Danica Bishop, who is headed for Nebraska next year, fires a pitch during Thursday's game with Aliso Niguel. Bishop was the winning pitcher.

Woodbridge wins behind strong effort by Bishop


ALISO VIEJO – Woodbridge pitcher Danica Bishop settled down after a rocky start, helping the Warriors defeat Aliso Niguel, 3-2, in the opening round of the CIF-SS Division 2 softball playoffs at Aliso Niguel on Thursday afternoon.

The victory moves Woodbridge (17-12) into the second round Tuesday against Camarillo.

Aliso Niguel (20-10) took the lead in the first inning on a two-run home run by Marissa Gilbuena, but Bishop (12-8) settled down after that, blanking the Wolverines the rest of the way.

"You have to give Danica a lot of credit," Woodbridge coach Alan Dugard said. "She had a lot of problems at the very beginning, and the umpires weren't very friendly about it. That's one of those things you have to go through and she did."

Bishop was called for five illegal pitches in the first two innings, but she was able to correct her pitching delivery after that. She scattered six hits and struck out six.

"She battled back and got really tough," Dugard said.

Woodbridge cut the lead to 2-1 in the fourth inning. Bishop walked and pinch-runner Julia Chung eventually came around to score on a groundout by Caitlin Hamada.

In the sixth inning, the Warriors cashed in two errors to move ahead. Bishop singled with one out and Alicia Takamura reached on a two-base error moving Chung, who was running for Bishop again to third and Takamura to second.

Katherine Henshall then hit an infield grounder. The fielder's throw to home was high, allowing both Chung and Takamura to score.

"They made a couple of mistakes and we were able to put the ball in play," Dugard said. "That's what we told the girls to do, just get the ball on the ground and make them work. They were very aggressive on the base paths."

Shannon Riley pitched well for Aliso Niguel, holding Woodbridge to a run through five innings. Only one of the runs the Warriors scored was earned. Kasey Beekman came on to pitch in the sixth inning for Aliso Niguel.

Bishop and Kayla Clausen had two hits each for Woodbridge, which had six hits.

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