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Roundup: Pacifica doesn't let Cypress spoil its day

STAFF WRITER

There’s a love-hate relationship with senior day.

While the athletes tend to bask in the festive pregame ambience, the coaches are left dealing with the distractions of it all.

Such was the case Thursday for Pacifica’s softball team. The Mariners found themselves trailing by two runs just nine pitches into a pivotal showdown with Empire League rival Cypress.

It took five innings to catch up, but the seventh-ranked Mariners grinded their way back into the game and used Alyssa Burt’s walk-off single to edge the Centurions, 3-2, at Pacifica High.

Pacifica (17-4, 8-0) is now one win away from locking up its eighth consecutive outright league crown, and can do so against Western on Tuesday.

“We’ve had a number of wins this year, but that’s the best one we’ve had,” Mariners coach Mark Campbell said. “It’s a league opponent. Our games are always head-to-head, and to do it here on senior day, that’s a good win for us.”

Entering Thursday, Mariners junior pitcher Hannah Boos had allowed two runs in her previous six starts. Following a pair of singles from Jessica Martinez and Jenelle Martinez, shortstop Paige Hallam roped a two-run double to right field to give Cypress (17-8, 6-2) a lightning-quick lead.

“We jumped on them in that first inning,” Cypress coach John Felicetti said. “That’s just a good team.”

Boos settled in shortly thereafter, allowing just two hits over the final six innings, and retiring 18 of the final 20 batters she faced.

Cypress starter Maddy Byrd was equally as impressive, silencing Pacifica’s bats with an effective rise ball.

In the fifth inning, Jayme Campbell worked her way on base with a nine-pitch walk, and later scored on an RBI single from Shelby Shultes. Burt then sliced a double down the left field line to score the tying run.

In the seventh, Alani Nguyen and Shultes singled on consecutive pitches and Burt delivered the winning hit with a rocket that second baseman Jenelle Martinez couldn’t glove.

In the South Coast League:

No. 2 Mission Viejo 5, No. 8 Capistrano Valley 3: Sophomore Terra McGowan blasted a two-run bomb in the first inning, and Alyssa Haynes added a three-run shot in the fourth, ending a rare two-game losing streak for Mission Viejo’s (20-4, 6-1).

Aliso Niguel 6, Dana Hills 1: Senior Ashley Ruiz belted a two-run home run to dead center, capping a stellar week for Aliso Niguel (17-8, 3-4), which topped Mission Viejo on Tuesday.

In the Crestview League:

Yorba Linda 2, Esperanza 1: Senior Jessica Lane homered and Ciara Stapp surrendered just two hits as the Mustangs (13-7, 3-1) outlasted the host Aztecs (9-13, 1-3).

Canyon 3, El Modena 0: The Comanches (14-10, 3-1) set up a showdown for first-place against Yorba Linda on Monday afternoon with its win over the Vanguards (10-16, 1-3).

In the North Hills League:

Brea Olinda 3, Foothill 2: Kara Piper’s two-run home run in the third inning broke a 1-1 tie, giving the Wildcats (16-8, 2-2) an important league victory against the Knights (13-11, 2-2).

Villa Park 10, El Dorado 0: Shayna Dahlen went 2 for 3 with a three-run home run, Mackenzie Boglin was 3 for 4 with two RBI, and Lexi Ruel added a pair of hits for the Spartans (15-10, 3-1).

Contact the writer: kconnolly@ocregister.com


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