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La Cañada High softball defeats Nipomo, 1-0, in CIF semifinals

Softball: La Cañada returns to CIF Southern Section Division V championship for second year in a row, staging rematch with Beaumont.

May 29, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
(Tim Berger/Staff…)

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — There was plenty of drama in the La Cañada High softball team's CIF Southern Section Division V victory, but little to no celebration from the victorious Spartans.

La Cañada ensured a return to the Division V title game for the second year in a row with its most important and perhaps its most dramatic win of the year over visiting Nipomo, 1-0, but it was clear the Spartans didn't have any sense of a mission accomplished.

"We're not done, so we're not going to have this big grand celebration with all the theatrics now," said La Cañada pitcher Lauren Cox, who earned the shutout victory with 13 strikeouts, including striking out the side in the seventh with the last two coming with a pair of runners on board. "We want to win [the championship], so if we do, that's what we're going to do. This is a huge game, obviously getting us into the finals, but I think it was more of just a relief at first and then go shake the other team's hands."

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It will be a rematch in the Division V title game, as Beaumont also advanced to the championship over Barstow, 7-1. The game is set for Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine. La Cañada (25-4-1) won last year’s crown with a 1-0 win over Beaumont (25-4).

"I don't care who we play, I am just happy we're there and we're going to hold up our end of the bargain," said La Cañada Coach KC Mathews, who got the game-winning hit on a Kelsey Drange single to score Katy Lee in the bottom of the sixth inning. "I am just so happy for the girls. I am just happy to see their hard work has been fulfilled now.

"I told them our goal was not to get here, our goal was to finish. I think that's why you saw them happy, but I guess you could say they acted like they've been there before. ...They want to get this done."

La Cañada struggled all day against Nipomo pitcher Courtney Cuzick, who struck out six and took a no-hitter into the bottom of the fifth until Jessica Ogden lined a lead-off single into center field.

But it was an inning later when the game was ultimately decided, as the Spartans broke through in the bottom of the sixth with three straight hits — despite all three being close to flyouts.

Lee got it started when she sliced a one-out double that landed just behind the Titans third baseman and inside the third-base line before it bounced out of play to put Lee at second.

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