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Bad ending for Aliso Niguel as Oaks Christian rallies in 7th

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

ALISO VIEJO – After shutting down Oaks Christian of Westlake Village through six innings, Aliso Niguel was just three outs away from a berth in the CIF-SS Division 2 softball semifinals.

Then the Wolverines got twinned.

The third-seeded Lions got a tying one-run double from Sarah Ketring and the go-ahead two-run double from Kayla Ketring to score three runs in the seventh and defeat Aliso Niguel, 3-2, in a Division 2 quarterfinal at Aliso Niguel High.

“Not a lot of people get to play with their twin sister,” Kayla said. “So it’s pretty cool that we twinned them. We like to call that being twinned. It’s just fun.”

Oaks Christian (30-1-1) now draws No. 2 seed Mission Viejo in a semifinal game Tuesday at Mission Viejo.

“I think our girls are up for the challenge,” Oaks Christian coach Peter Ackermann said. “You got to get through somebody if you want to make the finals.”

After leaving runners in scoring position in the first and third innings, Aliso Niguel (21-10) broke through in the fourth. Danielle Mandichak drew a lead off walk and scored on Megan Thorp’s single for the 1-0 lead.

It looked like that run would be all starting pitcher Thorp needed as she allowed only two hits and threw four strikeouts going into the seventh.

“She’s been pitching great,” Aliso Niguel coach Alan Caouette said. “She deserved to finish this game. I wish it would have worked out better.”

In the top of the seventh, Destiny Diaz led off with a walk. Sarah Ketring followed up with the RBI double to tie the scrore, 1-1.

The No. 8, 9 and 1 hitters, Bobbi Jo Dallas, Kaitlin Simmonsgaard and Maya Brady, reached base with an error, single and fielder’s choice to load the bases with two outs.

“We’re fortunate we hit throughout the lineup,” Ackermann said. “When any part of the lineup can come up and start a rally and get back to the top, that really helps.”

Kayla Ketring sent her two-run double to left center field to put the Lions ahead, 3-1.

Aliso Niguel put together a rally in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases on an error, walk and hit batter with no outs.

Mandichak hit a RBI single through the right side of the infield to score Haeley Tran, but Gen Brittingham was thrown out at the plate.

“She was running to score. It’s a bang-bang play,” Caouette said. “It’s one out. Earlier (the fielder) threw it over the catcher’s head. This one, she made a perfect throw and got her.”


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