Deanna Monroy pitched a three-hitter as Sylmar High earned a spot in the City 4-A softball semifinals by defeating San Fernando, 3-1, Thursday at Sylmar.
The Spartans (14-3) next play El Camino Real, the three-time defending City 4-A champion, on Wednesday. El Camino Real defeated Narbonne, 17-1, on Thursday.
Monroy and San Fernando's Sandy Alcantak were matched in a pitchers' duel for the first four innings in the third game of the season between the two Northern League teams. Each team had won once.
But with the score tied, 1-1, Sylmar broke loose for two runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Sylmar left fielder Kari Rincon opened the inning with a single to left and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Gail Aleshive. An out later, Christy Robbins hit a slow grounder up the third-base line, forcing San Fernando third baseman Chita Gonzales to throw off balance. The throw was wide of first and allowed Rincon to score Sylmar's second run.
Terry Klement, who an inning earlier had hit her fourth home run of the season, then scored Robbins with a double to right.
Gonzalez's miscue was uncharacteristic, according to San Fernando Coach Cris Fotis, who said before the game that consistent defense was necessary for the Tigers to win.
"She's usually very reliable," Fotis said. "She rushed the throw a little bit."
San Fernando's only run came in the third inning when Monique Crawford scored on an error by Sylmar catcher Maureen Monroy. Crawford was on second when she moved to third on a passed ball and then home when Monroy's throw got by third baseman Renee Phillips.
"We didn't start off very well," Sylmar Coach Jeff Tumin said. "But we came back from the deficit very well."
Tumin was also impressed with the way Klement hit the ball.
"She went to the opposite field, which was nice," he said. "She really came through in the clutch."
Deanna Monroy (14-3) finished with four strikeouts and three walks. Alcantak, who gave up five hits, had five strikeouts and three walks.
When Sylmar defeated San Fernando earlier this season, 17-0, Alcantak sat out the game with an injury. She was back on the mound later in league play and posted a 5-1 win over the Spartans. But the rubber match went to Sylmar and ended San Fernando's season at 12-5.