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Siepler makes Katella pay

Softball: She goes two for three with four RBI to lead La Cañada to a, 8-1, quarterfinal victory over Katella.

May 27, 2011|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
(Raul Roa Staff Photographer )

Someone other than Anna Edwards was going to have to come through for the La Cañada High softball team.

Katella gave the Spartans' slugger next to nothing to hit, walking Edwards three out of four times in the CIF Southern Section Division V quarterfinal game Thursday at La Cañada.

Plenty of Spartans, primarily Megan Siepler, answered the call. Siepler went two for three with two doubles and four runs batted in against the Knights, pacing top-seeded La Cañada to an 8-1 victory.

It was a turnaround game for Siepler, after going one for eight in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

"It's nice to have her back swinging the bat that way," La Cañada Coach KC Matthews said. "That's the Megan Siepler that we all know and love."

Katella (20-8) of Anaheim got on the board quickly with a run in the first inning. Erika Garcia started the Knights one-out rally by reaching first base on an error committed by the La Cañada third baseman. Melissa Zuniga doubled to put runners at second and third and Melissa Biddle hit a single that landed just over the heads of Thomspon and Edwards at shortstop, scoring Garcia to give the Knights a 1-0 lead.

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Spartans starting pitcher Lauren O'Leary came right back unfazed, striking out the next two batters to keep the damage from escalating. It's that kind of composure that has epitomized O'Leary's entire high school career.

"You never want to show a crack in your armor, you always want to stay the same," said O'Leary, explaining why she's always calm on the mound.

She pitched another complete game, giving six hits, no walks and striking out 10.

Thursday was the first time the Spartans (24-3) have trailed in the playoffs. But they weren't behind long, as La Cañada put up five runs in the second inning. The bottom of the order started the outburst when Shirley Drange — the Spartans' No. 7 hitter — started the inning with a walk. Selina Mohr followed with a slap-hit single that went underneath the glove of Katella's third baseman. La Cañada No. 9 hitter, Jessica Ogden, than laid down a sacrifice bunt, putting runners on second and third with one out.

The Knights pitched around Edwards to get to Kelsey Drange, who drove in her sister, Shirley, with a single that landed perfectly between the Katella centerfielder and shortstop.

"Whenever they walk Anna I want to score her," Kelsey said. "If they're not going to come at her they're going to come at me."

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