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Edison battles to the last out but loses
HUNTINGTON BEACH – Karley Wester stood at the plate for Edison in the bottom of the seventh, and if Erica Romero threw just one more strike for Santiago of Corona, the Chargers' season would be over.
Wester, though, lined Romero's next pitch into center field. Edison, it appeared, was not going to go down without a fight in Tuesday's CIF-SS Division 1 softball semifinal because after Wester's single, Mercedes O'Connor and Jessica Plaza slugged back-to-back home runs to cut the Sharks' lead to two runs.
But just when it looked as if Casey Africano's fly ball was going to drop into shallow right field, Brittany Arbacherli slid in from center field and got her glove under the ball to end the host Chargers' rally and help lead the Sharks (23-9) into the championship game with a 6-4 triumph.
"We never give up for anyone," Plaza said. "That is the motto we have had all season. Play for each other and play hard."
In her previous three playoff games the Stanford-bound Plaza was 6 for 10 with a double and three homers, but up until her at-bat in the seventh, Romero held the Chargers' hottest hitter in check.
After taking the count to 3-0 in the first inning, Plaza popped up to second. She struck out in the third and flew out to center in the fifth.
"I was just over-thinking it a bit and not having a clear head," she said. "I was trying to swing for the fences instead of just making clean contact with the ball and see what happens."
Edison (26-4) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Carissa Sherman scored off Wester's sacrifice fly to left. Sherman opened the inning for the Chargers with a single to center. She then stole second and later advanced to third on Ali Wester's gound out.
"I don't know if they are that much better than us," Edison coach Josh Musselman said. "We just didn't have timely hitting. For us, it just didn't happen until the end of the game."
Edison starter Sammy Cordova hadn't allowed a run in 25 consecutive innings during the playoffs, but Dakota Matiko led off the fifth for the Sharks with a single to center. Jordan Mowatt followed with a double. Abercherli added a base hit and then Erin Rodriguez slammed a homer to right to put the Sharks in front, 4-1.
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