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Retaliation fuels Mission Viejo's rout of Yucaipa
YUCAIPA - This is 2016, but there’s no doubt 2015 was on the minds of the Mission Viejo softball players Thursday.
That’s because the Diablos’ CIF-SS Division 2 quarterfinal game Thursday was against Yucaipa, the team that defeated them in the championship game last year.
“It was a big deal,” Mission Viejo junior Kyra Snyder said of the teams’ rematch. “We had a fire under our butts.”
In a game that bore little resemblance to the tight pitcher’s duel of a year ago, Mission Viejo scored at least two runs in each of the first four innings on the way to an 11-5 rout at Yucaipa High.
Second-seeded Mission Viejo (25-4) will host third-seeded Oaks Christian of Westlake Village in the semifinals Tuesday.
“We expected this to be a really tough game,” Mission Viejo co-coach Troy Ybarra said. “We played them three times last year (including a 1-0 Yucaipa win in the CIF-SS championship game). The teams aren’t the same, but we knew it would be competitive.”
And it was, for about an inning or so.
Yucaipa (22-4) committed three of its six errors in the first inning, helping the Diablos take a 3-0 lead.
Yucaipa battled back by scoring three unearned runs in the bottom half of the inning, tying the score, 3-3, with Madyson Marvulli’s two-run homer against Mission Viejo starter Hanna Nilsen.
After Nilsen walked the next batter. Snyder replaced her in the circle.
“I was surprised they started Nilsen in the first place,” Yucaipa coach Dave Kivett said.
Ybarra wanted to show a change of pace to the Thunderbirds and it made a big difference.
“We thought bringing in Kyra with her changeup would make a difference,” Ybarra said.
It did. Snyder retired each of the first 13 batters she faced. Snyder also hit a tie-breaking two-run double as the Diablos built an 11-3 lead after four innings.
“I just tried to throw strikes and trust my defense,” said Snyder, who allowed two runs and struck out six in 6 1/3 inings.
Olivia Viggiano went 4 for 5 with two runs and an RBI for Mission Viejo, while Snyder had three hits, two RBI and two runs, and Bella Loya had two hits, including a two-run homer.
“We didn’t strike out once. We put pressure on them,” Ybarra said.