Fullerton breaks into the second round
SANTA ANA – Fullerton softball coach Michael Takkinen is going to have to cancel some vacation plans now that the Indians have made it to the second round of the CIF-SS playoffs.
Fullerton got a bases-loaded, RBI-single from Kristin Smith in the sixth inning and a shutout performance from Ceci Lopez in the circle to defeat Foothill, 1-0, in a CIF-SS Division 2 first-round game at Foothill on Thursday.
“We haven’t moved past the first round in five or six years,” Takkinen said. “So with the year that we’ve had, to put it all together right now and get to the second round is huge for us.”
Fullerton (17-11-1) will host Yucaipa in the second round Tuesday.
Early on, Lopez was caught in a pitching duel with Anissa Amarillas as only one ball left the infield through the first four innings.
In the fifth, Foothill (15-12) loaded the bases with no outs. Lopez induced a grounder back to her, threw home for the out and catcher Alyssa Brundage threw to first for the double play.
Lopez walked Amarillas to load the bases again but got a groundball out to end the threat.
“We talk all year about executing when we need to execute,” Takkinen said, “and defensively right there we got the job done.”
In the sixth, Fullerton loaded the bases with a double by Alexia Silvas, an error and a hit batter. With no outs, Smith dropped a single into left field to score Silvas, making it 1-0.
“I was freaking out a little bit,” Smith said. “I just wanted to get on so we could score a run.”
Foothill got a leadoff single in the sixth and two singles in the seventh, but Lopez and Fullerton snuffed out both chances.