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No. 1 Foothill Rolls Past El Toro


The game should have been close. It should have been reminiscent of their last playoff meeting, a 1992 semifinal decided by a bang-bang play at home in the last inning. It should have kept fans on the edge of their seats for seven innings or more. It didn't.

Foothill, seeded No. 1 in the Southern Section Division I softball playoffs, scored four runs in the second inning to take away any suspense in its 8-0 victory over El Toro on Tuesday.

The second-round victory moved Foothill (27-2-1) into the quarterfinals, where it will play at Los Alamitos (22-5) on Thursday.

Foothill sophomore Lauren Schwendimann (12-1) gave up three hits, walked one and struck out four. This came on the heels of her no-hitter against Lakewood.

El Toro (24-8-1) had been ranked fifth in the section's top 10 poll until losing to Irvine the final week of the season. But with victories over some of the section's top teams, the Chargers seemed a prime choice to provide Foothill with its stiffest challenge in the Region I bracket. Instead, there was little challenge at all.

"The further along we go in the playoffs, you have to expect teams to be good, but we have to trust that we're going to be better," said sophomore shortstop Jaime Clark, who had three runs batted in--two in the second inning on an infield single up the middle on which Lauren Bauer scored from second base.

Foothill scored one run in the first inning, four in the second, one in the fifth and two in the sixth. The four second-inning runs were unearned--El Toro committed three errors to complement Foothill's three hits--but the rest of the runs off Suzanne Guy (19-7) were earned.

El Toro Coach Jim Daugherty said he couldn't remember the last time one of his teams committed three errors in an inning.

"I know these things can happen--jitters, whatever," Daugherty said. "[We] did a lot of uncharacteristic things. That's what Foothill can do to you--get into your mind."

Bauer was hit by a fastball leading off the first inning, stole second, took third on a sacrifice and scored on Clark's sacrifice to right field.

In the fifth, Clark tripled and scored on a wild pitch. In the sixth, Rachel Kitchens walked, Bauer tripled and Rosie Gustavson's line single to left scored Bauer. Those were the legitimate runs.

Before that was the second inning. Two infield singles, two sacrifice bunts, one single into center field and three errors accounted for four runs and a 5-0 lead.

In other Division I games:

Mater Dei 10, West Covina 0--Marissa Young (10-2) allowed two hits through six innings before giving way to Tia Bollinger as Mater Dei (27-5) advanced to play Arcadia (17-11). They combined on a three-hitter.

Courtney Ryan, who had two hits, led the Monarchs with a bases-loaded triple in the first inning.

Los Alamitos 1, Marina 0 (8)--Kristin Farber scored on Sara Kahler's two-out single in the top of the eighth inning as Los Alamitos (22-5) and Mandy Rockwell (12-4) outdueled Marina (17-10-1) and Heather Hagen (13-4).

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