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Fifth-inning rally trips up Pacifica
Santiago of Corona rallied from a three-run deficit to knock off second-seeded Pacifica, 4-3, in a CIF-SS Division 1 quarterfinal on Thursday at Santiago High.
Pacifica coach Mark Campbell said he and his players can handle a loss, but he called Sharks coach John Perez "a classless individual" and a "joke" for his taunting tactics during Santiago's four-run rally in the fifth inning.
"He has no business coaching high school softball," Campbell said of Perez. "If you talk to any one of the coaches in this conference or anyone that's dealt with him, he is a classless individual."
The Mariners scored two unearned runs in the top of the first and added another unearned run in the fifth to build a 3-0 lead.
Campbell decided to bring in sophomore Kaylee Carlson to relieve freshman Kaley Winegarner in the bottom of the fifth. The two pitchers have been one of the best pitching duos in the county all season.
Santiago jumped all over Carlson. Brittany Abacherli and Nicole Orozco got back-to-back singles to lead off the inning. Illinois State-bound Erin Rodriguez crushed a three-run shot over the fence in right field to tie it, 3-3. Before Pacifica knew what had happened, Texas-bound Randel Leahy launched an opposite-field shot over the fence in right field to give the Sharks the lead.
Perez, who was coaching third base, turned and taunted Campbell in the dugout after Leahy's home run.
"He's more worried about what's going on in this dugout and getting under my skin than what's going on out here," Campbell said. "I can understand if someone hits a home run and he gets excited, but to turn and look in this dugout and taunt ... like everybody saw, even the (Santiago) principal. It's classless.
"To me there's no room for it in sports, let alone high school sports. If they condone it, then they can keep him."
Campbell added, "I got no problem losing, but when you're going to taunt me, then there's going to be a problem."
The two coaches did not shake hands after the game.
"They are a great team, a great team," Perez said of Pacifica. "That's our program. That's what our program is about. That's our program, man. That's tradition.
"They can say I'm a whatever kind of coach or whatever. They got a great team. They got a great ball club. Their coaches are good coaches."
Santiago (22-9), the defending Division 1 champion, plays at Edison in the semifinals on Tuesday.
Pacifica, ranked No. 2 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports and No. 2 in the nation by ESPN, finished 28-3.
In another Division 1 game:
Vista Murrieta of Murrieta 3, Esperanza 0: Phalen Cochran had a solo homer in the bottom of the fourth, Sierra Romero added a two-run double in the fifth and UCLA-commit Selina Ta'amilo pitched a shutout to lead the Broncos (24-4-1) past the Aztecs (24-7).
Vista Murrieta plays at Norco in the semifinals on Tuesday.
In Division 4:
Garden Grove 4, Serrano of Phelan 2: San Diego State-commit Jenavee Peres went 3 for 3 with two doubles and two RBIs, and Cal State Fullerton-bound Jasmine Antunez went the distance with seven strikeouts to record her 20th victory as the Argos (22-5) advanced to the semifinals.
Garden Grove plays Buena of Ventura in the semifinals on Tuesday.