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SOUTHERN SECTION SOFTBALL FINALS

Mowatt Makes Good on Her Last Chance

June 06, 2004|Martin Henderson; Lauren Peterson | From Staff Reports

Finally, Taryne Mowatt has her championship.

The Corona Santiago pitcher whose four-year varsity career has been characterized by shutouts and strikeouts but also by coming up short in the playoffs, delivered Saturday night at Barber Park in Irvine.

The top-seeded Sharks defeated Mountain View League-rival Corona for the Southern Section Division II title, 3-0.

The shutout was the 69th of Mowatt's career, tying her with Lisa Fernandez (Lakewood St. Joseph from 1986 to '89) for third-best in Southern Section history.

"We weren't going to lose," said Mowatt, whose career record is 91-16.

Santiago is 28-3, and Corona finished 23-9.

Mowatt (24-3) was perfect in six innings but gave up two hits in the third. She struck out five in the fourth game between the teams. Santiago won three of them.

She led off the game with a single against Brittney Bargar (22-9), and pinch-runner Kelli Hawkins scored after a walk and two hits, the last a single to left by Crystal Gutierrez.

The lead became 3-0 in the second thanks to two Corona errors, one allowing Kadie Baldwin to get on base, the other allowing her to score, and an RBI single by Tiffany Wright.

Bargar, who beat Santiago the last week of the regular season, gave up six hits over the first three innings but retired the final 12 batters of the game. She had nine strikeouts.

-- Martin Henderson

DIVISION IV

Taylor Schlopy (19-1) pitched a three-hitter with five strikeouts and had two hits, but the Oaks Christian freshman right-hander used her feet as much as anything to set the tone for a 7-1 victory over Barstow at Barber Park.

Schlopy singled to right field to open the game, then stole second base, third and home to score Oaks Christian's first run and send the top-seeded and defending champion Lions on their way to their second consecutive title.

Oaks Christian (34-1), which boasts a record of 66-3 over the last two years, ended the season with a 14-game winning streak since its only loss, a 4-1 loss to Westlake Village Westlake, on April 24.

Oaks Christian put on an impressive display of base-running with five steals, including four by Schlopy, and the Lions showed off plenty of firepower with 10 hits.

Barstow (20-7), which was making its first appearance in a championship game, got a two-out double in the second by Laura Mitchell and base hits from Rosa Sanchez and Mortisha Givens.

Senior right-hander Amy Thomas (19-5) returned to the pitching circle after sitting out Barstow's 2-1 semifinal victory over Rancho Santa Margarita Tesoro because of a foot injury sustained in a car accident. She finished with three strikeouts.

DIVISION VI

Junior right-hander Jessica Stewart (20-4-1) pitched a four-hitter with 10 strikeouts and Sierra Madre Alverno (21-4-1) took full advantage of a missed tag in a three-run fourth inning to defeat San Juan Capistrano Saddleback Valley Christian, 3-0, at Barber Park.

Stewart twisted out of the reach of Saddleback Valley Christian shortstop Heather Aldridge while advancing from second base to third on Erica Ramirez's two-out ground ball to load the bases.

Stewart scored the second-seeded Jaguars' first run off right-hander Katie Finley (20-6) when Monique Escamilla singled down the right-field line.

The Jaguars got two more runs on a single up the middle by Paula Morreale and a fielding error.

-- Lauren Peterson

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