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Moorpark Plays 21 in Softball Game : Marathon Victory Helps Lady Raiders to Third-Place State Finish

May 25, 1989|RALPH NICHOLS | Times Staff Writer

It was a record De Dow could have done without.

Dow, the winningest pitcher in Moorpark College history, would have been content to end her career with school records for wins in a season (30) and a career (48).

The sophomore right-hander came away from the state junior college softball championships at Golden West College in Huntington Beach last week with one more school record, however. She pitched the longest softball game in Moorpark history--a 21-inning, six-hour marathon Saturday night against Cypress.

Dow picked up the 2-1 victory over Cypress to keep Moorpark alive in the double-elimination tournament. The Lady Raiders went on to finish third in the tournament.

By the time the game ended at 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Dow felt relieved more than anything else.

"The cold weather was starting to get to me and my hand was getting a little stiff," Dow said. "And I was hungry."

A 21-inning game was an unusual experience for everyone involved. So unusual it was a state record for innings.

"There is no way to describe the emotions that you go through when you're in a game that late," Coach Will Thurston said. "It was at the point where it was almost like a fantasy was going on."

Cypress, which played a 20-inning game earlier in the day, and Moorpark both wasted numerous scoring opportunities. The Lady Raiders had a chance to win in the 19th when Rosa Jimenez hit a leadoff triple. The Chargers got out of trouble when Julie Myers flied to right and Jimenez was thrown out trying to score.

"We had so many chances to score," Dow said. "It was so up in the air."

Moorpark finally won in the 21st as Gina Duarte scored from third on an infield grounder by Myers.

Dow, who pitched 28 innings in two games Saturday, was selected to the all-tournament team along with Jimenez, Duarte and Paula Allen. Dow picked up three victories at the state tournament to finish the season 30-7.

After Dow pitched two games Saturday, Thurston decided against starting her in Sunday's semifinal game against Fullerton.

"It would have been great to have used De, and all indications were that she would have done great," Thurston said. "But when we finished at 2:30 in the morning, there was no doubt who I was going to throw."

Fullerton scored three runs against Jimenez in the fourth inning of the semifinal match-up and made them stand up for a 3-0 victory to eliminate Moorpark.

Jimenez (6-5) pitched a four-hour marathon Friday night as Moorpark lost, 1-0, to Palomar in 13 innings. Moorpark dropped into the loser's bracket and rallied to defeat College of San Mateo, 3-2, Saturday before facing Cypress.

Palomar defeated Fullerton, 2-0, to win the state title.

Moorpark's third-place finish caps the Lady Raiders' best season ever. Moorpark set a record for wins in a season (38), won its third consecutive Western State Conference title and became the first Moorpark team to reach a state championship tournament.

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