SOFTBALL: La Caada wins ugly one

Spartans and South Pasadena combine for six errors

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Above: La Canada’s Devon Zerebko scores past the tag of South Pasadena’s catcher Katrina Skogsbergh in the second inning of the Spartans’ 7-3 win over the Tigers at La Canada High School. (Staff Photo Keith Birmingham)

My Comments: Both teams showed signs of being able to smack the ball, but there were too many mistakes in the field for a big game (there could’ve been a couple more errors chalked on, but they were ruled hits). The bottom line, if it can get past San Marino, La Canada will set up a big showdown with Temple City on Friday.

By Scott Galetti, Staff Writer
LA CAADA – A quick look at the boxscore will show it wasn’t the prettiest game on earth.
The good news for La Caada High School’s softball team is wins aren’t based on style points.
The Spartans committed three errors but didn’t get shaken in a 7-3 victory over visiting South Pasadena on Friday.
“We’ve been saying it all year long, we’re not the cleanest team on the scorebook, we’re not the prettiest team in the field, but this team is doing a great job of picking each other up and not letting mistakes compound,” Spartans coach K.C. Mathews said. “They’ve somehow done a great job of that all year long, and today was another example of that.”
La Caada (10-4, 6-1), ranked No. 6 in the latest CIF-Southern Section Division V poll, won its second consecutive game, eighth in the past nine and kept pace with Temple City in the fight for the Rio Hondo League championship.
Kylie Mulligan paced the Spartans with two hits.
“We played a really tough team and faced a great pitcher,” Mathews said. “We had baserunners on in every inning, which is key for us.”
La Caada also received a steady effort from freshman pitcher Lauren O’Leary, who rushed back from a choral performance in San Diego to play in the contest.
“It was a long drive,” said O’Leary (5-1), who scattered eight hits and struck out three.
“Our main pitcher was on choir tour, but she made a huge dedication to this team by driving back from San Diego today,” Spartans left fielder Amanda Ulf said. “This really proves how good we can be.
“It’s not just fake anymore, it’s the real deal.”
Ulf termed Friday’s victory a total team effort.
“It was just amazing how much we all came out today,” Ulf said. “I just think our team chemistry is getting better and better, and we’re getting stronger and stronger every week.”
South Pasadena senior Nichole Parada did her part to keep the Tigers (7-10, 3-3) in the game.
Parada (5-7) had nine strikeouts but also allowed five walks as South Pasadena saw its winning streak snapped at two.
“We cannot continue to make errors, that’s the key,” South Pasadena coach Mike Williams said. “Each team in this league can beat the other team. If you don’t bring your `A’ game and have a moment’s lapse or whatever, the game can turn on that.”
The turning point came in the bottom of the third inning with the scored tied at 3-3.
Walks to Amanda and Abby Ulf put runners at first and second with one out.
Parada attempted to pick off Amanda Ulf at second, but her throw went into center field and the go-ahead run scored. Devon Zerebko’s groundout to short brought in Abby Ulf to give the Spartans a 5-3 lead.
Run-producing singles by Abby Ulf and Zerebko capped the scoring in the fifth.
“We’re in this game the whole way until that,” Williams said. “That’s a smart team, they took advantage of it and that’s what they’re supposed to do.”

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