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Pacifica Beats La Mirada Again to Win Softball Title

June 06, 2004|Martin Henderson

A controversial fair-ball call opened the door for Garden Grove Pacifica to successfully defend its Southern Section Division III softball title Saturday at Barber Park in Irvine.

The top-seeded Mariners, down to their last seven outs, scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to beat third-seeded La Mirada, 4-1, for the second year in a row. The Mariners trailed by three runs in last year's title game when they scored nine in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Pacifica (31-2), ranked No. 1 in the Southland and the state, and No. 3 in the nation, at the end of the regular season, trailed by a run going into the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs and runners at first and second on an error and fielder's choice, Noelle Micka's line drive down the third-base line was ruled by home plate umpire Ray Triplett to have glanced off the glove of third baseman Simone Holland. There was no doubt it was off Holland's glove, but Coach Rich Trujillo of La Mirada (28-5) argued to no avail that Holland's glove and the ball were in foul territory.

Crystal Vieyra then hit a three-run homer over the right-field fence, which was enough to power the Mariners to their fifth championship. It was Vieyra's fourth homer of the season, her third in the playoffs.

Pacifica's Brittany Weil (26-2) pitched a two-hitter and struck out nine. Alyssa Gutierrez (19-4) took the loss. She allowed six hits and struck out four.

-- Martin Henderson

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