Softball: Monrovia, La Canada ready for Quarterfinals.

CIF-SS PLAYOFFS
QUARTERFINALS
DIVISION 5

La Canada vs. Mary Star at San Pedro Softball Complex, 3:15 p.m.
Beaumont at Monrovia, 3:15 p.m.

By Keith Lair, Staff Writer

The Monrovia High School softball team has traveled near and far to face some of the fastest pitchers in the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 this season.
The Wildcats return home for the division’s quarterfinals today seeing a different challenge. In addition to being fast, Beaumont’s Alyssa Fuimaono has a wicked changeup. The game will be played at 3:15 p.m.

“It definitely would be to our advantage to see someone who is just hard-throwing,” Monrovia coach Dave Guzman said. “But we rarely see (La Canada’s) Lauren (Cox) and (San Marino’s) Michelle (Floyd) throw changeups.

“This pitcher will apply the changeup and it’s a big difference. It’s a legitimate pitch for her. When she shows her changeup, it gets in the batter’s mind and they think about it. Our job will be to keep their pitcher off-balance and not figure out our pattern. That’s the game plan.”

It will be the Wildcats’ first home game in the playoffs. They beat Savanna in Anaheim last week and traveled

4 1/2 hours to shut out Morro Bay on Tuesday. A win would put the Wildcats, 17-8-1, at home in the semifinals against either South El Monte or Barstow.

Beaumont, the tournament’s No. 2 seed, reached last year’s division title game last year, but it lost to La Canada, 1-0.

The secret to getting a win, Guzman said, will be speed. He has moved Chelle Parker up to the No. 2 spot in the batting order.

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“We have two slappers with speed,” he said of leadoff hitter Elise McCarthy and Parker. “When we have speed out there, it’s dangerous.”

That’s because of who is behind the pair, Guzman said. Freshman Galvin Tanya leads the Wildcats with 20 RBIs, and senior Nikki Guzman leads the team in hits with 31. Guzman will play at Santa Barbara City College next season.

Beaumont, 24-4 and on a nine-game winning streak, have scored 10 or more runs in its last three games.

La Canada vs.

Mary Star of the Sea

The Spartans travel south for the second consecutive time in a game scheduled for 3:15 p.m. at the San Pedro Softball Complex.

“That won’t be a problem,” Spartans coach K.C. Mathews said of the road trip. “We played more games on the road this year than at home.”

The top-seeded and reigning champion Spartans have hit their stride in the playoffs, Mathews said.

“One of the advantages of having a veteran team is that we have been here before,” he said. “There are no surprises.

“We’re playing good softball. We’re hitting well up and down the order. If we keep playing the well we’ve been playing, I’m happy with however we do.”

La Canada, 23-4-1, has won seven consecutive games. Mary Star, 21-6-1 and the Camino Real League is led by freshman pitcher Marina Vitalich. The Stars have 12 shutouts this season, including both playoff victories.

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