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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

City Tells Sylmar to Skip Bye

Softball: Fourth-seeded Spartans unhappy they must break with tradition and play in first round.

May 09, 1998|LAUREN PETERSON | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A weather-related schedule glitch has forced the Sylmar High softball team to give up a first-round bye in the City Section 4-A Division playoffs that begin Tuesday.

As Mid-Valley League champion, Sylmar (12-5) in past years would have received a first-round bye in accordance with City rules.

But when rain kept Kennedy and San Fernando from finishing a five-inning game in the season finale Thursday, it created a problem. North Valley League champion Kennedy (17-5) already was assured a playoff spot, and if San Fernando (15-13, 4-5) had won, the Tigers would have tied for third with Cleveland.

The top three teams in each league are generally granted entrance to the playoffs, and rather than keep San Fernando out of the postseason because of an incomplete schedule, the Tigers were inserted in the bracket as the 12th-seeded team. Additionally, Taft (6-9, 2-8), which qualified as the third-place team from the West Valley League, was paired against Sylmar in the first round.

Sylmar Coach Chuck Miller was upset with the decision.

"I'm not happy. Nothing like this has ever happened," he said. "They're not penalizing San Fernando, but they are penalizing Sylmar. The girls worked real hard to get that bye, and now it's been taken away. It's not fair to my team, that's what it comes down to."

Here's a breakdown of the first-round pairings Tuesday in the 4-A Division (higher seeded team hosts):

4-A DIVISION

No. 1 El Camino Real (17-2), bye; No. 2 San Pedro, bye; No. 3 Kennedy (17-5), bye; No. 4 Sylmar (12-5) vs. No. 13 Taft (6-9); No. 5 Banning vs. No. 12 San Fernando (15-13); No. 6 Carson vs. No. 11 Reseda (6-8); No. 7 Monroe (11-7) vs. No. 10 Cleveland (10-5); No. 8 Granada Hills (11-11-1) vs. No. 9 Chatsworth (7-8).

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