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La Cañada High softball does most of its damage early in win over Temple City

Softball: Spartans¿ 11 hits, nine runs enough to outlast Rams¿ push in final two innings for 9-5 win Tuesday.

March 26, 2013|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com

LA CAÑADA — When the La Cañada High softball team is at its best, it looks like it did in the first five innings of Tuesday's first-place Rio Hondo League showdown with Temple City.

A complete package of hitting, pitching and defense staked the Spartans to a seven-run advantage through five frames that was enough insurance to outlast a late Rams rally for a 9-5 win.

The Rams loaded the bases and cut their deficit to four in both of the final two innings, but a final big blow for La Cañada — a two-run double from Olivia Lam in the bottom of the sixth — kept the Rams at arm's length in the Spartans’ 9-5 win at La Cañada High.

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The victory gives the Spartans sole possession of first place in league and Rio Hondo’s only undefeated record at 3-0, 7-1 overall. There’s no let up for La Cañada, as it will travel to San Marino Thursday at 3:30 p.m. to wrap up the first round of league.

“It doesn’t matter until round three of league,” La Cañada Coach KC Mathews said of being in first place. “Being in first in the first round means nothing; it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish. We’ve got San Marino Thursday, we’ll be ready and we know they’ll be ready.”

Facing a 7-0 deficit, Temple City's offense came to life in the sixth and seventh — innings in which it had six of its nine hits and all of its runs — after La Cañada, which is ranked No. 6 in CIF Southern Section Division IV, made a number of substitutions.

A pitching change to start the sixth ended the day of Spartans starter Maddy MacKenzie, who allowed just seven baserunners (three hits, three walks, one error) through five shutout innings.

The Rams (7-6, 2-1 in league) loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth after consecutive singles from Sierra Ringer and Sara Kubo and a walk. Celina Ornelas drove in Temple City's first run with one out and Jennifer Pegg brought it within 7-3 with a two run batted in single.

La Cañada reliever Selina Mohr left the bases loaded and kept her team up four by ending the inning with consecutive strikeouts. Lam built on the momentum and added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth when she doubled to left-center field.

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