Let’s just say you had to see this one to believe it.
South Pasadena raced out to a 7-1 lead after two, but Nichole Parada was pulled after two innings. Temple City took advantage and scored eight runs on just one hit and six walks to take a 9-7 lead after three. The Tigers tied it with a pair of runs in the fourth, and took the lead for good in the fifth on a pair of two-run homers by Michelle Mun and Amanda Castro.
Temple City is still in the driver’s seat for the league championship, but the Tigers remained just one game back behind La Canada, a 2-1 winner in eight innings over Monrovia, for second.
By Scott Galetti, Staff Writer
TEMPLE CITY – Ringling Brothers had nothing on this show. Temple City High School’s softball team hosted South Pasadena in a Rio Hondo League showdown Wednesday.
The game had more twists, turns and unpredictable moments than a circus.
Tigers’ first baseman Michelle Mun and second baseman Amanda Castro emerged as the showstoppers.
Mun and Castro both smacked two-run home runs with two out in the top of the fifth inning to lift South Pasadena to an improbable 13-9 victory over the stunned Rams.
The win keeps the Tigers (12-11, 6-4) one game behind La Canada, a 2-1 winner over Monrovia in eight innings, for second place with two games remaining in the regular season.
Mun paced South Pasadena’s 11-hit attack with three hits and three runs batted in. Castro collected two hits and four RBIs, and Courtney Dunlap had two hits and three RBIs.
Temple City (16-6-1, 8-2), which failed in its attempt to clinch the league title, had seven hits.
Jessica Loiacano paced the Rams with two hits, while Jessica Kosharek added two RBIs.
Engaged in a 9-9 deadlock, South Pasadena got the break it was looking for when Temple City relief pitcher Melissa Vega (4-2) issued a two-out walk to Katrina Skogsbergh.
Mun stepped up to the plate and hit a shot over the left-field fence to give the Tigers the lead.
It was Mun’s sixth homer of the season.
“I was so frustrated from the two errors I made and all I did was clear it out of my head,” Mun said. “I was behind in the count and all I thought was ‘just do it for my team.’”
After a walk to Shelby Gogreve, Castro drilled a two-run homer to almost the exact same spot in left, her first of the season, to give South Pasadena a 13-9 lead.
Neither team could relax in this barnburner.
South Pasadena bounced back from Monday’s 2-1 loss to the Rams by putting seven runs on the board in the first two innings against Temple City starting pitcher Kaitlin Ellingsworth to nab a 7-1 lead.
“I felt like I was back at the park teaching kids how to play because that’s not our team there,” Temple City coach Bob Ellingsworth said. “It wasn’t that anybody played bad, but we really weren’t there trying to take the game from them.”
South Pasadena coach Mike Williams opted to pull senior starter Nichole Parada (9-8) to give junior Kelsey Hertel some work.
Hertel, however, lasted just one inning, allowing eight runs on just one hit with six walks and a hit-batter as Temple City took a 9-7 advantage.
Courtney Dunlap’s two-run double with two out in the fourth tied the game at 9 to set the stage for Mun and Castro.
“Being ahead six runs and then being, it just felt amazing knowing that we can come from behind and end up winning the game,” Mun said. Parada collected a most unconventional victory, allowing six hits and striking out seven in six innings of work.
“Our coach always tells us to play the full seven innings, and I just got so excited because that’s what my team did,” Parada said.