake Village. Knight coach Tammie Zimmardi said the Hawks’ moxie makes it a special team. “This year there is no fear in their faces, and last year there was a lot of fear,” Zimmardi said. “They’re just going out there thinking they can beat anybody and that’s what I love about this team.” One-hitter: Sophomore pitching standout Heather Sandberg tossed a six-inning one-hitter, striking out 12 batters and walking just one to lead Lancaster to a Div. III wild-card victory Wednesday over visiting Beverly Hills. Sandberg was 2 for 2 and freshman Shawna Wright was 2 for 4 with a homer, a triple and three RBIs for the Eagles (16-7-1), who play today at El Rancho of Pico Rivera. [email protected] (818) 713-3607 SOUTHERN SECTION PLAYOFFS FIRST ROUND Today, 3:15 p.m. Div. III: Knight at Oaks Christian; Highland at Crescenta Valley; Lancaster at El Rancho; Nordhoff at Quartz Hill. Div. V: Paraclete at St. Bonaventure. Div. VI: Upland Christian at Boron; Desert at Grace Brethren; Desert Christian at Frazier Mountain.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!