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Softball finals preview: Mission Viejo vs. Valley View
MISSION VIEJO (26-4) VS. VALLEY VIEW OF MORENO VALLEY (27-1)
Where, when: Bill Barber Park, Irvine, Friday, 7 p.m.
Fan info: General admission, $10; students w/school ID and children (5-13), $5; parking, free.
Outlook: Mission Viejo has navigated its way back to a third consecutive CIF-SS finals appearance, while Valley View is playing in the program’s first title game since 1999. All but one of Mission Viejo’s 15 players boast championship game experience, so the stage shouldn’t overwhelm the South Coast League champs. Pitchers Kyra Snyder and Hanna Nilsen allowed a total of nine runs in the quarterfinals and semifinals, but the Diablos bats have produced in the playoffs. Mission Viejo has scored 32 runs in their four postseason games. Junior third baseman Camryn Ybarra has belted five home runs in the last two weeks, and as a team, the Diablos have hit 10 homers. Valley View pitcher Eileen Perez has held opponents to three runs or less in all but three of the team’s 28 outings. The Inland Valley League champs have reeled off 25 straight wins, including a pair of one-run victories in the quarters and semis against South Hills and La Habra. The Highlanders had nine hits against Perez on Tuesday, but only knocked in two runs. If Mission Viejo can stay hot and find the timely base hits that eluded La Habra, the Diablos will be tough to beat in a setting they’ve become extremely familiar with.
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