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San Pedro Is Winner in City's Longest Final

Prep softball: Tam pitches all 20 innings to get 1-0 victory as error paves way for run.

May 25, 2000|MITCH POLIN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

In a game that stretched to a second day, in part, because of brilliant defensive plays, perhaps it was inevitable.

The City Section softball championship came down to one simple but costly mistake.

Third baseman Adrienne Alo of Carson High bobbled a ground ball with two out in the bottom of the 20th inning, allowing Marissa Gonzalez to score the winning run in San Pedro's 1-0 victory Wednesday at South Gate Park.

The run by Gonzalez put an end to the longest City final ever and gave San Pedro (23-5-1) its second title in three years.

Gonzalez led off the bottom of the 20th with a single and had moved to third on two-out, back-to-back walks issued by pitcher Jessica Ruiz.

Wynter Turner then hit a ground ball to Alo and just beat the throw to first, ending the game.

"The base seemed like it was 15 miles away," Turner said. "I didn't know what was going on until I saw our first base coach jumping up and down."

The team's played Wednesday after the game had been suspended because of darkness with the score, 0-0, after 16 innings Tuesday at UCLA.

Natalie Tam (22-4) pitched all 20 innings to earn the victory. On Wednesday, she endured a sore shoulder and back that resulted from Tuesday's outing.

"I was a little sore from yesterday, but I felt I would be ready," Tam said. "With the adrenaline and everyone cheering us on, I just wanted to go out and play."

Tam gave up 10 hits and finished with 10 strikeouts.

Carson Coach Rosie Martinez, who watched the Colts (25-8) lose in the final for the second year in a row, said the atmosphere Wednesday was different from the previous day's at UCLA.

"We played the first seven innings and everyone seemed to settle in," Martinez said. "But today it was a little more intense from the start."

San Pedro Coach Tony Dobra said it was an unusual feeling for all of the participants.

"It felt like the Twilight Zone," he said. "It was a new day and a different location, but we had the same teams and coaches."

San Pedro defeated Granada Hills, Sylmar and Granada Hills Kennedy to reach a final that Dobra said was one of the strangest games in his 20-year coaching career.

But he was happy with the way it ended.

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