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PLAYOFF ROUNDUP

Valencia Topples Simi Valley, 3-2, in 17-Inning Survival Test

May 20, 2000|MITCH POLIN

After playing for nearly four hours, second baseman Meredith Garcia of Valencia High made a diving catch on an infield blooper to secure a 3-2, 17-inning victory over Simi Valley in a Southern Section Division II first-round softball playoff Friday at Rancho Santa Susana Park in Simi Valley.

"We survived," Coach Donna Lee of Valencia said. "That's all it came down to."

Valencia (19-9) finished with 16 hits against highly regarded freshman Mandy Kilionski (8-3).

The Vikings had baserunners in 11 of the 17 innings. But they couldn't finish off the Pioneers until Ashley Herrera singled to right field in the top of the 17th to score pinch-runner Jill Fehrman from second.

It was the first hit in seven at-bats for Herrera.

The single helped put an end to the longest game ever for Valencia, which is in its fifth year of varsity competition. It was the longest playoff game ever for Simi Valley (18-9).

It also marks the first time Valencia has reached the second round of the playoffs.

"It's just a huge win for our program," Lee said. "In many people's eyes the Marmonte League is better than the Foothill League. So this means a lot to us and our league."

Freshman pitcher Tori Rocco (9-2) wasn't dominating, finishing with only two strikeouts, but scattered seven hits to go the distance for the Vikings.

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