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La Reina Needs a Little Extra to Win, 7-3


SAN PEDRO — Amid the weirdness, La Reina High remembered to win.

The top-seeded Regents used a five-run eighth inning to beat Mary Star, 7-3, in a Division V semifinal softball game Tuesday at San Pedro Bobby Sox Field.

Tracey Clark doubled to center field to open the eighth, took third on a single by Kimberly McAfee and scored on an error to break a 2-2 tie.

"I was so nervous," said Clark, a sophomore. "I think I'm still in shock. We're just so happy right now."

The Tri-Valley League-champion Regents (23-4) will play St. Bonaventure (19-10), the third-place finisher in the Tri-Valley, in the division championship game Friday or Saturday at Mayfair Park in Lakewood.

It will be La Reina's seventh appearance in a final game and its first since 1995. The Regents won titles in 1980, '81, '91 and '92. They lost finals in 1982 and 1995.

Clark scored from third on a throwing error by shortstop Sarah Gascon.

The Regents followed with four more runs. A single by Kerri Adams scored pinch-runner Susie Fox with the eventual winning run and Sarah DiJulio delivered a three-run double.

La Reina held the Stars (23-5) to a run in the bottom of the eighth.

The wild finish capped a strange day in San Pedro, where the Regents arrived at a field with oil and power refineries across the street, a waste dump a couple of blocks down the street, and a police shooting range 100 yards away.

The rat-a-tat-tat of gunfire sounded throughout pregame preparations and warmups.

"Their coach was saying how used to it his players were," said Coach Don Hyatt of La Reina. "It was a rather interesting environment, with very strange surroundings. It could have been very distracting."

La Reina took a 1-0 edge in the top of the first when DiJulio drew a one-out walk, stole second and came home on a two-out single by Clark.

Kristen Ward (15-4) gave up the first home run La Reina has surrendered this season, a two-run blast by Liz Sambrano in the bottom of the first.

La Reina tied the score, 2-2, in the fourth when Romero singled to center, was sacrificed to second by Adams and scored on a single by Monica Thompson.

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