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Floyd phenomenal against Spartans in final inning

Softball: San Marino's standout delivers in circle at plate in 3-2 win over La Cañada Friday.

March 23, 2012|By Andrew Shortall

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Michelle Floyd turned on a pitch and sent it soaring over the left-field fence, but it was well foul to the disappointment of the San Marino High softball team.

On the very next pitch, Floyd sent a screaming line drive just over the center-field fence.

"All I could think was I wanted to hit that ball so bad," Floyd said. "I wanted that hit, I wanted that run."

It was good for two runs and a 3-2 win over La Cañada as Taryn Converse scored on the homer after leading the inning off with a walk.

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Floyd made the lead stand as she came back out in the circle and retired the side in order to snap the Spartans' 16-game winning streak in the Rio Hondo League in La Cañada's third annual Strike Out Cancer fundraiser game, which benefits the American Cancer Society.

"[The Spartans] are the defending [league and CIF Southern Section Division V] champions and they're still the team to beat," San Marino Coach Nick Schepperle said. "We played a great game and we deserved to win today. …Tonight is our night, tonight the girls played a great game."

La Cañada Coach KC Mathews, who got a complete game three-hitter from Lauren Cox (15 strikeouts), wasn't surprised by the close game.

"We knew that's a good team over there," said Mathews, whose team is ranked No. 1 in the division. "For three years now, it's been a one-run, two-run game. This isn't anything different than what we expected.

"They got a good one in the circle and we got a good one in the circle. If you left disappointed in the pitching matchup I think there's something wrong with you."

The Titans (8-4-1, 3-0 in league), who had lost their last three games to La Cañada, were the last team to defeat the Spartans (6-1, 1-1) in league in 2010, 2-0, as Floyd threw the shutout as a freshman.

"This is really one of the best feelings ever," Floyd said. "This is ... our biggest rival in league and our hated team. We are calling this game our biggest game of the season."

Floyd threw another complete game Friday that included six hits, a walk and nine strikeouts for the Titans, who got a huge homer from Alexis Watanabe (two for three) on the second pitch of the game for a 1-0 advantage.

La Cañada used small ball to scratch out its two runs with one coming in the bottom of the second and third innings.

Michelle Grochow tied the game for the Spartans in the second when she drove home Annie Monroe, who singled, advanced to second on a San Marino error and stole third base.

Catherine Horner (two for three with a stolen base) gave La Cañada a 2-1 edge in the third when she doubled home Katy Lee, who singled and stole second.

The Spartans appeared to have taken a 3-1 lead in the fifth, which started with a lead-off walk from Brenna Gay, when Jessica Ogden slapped down a bunt that was fielded and thrown into right field by San Marino's catcher to score Gay and put Ogden at second.

The umpires ruled it a dead ball, calling Ogden out and sending Gay back to first as the throw went off her as she was running to first in fair territory.

"[The umpires] said the runner ran inside the line," Mathews said. "We contended the fielder took the [outside bag at first] forcing our batter to go to the inside — they disagreed."

andrew.shortall@latimes.com

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