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Extra Effort Gives Quartz Hill a Title

Girls' softball: Sara Moore delivers game-winning hit in eighth inning of High Desert Classic championship.


LANCASTER — On the Internet or on the softball field, Sara Moore gets her share of hits.

The Quartz Hill High shortstop, who manages a popular softball web site, delivered a two-out, run-scoring single in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Rebels a 7-6 victory over Harvard-Westlake on Monday night in the Division I championship game of the High Desert Classic.

"Oooh, it felt so good," said Moore, who capped a two-run rally by sending a shot to right field that drove in Jamie Booth.

Quartz Hill (9-4) won its third consecutive High Desert championship. Burbank (10-2), which defeated LaSalle, 2-1, captured the Division II title.

Quartz Hill's victory was most improbable.

The Rebels trailed, 5-3, in the sixth when Sayoko Rutledge and Monica Tantlinger both scored on a dropped third strike with two outs.

"That was a called play," Rebel co-Coach Coy Ray deadpanned. "Didn't you see the signal?"

All signals pointed to a victory for Harvard-Westlake (9-2) after Kim Koral beat out an infield single to score Abby Krall for a 6-5 Wolverine lead in the eighth.

Right-hander Anna Russell (8-1) never retired the heavy-hitting Rebels in order, but struck out 10 and kept her opponents off balance with an array of off-speed pitches.

Until the eighth.

Quartz Hill tied it on a two-out, two-strike single by Olaya Salazar that scored Rutledge. Moore followed with the game-winner, also with two strikes.

Moore, Rutledge, Amber Hilblom, Jen Curtier and Nycole Brand each had two hits for Quartz Hill.

Elena Ferrero had two hits for Harvard-Westlake. Ronnie Brooks and Lisa Feigenbaum had two RBIs.

The evening game, played in the bitter Lancaster cold, featured seven errors, 10 walks and six unearned runs.

Pitcher Mandi Ricker (8-2) of Quartz Hill knew the game was ugly.

"This game wasn't pretty," said Ricker, a former Miss Quartz Hill and Miss Antelope Valley who struck out four and allowed seven hits. "But it was effective, and that's all that counts."

In other tournament games:

Highland 3, Valencia 2--Robyn Hauptman had two hits and two RBIs, including a run-scoring single in the sixth, for Highland (7-5) in the third-place game.

Nichole Rawson (6-5) threw a four-hitter for the Bulldogs.

Crescenta Valley 8, Lancaster 0--Meredith Cervenka (11-1) pitched a one-hitter for the Falcons, who won the fifth-place game.

Burbank 2, LaSalle 1--Emily Brower threw a two-hitter and struck out 16 and Tiffany Rhoads had two hits for the Bulldogs in the Division II final.

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