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SOUTHERN SECTION SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS : DIVISION I : Marina Gives Foothill a Division Lesson

May 26, 1993|MARTIN HENDERSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Marina Coach Shelly Luth knew Foothill High had been to consecutive Southern Section Division 4-A championship games. She didn't realize until Tuesday morning that the Knights had five starters from last year's championship season.

But Luth is used to coaching in the larger school division, 5-A, and though the names of the divisions have changed, one thing was pounded home after seven fruitless innings for Foothill: "There's a big difference between 4-A and 5-A."

Second-seeded Marina made that point with a 2-0 second-round victory thanks to Marcy Crouch's pitching and Robyn Yorke's speed.

Marina (23-3) plays Los Alamitos in the quarterfinals Thursday. Foothill finished 19-10, its six-game winning streak ended.

Foothill Coach Joe Gonzalez now is outside looking in, and doesn't see a lot of trouble ahead for the Vikings, who last won one when seniors Yorke and Becky Tackett, who drove in a run in the fifth, were freshmen.

"To win, you have to have solid pitching, solid defense and generate some offense," Gonzalez said. "With Robyn, they have someone who can get on base and do that. Marcy does a good job. I wouldn't be one to say they're not going to go all the way."

Marina excelled in each of those areas against Foothill.

Crouch pitched a two-hitter, and though she struck out three instead of her usual eight per seven innings, the Viking defense didn't make an error. She faced only one batter over the minimum. Foothill's Julie Metzger, who hit a two-out single, stole second base and was the only Knight to get that far; Crouch responded by striking out Michelle Churnock.

Yorke, Marina's instant offense, opened the game with a bunt single and stole second base. Tackett's bunt put Yorke at third, but she was picked off on Faith Fuata's failed squeeze bunt. However, Yorke escaped the rundown and slid headfirst into home.

"I got a little scared," Yorke said. "Every time I've been on third (this season) and we've had the squeeze play on, it has worked.

"I saw the fielders coming closer, not running me to the bag, and I realized I could outrun (the shortstop, Churnock). I slid right between (pitcher Amy Tessman's) legs."

The play produced three throws and Yorke never was run back to third base. Although Foothill has big game experience, the play involved a sophomore shortstop, sophomore catcher, freshman third baseman and junior pitcher.

"That might be inexperience," Gonzalez said. "But (Yorke's) an outstanding player--maybe we pressed knowing that she was that fast."

In other Division I games:

Los Alamitos 2, Santa Maria Righetti 0--Fifth-inning RBI singles by Amanda Peterson and Brandi Hayungs were all Los Alamitos needed to advance to the quarterfinals. Carrie Dolan, questionable with a stiff back sustained in a car accident Friday, pitched a two-hitter for the Griffins (22-3).

Ocean View 3, Newbury Park 1 (11 innings)--Stacy Avalos' two-run triple lifted Ocean View (21-6) to a quarterfinal meeting against Mater Dei. Allison Murphy (RBI) and Jennifer Hatcher had three hits apiece, and Lisa Dacquisto had two. Kathy Ponce (15-2) surrendered five hits and struck out seven. Newbury Park finished 20-8.

Mater Dei 8, Pacifica 0--The bottom of the order keyed a seven-run second inning to lift fourth-seeded Mater Dei (19-3) over Pacifica (17-10).

Marie O'Beck (two RBIs) and Bernadette Vargas each had two hits. Vargas was among five players who had one RBI. Jennifer Clark pitched a two-hitter and struck out seven. Susan Denny had both hits for Pacifica.

El Toro 3, Katella 2 (9 innings)--Freshman Jennifer Hamer's hit-and-run single to left scored Alicia Groshon from first with one out in the bottom of the ninth for El Toro (18-12). Misty Lauby (12-5) struck out 11 and earned the victory for the Chargers, who will play Camarillo, a 3-1 winner over San Marcos, in the quarterfinals.

Melissa Benbow hit a home run in the fifth to tie the score, 2-2, for Katella (12-15).

El Modena 5, Cypress 0--Karen Bartkiewicz had three hits, three runs scored, and an RBI for host El Modena. Alexis Beckman, who also had two hits and an RBI, pitched a four-hitter with 12 strikeouts for the Vanguards (18-4), who will face Simi Valley, a 1-0 winner over Oxnard Rio Mesa, in the quarterfinals.

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