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Southern Section Softball Finals

June 06, 2003

At Barber Park, Irvine

DIVISION I

Santa Ana Foothill (20-12) vs. Irvine Woodbridge (26-8), 7:30 p.m., Saturday

These Sea View League co-champions split games this season. Though both are unseeded, Foothill finished the regular season ranked No. 24 in the Southland by The Times and Woodbridge was No. 18. Center fielder Caitlin Lowe leads Foothill, which is seeking its third title after beating top-seeded and No. 4 Santa Ana Mater Dei, 7-0, and No. 16 Camarillo, 11-6, in consecutive games. Woodbridge, which is playing on its home field and seeking its fifth title, has won three of its four playoff games in extra innings, including a nine-inning, 2-1 victory over No. 10 Fullerton Rosary in the semifinals.

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DIVISION II

Whittier California (27-5-1) vs. Norco (22-8), 10 a.m., Saturday

A pitching duel is expected between these unseeded opponents. Jennifer Davis (26-5) has thrown shutouts in 15 of her last 16 games and lowered her earned-run average to 0.20 for No. 8 California. Norco, the third-place team from the Mountain View League, is riding the arm of Daniela Urincho (20-6), who allowed only one run in the last nine games and has beaten four league champions in the playoffs, including second-seeded Chino Don Lugo and third-seeded Anaheim Canyon.

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DIVISION III

Garden Grove Pacifica (30-2) vs. La Mirada (27-6), 1 p.m., Saturday

Top-seeded Pacifica is playing in its fifth championship game since 1997, while La Mirada is making its first appearance since winning its only title in 1991. Pacifica has been scored upon in only four games; sophomore pitcher Brittany Weil is 28-2 with a 0.20 ERA. Jodie Legaspi and Jamie Waldecker lead Pacifica's offense, but La Mirada has outscored opponents, 4-1, and that has been more than enough to benefit sophomore pitcher Alyssa Gutierrez (16-3, 0.47 ERA).

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DIVISION IV

Westlake Village Oaks Christian (31-2) vs. Mission Hills Alemany (15-8), 4:30 p.m., Saturday

On paper, this is the biggest mismatch in the finals. Top-seeded Oaks Christian has won 25 in a row, including a 3-1 victory over Division III finalist La Mirada. Pitcher Ashlee Freeman (21-1) has a 0.09 ERA, having allowed only two earned runs this season, and Amber Peterson, who homered in a 1-0 semifinal win over Goleta Dos Pueblos, powers the offense. Alemany came into the playoffs only three games over .500, but now has a 10-game winning streak. The Indians avenged a 9-0 loss with a 7-4 victory in the second round against third-seeded Ventura Buena.

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DIVISION V

Sun Valley Village Christian (21-6) vs. Pasadena Poly (27-2), 7:30 p.m., today

Top-seeded Village Christian is making its first title-game appearance. It has victories over Division I opponents Newhall Hart and Westlake Village Westlake, and pitcher Lauren Nydam (11-1) has dominated small-school opponents in the playoffs. Second-seeded Poly's only other championship game was a losing effort in 1982, but that team didn't have Emily Nelson (27-2), who has thrown 21 shutouts and has allowed more than two runs only twice.

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DIVISION VI

Sierra Madre Alverno (21-3-1) vs. Riverside Christian (21-1), 5 p.m., today

Unseeded Alverno needed 11 innings in the semifinals to beat top-seeded Saddleback Valley Christian, 2-1, and send the Jaguars into a title game for the first time since winning in 1981. They are led by sophomore Jessica Stewart, who allowed only eight hits in four playoff games. Second-seeded Riverside Christian, in its first title game, is powered by junior pitcher Karin Erickson (13-0). The Cougars came from behind to win its semifinal, scoring in the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings to beat Murrieta Calvary Chapel, 3-2.

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