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SOFTBALL : South Gate's Hyder Blanks Roosevelt


South Gate pitcher Jennifer Hyder thinks her performance in last season's City 3-A championship game against Roosevelt was better than the one she turned in Wednesday against the Roughriders.

This time, however, Hyder and the visiting Rams posted a 2-0 victory in a Southeastern Conference game.

South Gate's only losses last season were to Roosevelt: 6-1 in the 3-A final and 4-3 in eight innings during the regular season. And Hyder was the starting pitcher in both games.

"We wanted to come back and do well," said Hyder, (4-0) a senior who pitched her first shutout of the season Wednesday. "I felt a lot of pressure, but I expected it to be close."

South Gate (10-3, 5-0), the five-time City champion seeking its ninth consecutive appearance in a City title game, could manage only three hits off Roosevelt's Liz Ballesteros (9-2). The junior had 10 strikeouts and allowed three hits.

The Rams had produced 82 runs and 63 hits in its four previous conference victories, including 20 hits in a 26-2 victory over Jordan on Monday.

"I'm just relieved," South Gate catcher Michele Gonzalez said. "This was our toughest game by far. Now we should be able to go undefeated the rest of conference without any problem."

South Gate scored its runs with the aid of seven walks.

The Rams loaded the bases with two walks in the third inning. Anita Anaya drove in Vanessa Martinez from third on an infield grounder to give South Gate a 1-0 lead.

Norma Sanchez, who had reached base on a walk, scored from second on a line drive by Martinez in the sixth to increase the advantage to 2-0.

"It came down to our mistakes," Ballesteros said. "Hopefully, we'll see them in the playoffs."

It wasn't as if Roosevelt (8-4, 3-1) didn't have a chance to win Wednesday.

The Roughriders, who stranded seven baserunners, loaded the bases in the sixth with one out but came away empty-handed.

South Gate center fielder Angie Ramirez made a running catch on a deep fly ball and Hyder retired Marie Rodriguez on a groundout to end the inning.

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