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Snyder, Mission Viejo top Los Alamitos in Best of the West final
GARDEN GROVE - Softball coaches like to say that good pitching beats good hitting, and two of the county’s best hurlers were on display Saturday afternoon at Pacifica High.
Mission Viejo ace Kyra Snyder outdueled Los Alamitos’ Ryan Denhart and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the seventh to help the Diablos secure a 2-0 victory in the final of the Best of the West Tournament.
Camryn Ybarra provided the decisive run in the third inning with a solo home run that sailed over the right field fence.
Mission Viejo (7-3), ranked No. 5 in the county, also scored a valuable insurance run in the seventh when Olivia Viggiano contributed an RBI.
Snyder’s arm took care of the rest.
The Louisville-bound pitcher kept the potent bats for No. 2 Los Alamitos (8-2) silent for most of the game as she posted her second shutout of the day.
Earlier in the day, Snyder pitched the Diablos to a 2-0 victory over Pacifica in the semifinals.
Diablos co-coach Troy Ybarra was pleased with the team's preparation leading up to the tournament and it paid dividends in the championship game.
“Kyra was on, we were keeping them off balance today and our defense played wonderful," said Ybarra. "To get back-to-back shutouts by our defense and her is tremendous. We had a very hard week of practice defensively, pitching and offensively, and we scored just enough runs to win a couple of games today.”
Snyder started to labor a bit in the bottom of the seventh as the Griffins were able to load the bases, but Mission Viejo kept its composure and got the win.
Co-coach Toni Mascarenas also praised the Diablos' defensive work especially at the end of the game. “We put our girls in situations like that all the time in practice," Mascarenas said. "We have our girls cheat up to get rid of the ball quick so they’re on their toes at all times. We speed the game up at practice so they’re ready for situations like that.
"Like he (Ybarra) said, our defense played great today. We’ve said from the beginning of the year defense is going to win games for us.”