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SOUTHERN SECTION SOFTBALL FINALS

Big Inning Enough for Village Christian

June 07, 2003|Martin Henderson | Times Staff Writer

Chuck Ellis told his Pasadena Poly softball players that "one inning does not a season make," but the inning in question certainly made Sun Valley Village Christian's.

Taking advantage of four errors in the sixth inning, top-seeded Village Christian pushed across four unearned runs and defeated second-seeded Pasadena Poly, 4-2, to win the Southern Section Division V championship Friday at Irvine Barber Park.

Village Christian (22-6) fell behind against Emily Nelson (27-3), who had thrown 21 shutouts and looked as if she was going to get No. 22. Nelson's run-scoring single in the third inning staked the Panthers (27-3) to a 1-0 lead.

"There was a reputation that if [Poly's] defense starts to crack, it can be taken advantage of," said Crusader Coach Jim Stone. "Being aggressive is what we do."

Nelson finished with a four-hitter and seven strikeouts. Junior Lauren Nydam (12-1) survived a minor rally in the seventh for Village Christian, getting her 13th strikeout with the tying run at first base. She allowed five hits.

Riverside Christian 2, Sierra Madre Alverno 1 -- Ashley Collinwood said she was running on adrenaline, that she didn't hear a word. Collinwood scored from second base on an infield hit to give the second-seeded Cougars (22-1) their first title.

"I didn't hear anything, but in my mind, I said, 'I've got to score on this,' " said Collinwood, who had two of her team's four hits, and scored both runs.

The go-ahead run came after two were out in the top of the sixth inning. Collinwood lined a single off losing pitcher Jessica Stewart (21-4) and took second on a wild pitch. Collinwood scored when Megan Burch grounded to shortstop and beat the throw for an infield single.

That was the run that Karin Erickson (14-0) needed to close out the game. Erickson allowed three hits and ended the game with her seventh strikeout.

Alverno finishes 21-4-1.

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