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Softball notes: League races headed for fantastic finishes
The jockeying has gone on for the better part of five weeks, and entering the final stretch of the regular season, three league races will be determined by head-to-head matchups in the coming days.
Los Alamitos (21-2, 7-1) and Huntington Beach (20-4, 6-2) have been mainstays in the county top-10 poll this year, and the rivals duked it out in one of the more entertaining league games this season that saw the Oilers claim a 3-2 victory.
The two county powers will square off again Tuesday at Los Alamitos, with the winner claiming sole possession of first place in the Sunset League.
“I think we really just need to hone in on our pitching and make our adjustments at the plate,” Huntington Beach junior Ivy Davis explained. “We need to come in with a good energy like we did the last time we played them, and I think we’ll be solid.”
On Wednesday, Laguna Hills (18-5, 6-1) travels to San Clemente (11-9-1, 5-1) to determine the Sea View League champion. This marks the second consecutive season the Hawks and Tritons will meet in the regular-season finale with the league title on the line.
San Clemente went on the road and edged out Laguna Hills last May, and the Hawks are looking to return the favor this year.
“We’ve been there last year, pushed it pretty far, and got used to that,” Hawks coach Cary Crouch said. “So we’ve sort of got the taste of that. We feel good about ourselves and now we’re going to make you earn everything you get.”
In the Golden West League, Loara (14-10, 7-1) will look to avenge its only league setback when it hosts Ocean View (14-5, 7-1) on Thursday afternoon.
The Saxons have won the last two league titles outright, while the Seahawks are looking to capture their first league crown since 2011.
Los Amigos senior shortstop Brianna Lewis was recently named the Garden Grove League’s Female Athlete of the Year by the Orange County Athletic Directors Association.
A three-sport star who has earned 10 varsity letters in volleyball, track and softball in her high school career, Lewis has committed to Aurora University in Illinois where she will continue her softball career.
The Lobos’ four-year starter is the only female athlete from Los Amigos who has been awarded an athletic scholarship this year. She will sign a letter of intent at Los Amigos on May 26.
The Michelle Carew Classic was officially put to bed early Saturday evening when No. 1 Orange Lutheran topped No. 5 Huntington Beach, 6-4.
Lancers senior shortstop Mackenzie Boesel was named tournament MVP for her stellar two-way play and teammate Maddy Dwyer garnered the tourney’s most valuable pitcher award, notching four wins in the circle and earning the save in the championship game.
Orange Lutheran’s Noelle Hee, Lauren Espalin and Dani Dawson were also named to the all-tournament team. Huntington Beach had four players recognized: Anna Kufta, Ivy Davis, Jadelyn Allchin and Kristina Inouye.
Other county players chosen to the all-tournament team: McKenna Boyle (Capistrano Valley), Brooke Cantillo (Foothill), Khloe Lilavois (Kennedy), Lindsi Dennis (Los Alamitos), Mary Iakopo (Los Alamitos), Bella Loya (Mission Viejo), Camryn Ybarra (Mission Viejo), Terra McGowan (Mission Viejo) and Andre Hester (Rosary).
PLAYOFFS AROUND THE CORNER
The CIF-Southern Section will release playoff brackets for all seven softball divisions next Monday at 12 p.m.
Be sure to check OCVarsity.com for pairings and a division-by-division breakdown, analyzing what’s sure to be an exciting three-week push for the coveted championship hardware.
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