BREAKING NEWS: Duarte wins protest, to play South El Monte in Tuesday’s second round playoff game.

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer

The CIF-Southern Section forfeited Alhambra High School’s 3-2 softball victory over Duarte after the Falcons protested Thursday’s Division 5 first-round game, alleging the Moors conducted illegal pre-game batting practice, which is against CIF playoff policy.
Duarte and Alhambra school officials met with CIF-SS representatives on Monday in Cerritos, and Duarte provided a video of the alleged incident for CIF officials to review.
After completing interviews and gathering information, the CIF-SS ruled that an illegal batting practice took place, and per CIF policy, forfeited Alhambra’s victory to Duarte.
Duarte (20-3), the fourth seed, advances to Tuesday’s second round at South El Monte (14-10) at 3:15 p.m.

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE SOUTHERN SECTION OFFICE:

LOS ALAMITOS – The CIF Southern Section has removed the Alhambra High School Girls Softball Team for a violation of playoff rules as it regards batting practice.

The violation occurred prior to a Division 5 first-round game on May 19 versus Duarte High School at Duarte.

The CIF-SS Soft ball Playoff Bulletin states the following:

BATTING PRACTICE- Includes bunting or slap hittimg. Teams entered in the softball playoff s WILL NOT be permit ed to take batting practice on the day of the scheduled contest. Batting practice will be construed as any type of pitching motion with ANY type of ball from in front of the batter (including pitching machines, underhand tossing, overhand throwing or pepper). THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE BATTING WARMUP WILL BE SIDE SOFT TOSS.

The player who tosses the ball should be on a knee and to the side of the batter. The ball should be lifted, not pitched, to the batter. THE PENALTY FOR BATTING PRACTICE WITH WIFFLE BALL, SOFTBALL, BASEBALL, ETC. MAY BE FORFEITURE OF GAME. It was determined after meeting with representatives to both schools and receiving video tape and officials statements that a violation had occurred and the violation was such as to warrant the removal from the playoff s of the Alhambra team. Duarte will now move on to a second-round contests tomorrow at South El Monte High School.

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At Thursday’s game, Alhambra coach John Zabala admitted the Moors threw pitches with a wiffle ball before the start.
Duarte coach Paul Viteri protested to the umpires before the game, although Zabala said he didn’t know that the game was being played under protest until he tried to shake Viteri’s hand in the postgame greeting.
“We do it the way we always do,” Zabala said on Thursday. “We take about five feet off to the side and we use wiffles.”
A CIF-SS tournament bulletin from assistant commissioner Scott Raftery specifically says that any type of batting practice with any type of ball, including wiffle balls, is illegal.
The rule says that “includes bunting or slap hitting … Batting practice will be construed as any type of pitching motion with any type of ball from in front of the batter (including pitching machines, underhand tossing, overhand throwing or pepper). The only acceptable batting warmup will be side soft toss. The player who tosses the ball should be on a knee and to the side of the batter. The ball should be lifted, not pitched, to the batter… .”
“We showed them (the rule) before the game started,” Viteri said. “That’s what they were doing. That’s batting practice.
“We didn’t do it. To me, I thought it was an advantage.”

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  • m

    Viteri must not think much of his team if he feels that all a team needs to do is warm up with wiffle balls in order to beat them.
    The fact is, he was embarassed that an unrated team beat his highly over-rated team. Check the schedules on Max Preps. AHS played numerous playoff qualifying teams including Bonita and La Canada, two legit contenders for their respective division championships. Duarte padded their schedule, playing weak teams in order to get a higher seeding. Check the Almont league compared to the Montview league for toughness of schedule.
    As a coach of baseball and softball for more than 15 years I would have been embarassed to take off the field what I could not earn on the field. Viteri should admit he failed to properly repare his team for playoff competition. South El Monte is likely to mercy them.
    As for the CIF-SS, they are more concerned with their image than competition or justice.
    Warming up with wiffle balls does not equal a defeat on the field.

  • m

    Just in:
    South El Monte 8 Duarte 3

    Alhambra played South El Monte in pre-season and posted a 5-3 loss. Draw your own conclusions as to which team deserved to play South El Monte.

    Justice done to Duarte.

    Yep. I guess AHS’s wiffle balls did beat Duarte … only it occurred five days later.

  • Mr. Facts

    @m hey if you have been a coach for 15 years then you know the schedules are done way before the season starts so how are they padding there schedule. Still you have to go out and win the games. C’mon coach you know better.

  • Question

    Question?

    How does identifying 2 very convincing losses during the regular season, 9 to 0 against La Canada, and 6 -3 against Bonita indicate a strong team?

    Although I do agree, Duarte played an extremely weak schedule.

    Lastly, Alhambra, you have no one to blame for yourselves. The CIF rules are very clear and well known. Regardless, “ignorance” is no excuse. The Alhambra Coach and AD should be held accountable. To bad the kids have to pay the price. For shame Alhambra, but your beef should not be with Duarte or CIF. You were appropriately charged with the forfeit.