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SEMIFINAL

Crescenta Valley Throws It Away

May 31, 2000|MITCH POLIN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

GLENDALE — In a tight pitching duel, it figured to boil down to a mistake.

Unfortunately for Crescenta Valley High, the Falcons stumbled first.

Kristi DeVries of Corona scored on a throwing error with two out in the seventh inning for a 1-0 victory over Crescenta Valley on Tuesday in a Southern Section Division II softball semifinal at Glendale Sports Complex.

DeVries (29-2), a senior who has signed with Ohio State, struck out the last two Crescenta Valley batters in a one-two-three bottom of the seventh.

She pitched a one-hitter, faced one batter more than the minimum of 21 and finished with 14 strikeouts.

DeVries, who entered the game with a 0.07 earned-run average, has allowed two earned runs in 228 innings.

"She's an awesome pitcher," pitcher Meredith Cervenka of Crescenta Valley said. "I played against her in travel ball and I knew she was a great pitcher. We just couldn't hit her."

The second-seeded Falcons (29-2) got their only baserunner when Mel McCauley blooped a single to left field with one out in the second.

But it was scoreless through six innings and Coach Jo Ann Byrd of Corona said her team was prepared for an extra-inning game.

"I seriously thought it would go 16 or 17 innings because both pitchers were on their game," Byrd said.

That was until Corona (29-3) put runners on first and second against Cervenka with two out in the seventh and designated hitter Tara Varela singled to right.

Right-fielder Ally Webber of the Falcons tried to throw out Varela at first but the ball sailed away and DeVries scored.

It made for a disappointing ending to Crescenta Valley's best season since it won the 3-A Division title in 1986.

Cervenka allowed a run for the first time in the playoffs and the Falcons had a 19-game winning streak snapped.

Coach Dan Berry of Crescenta Valley attempted to accent the positive.

"Our kids played a good game," he said. "To end the year 29-2 says something about the program."

But it was difficult to console Cervenka (28-2), who saw her junior season end despite allowing only one earned run this season.

"They were hitting off me the whole game and I know I didn't pitch my best," she said.

Corona, which has suffered all three of its losses to Cerritos, earned a rematch with the top-seeded Dons in the championship game Friday at Mayfair Park in Lakewood.

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