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Easy win in quarters

Softball: Savanna is no match for La Cañada, which earns 5-0 victory in CIF quarterfinal game at home.

June 03, 2010|Emin Avakian | Special to the Valley Sun

Timely hitting and dominant pitching have taken the La Cañada softball team far into the CIF Southern Section Division V playoffs this season.

Similarly to what they've done all season and throughout the playoffs, Spartans pitchers Lauren Cox and Lauren O'Leary combined to pitch a gem Thursday afternoon, allowing just two hits in a convincing 5-0 victory over visiting Savanna.

Two-hit shutouts are the trend for the Spartans this postseason, as the squad also posted a two-hit win against Sierra Vista earlier.

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La Cañada Coach KC Mathews is not surprised.

"They've been doing this for two years — O'Leary for three," Mathews said.

With great pitching comes the need for minimal offense, and the Spartans offered that — and then some — in the second and third innings.

Megan Siepler got things started offensively with a two-run home run in the second that scored Megan Martin. Martin was at second base thanks to a sacrifice bunt by Selina Mohr, as the Spartans have been adept at generating runs this season.

Siepler was back at it in the next inning, scorching a double that allowed Catherine Horner and Mohr to come around. Cox concluded the scoring with a single, plating Siepler.

"It's welcoming to see her working hard and swinging again," Mathews said of Siepler.

"[Vanessa Meza] missed her spot, and good hitters hit mistakes," Savanna Coach Mike Willey said of the home-run ball.

Meza gave up a single and walked the next batter, putting her in another jam. However, she got out of it, but only by a few inches, as Anna Edwards' fly ball took Savanna's left fielder all the way to the warning track.

On the other side, the Rebels (26-4) couldn't get anything going offensively, despite solid pitching from the fourth inning on that kept the game within striking distance.

A double by Casey Snooks in the fourth inning was as much damage as their bats could muster.

And blame it on O'Leary and Cox, who combined to strike out nine Rebels and issued no walks.

"She has more movement on her pitches, and I come in with a whole different pitching style," Cox said of the difference between the two hurlers.

Despite the result, Meza pitched a good game, with the home run being her sole mistake. Other than that, the other three runs could have easily been avoided if not for an error.

With two out and Horner on second after a sacrifice bunt by Martin, Mohr hit a sharp grounder that was mishandled by the fielder. She got the throw off in time to nail Mohr, but the first baseman bobbled the ball.

What would have been the third out in the inning was now the hot bat of Siepler at the plate, and she proved the error costly.

The only hit for the Spartans thereafter was a double by leadoff batter Edwards in the sixth.

"The pitching was good for both teams," Willey said. "I wish we got the calls that we got later in the game earlier, but what can you do?"

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