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Softball finals preview: Garden Grove vs. St. Bonaventure

STAFF WRITER

CIF-SS SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS

DIVISION 5

GARDEN GROVE (20-11) VS. ST. BONAVENTURE OF VENTURA (21-7)

Site, time: Bill Barber Park, Irvine, Saturday, 12:30 p.m.

Ticket Info: general admission, $10; students w/school ID and children (5-13), $5; parking, free. The game will be streamed live by FoxSportsWest.com’s PrepZone.

Outlook: Sitting at 5-11 prior to the start of league play, Garden Grove’s record reflected anything but that of a CIF finalist. Loading his team’s schedule with Division 1, 2 and 3 opponents appears to have paid off for Coach Jasen Sutter and the Argonauts, who are back in the CIF finals after getting there in 2012. “We didn’t fold up our tents when we had a bad start to the season,” Sutter said. “We saw that we could compete with these teams in the higher divisions, and I had this feeling we could really get somewhere.” Senior pitcher Celeste Villagrana – who started on that 2012 CIF runner-up team – has won 11 consecutive starts. The team has won 15 straight games. Garden Grove has eight players batting above .300, led by Alyssa Fernandez (.512) and Meredith Miller (.438). Fernandez’s solo home run in extra innings was the difference in the Argo’s 2-1 semifinal win over Cabrillo of Lompoc. St. Bonaventure is looking to capture back-to-back CIF titles as the Seraphs won the Division 6 crown last May. Senior pitcher Cielo Meza is coming off of a 21-strikout performance in the semifinals. The Seraphs ace has fanned 340 batters in 151 innings, meaning 75 percent of her outs come by way of strikeouts.

KENNY CONNOLLY

Contact the writer: kconnolly@ocregister.com


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