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PREP SOFTBALL / DIVISION II

Warriors Steal Win Over Gahr

May 26, 1999|PAUL McLEOD | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Erica Greenberg played a hunch into the only run the Woodbridge softball team needed Tuesday.

Her steal of third base in the fourth inning turned out to be the key play in the Warriors' 1-0 victory over visiting Cerritos Gahr in the second round of the Southern Section Division II playoffs.

Woodbridge (21-9) will play Marina in a quarterfinal Thursday.

Pitcher Tracy Alcaraz (21-7) gave up three Gahr hits, while pitching out of jams in the second, third, fifth and sixth innings. Gahr (20-8-1) stranded eight runners.

Woodbridge managed only two hits off losing pitcher Jennifer Markovitz (17-6-1), but benefited from a two-out error by Gahr shortstop Sandy Smith to push across an unearned run in the fourth inning.

Greenberg led off with a bloop hit that dropped onto the fringe of the outfield grass between Smith and left-fielder Amanda Santos. Greenberg took a wide turn at first base and hesitated, but when the ball caught the edge of the grass it kicked several feet to the right of Santos. Santos recovered quickly and got the ball to second base, but Greenberg beat the throw.

Markovitz's next pitch to Breanne Cooley short-hopped Gahr catcher Stephanie Pascicci. Greenberg took off for third base and was called safe at the bag, sliding head-first under the tag of Yajaira Marquez on the throw from home plate.

"Something told me that [Markovitz] was going to have a passed ball, so I just took off on the pitch," Greenberg said. "On the throw I saw the ball and where the glove was and I slid around it."

Cooley popped up to first base, but Smith couldn't come up with a ground ball by Kayla Creamer and Greenberg scored.

"We like to push the advantage," Woodbridge Coach Alan Dugard said. "If they play with the ball at all we'll run."

The Gladiators got a runner to third base in the fifth inning on a one-out triple by Denise Perez, but failed to score when Alcaraz got Markovitz to strike out looking and Smith lined out to center field.

They had their biggest threat an inning later. Gahr loaded the bases with two outs thanks to a pair of Woodbridge errors and a single to shallow right field by Jennifer Willig. But pinch hitter Salina Weaver grounded out to first base.

In other Division II games:

Kennedy 5, Hueneme 0--Crystal Eubanks (9-6) went the distance and struck out 12 for visiting Kennedy (18-9). Michelle Turner broke open a one-run game with a grand slam in the seventh inning for Kennedy, which will play Corona in Thursday's quarterfinals.

Marina 3, Manhattan Beach Mira Costa 0--Sophomore Carrie Hagen scored from third off a single by senior left fielder Brooke Boyer in the first inning to start off the scoring for Marina (21-9). Boyer went two for two with an RBI. The Vikings will play Woodbridge.

Moreno Valley 2, El Dorado 1 (8)--El Dorado (22-4) forced extra innings on an RBI single by Kristi Durant but became the section's third top-seeded team to lose as Moreno Valley scored in the bottom of the eighth.

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