Mission Viejo's Taylor McQuillin fires a pitch against Pacifica during the first inning of Wednesday's game. McQuillin pitched a two-hitter and struck out 12 in the Dibalos' 2-0 victory.

McQuillin, Mission Viejo keep streak going


MISSION VIEJO – The game had a purpose.

The Pacifica-Mission Viejo softball game Wednesday was designed to get the teams ready for the playoffs.

Mission Viejo looked very ready, beating Pacifica, 2-0, in a nonleague game that was the victorious Diablos’ final game of the regular season.

Diablos senior Taylor McQuillin pitched a two-hitter. She struck out 12, pitching with power and keeping the ball low and away from Pacifica’s many formidible hitters. McQuillin, who signed with Arizona, will take a 26-0 record into the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 playoffs, which start next week.

Mission Viejo is No. 1 in the Orange County top 10. Pacifica is No. 3. Mission Viejo is No. 1 and Pacifica is No. 5 in the state top 20.

Pacifica showed that it is good to go, too, for the postseason. The Mariners put pressure on McQuillin and the Diablos early, getting a runner to third base in the first inning but could not score. Faith Canfield and Jaymee Campbell had Pacifica’s hits.

Pacifica handed Mission Viejo its most recent defeat, which came in last year’s final week of the regular season. Mission Viejo went on to capture the CIF-SS Division 2 title, winning all five playoff games by shutout. Pacifica won the Division 1 championship and also won its five playoff games by shutout.

McQuillin enjoyed the challenge Pacifica provided.

“This was one of the toughest games we’ve played in the last month or so,” she said. “Both teams are trying to get ready for CIF and this game was the perfect way to do that.”

McQuillin also notched her 99th career win and has 31 consecutive wins. The CIF-SS and Orange County record for career wins is 100, established by Pacifica’s Brittany Weil over the 2002 to ’05 seasons. The CIF-SS record for most pitching wins in row is 32, set by Ocean View’s Jackie Oakley in 1986 and equaled by Valencia of Valencia’s Jordan Taylor in 2007.

Diablos center fielder Alyssa Palomino was 3 for 3 with three doubles.

The Diablos scored both runs Wednesday in the fourth inning.

Allison Harvey led off the inning with a double. McQuillin, who throws and bats left, slapped a hard grounder that Pacifica second baseman Alison Seng got a glove on but could not quite smother. As the ball trickled away from Seng, Harvey rounded third base and easily beat the throw home.

Samantha Dees, pinch-running for McQuillin, advanced to second base when Terra McGowan grounded out, took third on Bella Loya’s single and scored when Camryn Ybarra reached on a fielder’s choice to make it 2-0.

Mission Viejo beat Pacifica in March by the same score in the Best of the West Tournament. McQuillin pitched no-hitter in that one.

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