SOFTBALL: South Pasadena shut out by North Torrance


For the second time in less than a week, North Torrance storms into Pasadena to collect a 5-0 shutout victory, this time at the expense of the Tigers.

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
PASADENA — Bunt, bunt, bunt and South Pasadena High School was out of the CIF-Southern Section Division V softball playoffs.
Visiting North Torrance went to little ball and it paid off handsomely, resulting in a 5-0 victory over the Tigers on Tuesday in the second round of the playoffs.
The Saxons, the third-place finishers from the Pioneer League, had only one hit out of the infield. After that hit, a double down the left-field line by Bailee Haberman, North went to little ball to push across four runs in the fourth inning. They also used little ball to take a 1-0 lead in the second.
“Surprised? No, it’s softball,” Tigers coach Mike Williams said. “If you’re not hitting the pitcher, you put the bunts down. Whatever. If you want to force the issue, you go to little ball. They have a lot of speed on that team. They played a great game.”
The Saxons manufactured a run in the second with a walk, a ground out and an Alex Perez grounder at South Pasadena third baseman Brittany O’Dell. She beat the throw to first, and the throw was high, allowing Alexis Vernon, who had walked, to score.
But it was the little ball in the fourth that did it.
“I think that one inning, we played little ball and it got us going,” Saxons coach Howard Miller said. “Their pitcher was doing a good job and we thought we better mix it up a little bit. It seems to work for us when we do it.”
Tigers pitcher Nichole Parada had given up a hit in each of the first four innings, and she said she wasn’t surprised when North Torrance changed tactics.
“It’s part of the game,” she said. “It’s always going to be there to stay.”
After Haberman’s lead-off double, Valerie Rodriguez laid down the first of what would be six bunt attempts in seven at-bats. First baseman Michelle Mun’s throw was high trying to get Rodriguez and Haberman scored. Vernon and Salina Thornton got bunt singles to load the bases and Samantha Availar’s bunt nailed Vernon at the plate.
There was no play at first base on the play, but Availar spiked Mun in the ankle and the first baseman and the Tigers’ No. 3 hitter had to leave the game.
“The girls were mad and they adjusted,” Williams said of the spiking. “Michelle going out with only two at-bats really hurts. She’s dangerous no matter what happens. She went out and these girls didn’t quit.”
Olivia Alvarez hit another bunt that appeared to be an out at the plate, but when catcher Katrina Skogsbergh couldn’t hang on to the ball, two runs scored. When Availar tempted Parada by running halfway between third and home, she scored on an errant throw.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Reddit Tumblr Email