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ANDY HOLZMAN , L.A. DAILY NEWS
Dana Hills' Frankie Tago is safe as second as SImi Valley's Caitlin Berreitter tries to get a handle on the ball during a CIF-Southern Section first-round Division 2 softball game Thursday.

Dana Hills escapes with win over Simi Valley

STAFF WRITER

SIMI VALLEY - Deep down, Simi Valley softball player Caitlin Berreitter knew better.

The statistical and empirical evidence are overwhelming; there is no advantage gleaned by diving headfirst into first base.

Yet with the game on the line, Berreitter tried to gain whatever edge she could to extend the game.

“To be honest, I knew it slows you down, but I tried diving anyway,” Berreitter said.

Dana Hills celebrated a 3-2 victory over Simi Valley on Thursday in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 playoffs, while Berreitter remained frozen on the ground, not willing to accept the end of her high school career.

Simi Valley (17-9) had a chance to win the game with its most consistent hitter coming to the plate. Julia Jackson chopped a two-out single and Gaby De La Cerda followed with a double to put runners at second and third and bring up Berreitter, who had two hits and an RBI.

Dana Hills (16-14) induced Berreitter into a dribbler to second base on a 3-1 pitch.

“You can’t ask for a better game,” Berreitter said. “Sometimes things just don’t go your way, but it came down to the last out.”

Dana Hills, which pushed defending Division 2 champion Mission Viejo to extra innings twice during the regular season, said opponents shouldn’t judge the team on its less-than-stellar overall record.

“Our record is not what we are,” Dana Hills pitcher Serafine Parrish said. “You have to come watch us, because we’re a lot better on the field than we are on paper.

“We came together as a team and fought through seven innings to get that last out.”

Parrish threw a six-hitter with four strikeouts and two walks and received an early boost from her offense.

Frankie Tago hit an RBI single to score Sami Williams in the first inning. Dana Hills tacked on two more runs in the second inning, scoring once on a throwing error and another on an RBI single by Mia Onesto for a 3-1 lead.

“We had a little comfort zone,” Tago said.

Simi Valley had a pair of blunders that loomed large.

The first one in the bottom of the first inning with a runner on second and two outs.

Simi Valley’s Jessica Rodriguez took a 2-2 pitch that was called a ball. The Dana Hills players started running off the field and Rodriguez thought the inning was over too. When she crossed into the dugout, the umpire called her out for leaving the field.

Berreitter could have scored from second since the play was still live, but said she thought she saw the umpire raise his arms to signal an out.

Then came the fifth inning.

De La Cerda was ruled safe on an error, but not realizing the umpire’s call, she turned the corner at first base to return to the dugout.

De La Cerda was then picked off in a rundown to end the inning with Berreitter coming up next.

“It was weird. Just a weird situation,” Berreitter said.


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