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Canyon Capitalizes on Ocean View Mistakes to Win in 12 Innings

May 28, 1997|ERIC MADDY

Canyon Coach Lance Eddy has been preaching the same message to his softball team all season.

"The last play doesn't matter. All that matters is the next play," Eddy told his team after Canyon's 4-2, 12-inning victory at Ocean View Tuesday in a second-round Division III playoff game.

And the Comanches (20-12-1) believe. It showed in their play. After three Canyon errors allowed the Seahawks (18-9) to score twice in the bottom of the seventh and tie the score at 2-2, Canyon only looked ahead.

A ground ball by Sara Gulla bounce through junior third baseman Amber Kolle's legs to open the Ocean View seventh. Freshman left fielder Lisa Hatter misplayed two singles later in the inning allowing the Seahawks to score both their runs.

Both atoned for their mistakes, however, in what was otherwise a strong defensive effort by Canyon. Hatter threw out the potential winning run at the plate in the eighth, and the defense of Kolle and center fielder Becky Tippets was instrumental as Canyon stayed alive.

Canyon had taken the lead in the third when Chrystal Hewitt walked, stole second and scored on consecutive bunts by Ro Lutz and Hatter. The Comanches increased the lead to 2-0 in the fourth on a home run by Tippets.

After that, the game belonged to Ocean View pitcher Gulla (17-8). She gave up only three hits over the next seven innings. It was a lapse in the Ocean View defense that decided the game in the 12th.

Consecutive one-out singles by Hewitt and Lutz posed the first serious Canyon threat since the fourth. After Hatter grounded out, moving the runners over, Gulla intentionally walked Veronica Lopez. The strategy seemed to work as Kolle hit a ground ball to Seahawk third baseman Cara Vanderhook. But Vanderhook paused to check the runner advancing to third, then overthrew first base, allowing Hewitt and Lutz to score the eventual winning runs.

Lopez (16-5) retired 10 of the first 11 batters she faced, but got Ocean View in order just once after the third inning. Lopez had a season-high 16 strikeouts.

Canyon will play Pacifica in Thursday's quarterfinals.

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