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SAM GANGWER, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Pacifica players, from left, shortstop Ruby Rivera, third baseman Nicole Dewitt, pitcher Kaylee Carlson, Coach Mark Campbell, first baseman Rebecca Lee and pitcher Kaley Winegarner.

Pacifica loaded with talent, confidence

OCVARSITY.COM

Pacifica's softball team enters the 2013 season with a giant bull's-eye on its back.

The Mariners are ranked No. 1 in the county, No. 1 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports and No. 12 in the nation by MaxPreps, making them a team that everyone wants to beat.

But the Mariners aren't making much of a fuss over the situation.

"I don't pay much attention to the rankings," Pacifica coach Mark Campbell said. "I use it motivate the girls and let them know we won't be surprising anyone.

"Teams are excited to play us. They want good competition and a chance at knocking off the top-rated team."

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2013 softball preview: O.C. Top 10

2013 softball preview: Top players to watch

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Junior infielder Nicole DeWitt welcomes the challenge.

"Having a bull's-eye doesn't bother me," DeWitt said. "Pacifica always has a bull's-eye on (its) back."

Some highly ranked teams play soft schedules to protect their rankings, but not Pacifica. Campbell has put together one of the toughest schedules in Southern California.

"I'm actually looking forward to playing a tough schedule," DeWitt said. "(You) gotta play the best to be the best."

Pacifica is loaded with talent. The offense features DeWitt, who has committed to Florida, Rebecca Lee (Ohio State), Brooke Marquez (Northwestern), Faith Canfield (Michigan) and Ruby Rivera (Illinois). The Mariners also picked up two talented freshmen, Dejah Mulipola and Lynzie Pacheco.

But pitching depth is the main reason Pacifica is ranked so high. The Mainers have three quality pitchers in sophomore Kaley Winegarner (Stanford), junior Kaylee Carlson (North Carolina) and sophomore Katya Duvall.


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