Softball Final: Whittier Christian’s dominant pitching dooms South Hills in championship, 4-0


South Hills-Whittier Christian photo gallery

By Andrew Campa
IRVINE
- The South Hills High School softball team had been counted out so many times this season there perhaps was no better way to respond to fans and detractors than by winning a CIF-Southern Section ring. While the plan was in place, defending Division 5 champion Whittier Christian was an unwilling partner. The No. 1-seeded Heralds rallied behind another brilliant effort from Courtney McGee in claiming their third division title in six years with a 4-0 win in Friday’s championship game at Deanna Manning Stadium. (To continue, click thread).

The loss ended South Hills’ attempt at a third crown.

The San Antonio League runners-up finished 23-8-1. Whittier Christian finished 25-7.

“I’m proud of these girls and what they accomplished,” South Hills coach Scott Fisch, who concluded his 23rd year of coaching. “This is disappointing because we came here to win. That was our ultimate goal.”

The Huskies knocked off three league champions in the postseason behind a combination of timely pitching, hitting and defense.

On Friday, the latter two failed them as the Huskies committed crucial errors while the offense struggled against McGee (23-6).

The game was scoreless heading into the top of third when the Huskies’ Sydney La Follette (18-5) surrendered her first hit, a single, to Heralds sophomore Kat Martene.

She then induced a fly ball to left from leadoff batter Amanda Perez that was dropped.

Despite the error, La Follette battled back and recorded a fielder’s choice at third for the second out.

The force play set up a dramatic showdown with McGee, the Heralds No. 3 batter.

The Cal Baptist-bound McGee showed her dominance transcended the mound by hitting a 2-2 fastball to right for a critical double that put the visitors up 2-0.

“She hit a good pitch. You have to give her credit,” La Follette said. “I made some mistakes and our defense had an error.”

La Follette did limit the damage to two runs, though.

Unfortunately for South Hills, Whittier Christian scored two more runs in an eerily similar fifth inning.

The Heralds received a one-out single from Martene before La Follette hit Amanda Perez.

The Heralds then sacrificed the runners to second and third, but that also opened up a base for McGee.

The Huskies played it safe by intentionally walking McGee to loaded the bases.

The plan backfired when Bekah Kikuchi bounced a first-pitch fastball deep into the hole at short.

The ball was gloved, but a throw to third was high and wide and allowed Martene and Perez to score for a 4-0 lead.

The final two runs ultimately didn’t matter as the Huskies failed to pressure McGee, who registered her third one-hitter of the playoffs to go along with two no-hitters.

Sophomore catcher Britney Rodriguez, a source of much inspiration for her strength following the death of her brother Tony in March, started the game well for South Hills with a two-out single in the first.

“I expected her to be tough and she got a good fastball,” said Rodriguez, who was 1 for 2 with a walk. “I thought we’d be able to hit her.”

Fisch credited some of McGee’s success to a liberal strike zone.

“The umpire was giving her that corner and more,” Fisch said. “She lives on the outside and if she gets help she’s tough to beat.”

Rodriguez walked to lead off the fourth and advanced to second, the Huskies’ only baserunner to do so, on a sacrifice from Keira Protell.

McGee responded by recording flyball outs from Kristen Stewart and Alexandra Robles.

The walk to Rodriguez was South Hills’ final offensive act as McGee retired the next 12 batters.

“We expected to win,” Rodriguez said. “A lot of the girls are angry because we know nobody believed we’d make it here. We proved people wrong by making it here and we didn’t play our best game.”

La Follette (18-5) picked up the tough loss despite surrendering only five hits and striking out three.

“The most disappointing thing is that our defense has been so solid this year,” Fisch said. “This happens sometimes and you have to take the good with the bad.”

andrew.campa@sgvn.com

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  • Jack Rodriguez

    Just A small correction on the above story, Anthony was Britney’s Full Brother and not half like the story states.

    To all the lady Huskies their is an Angel in the outfield, leave in all on the field and bring home the ship. good luck

    love, The Rodz

  • HuskyDo

    Do it big ladies break the curse lol and win or lose your season was amazing

  • McGarret

    Just wondering if there were gonna be any score updates here – 6:12p.m.

  • you blew it

    This was the last chance for South Hills to win a CIF championship by being in div 5. Good luck in even making playoffs next year when you are in the Sierra league and div 3.

  • Sports Fan

    you blew it said must be a West Covina fan, feeling sorry for themselves because they didn’t get that far.

  • Garrett Fisch

    You guys are idiots for saying that South Hills is going to have a hard time next year. Just watch what happens. If you think your school is so good, type your name out on the blog and let everyone know what place your team is going to finish in next year. How far are they going in the playoffs? Not so big are you.

  • quote of the year

    “We were perfectly capable,” Huskies coach Scott Fisch said. “This is a team with high-quality travel ball players.

    Look at the infield, who is not a high-quality travel ball player……..hmmmmmmm

  • Whine

    Stop your crying coach. ” She got the corner and more” Your pitcher got the same ump, didn’t she?

    She threw three 1 hitters & two no hitters in the playoffs. Give her credit, she SHUT you down!

    On a positive note, your warm-ups looked impressive.

  • outsidelookingin

    Why does the Fisch family continually call people out on the blog? It’s a blog, get it. Garrett needs to stop carrying his dad’s baggage.

    I agree that SH had the same umpire all game..lol It’s a game of adjustments and SH apparently didn’t do as good a job that WC did. This takes nothing away from a great run that SH made in the play-offs. A good, young team that should be better next year.

  • shfan

    You don’t need to play travel ball to be a good player. Look at Tiffany Rivas. Hitting number two in the lineup with a .300+ batting average. Looks like travel ball players waste their money.

  • wcfan

    fisch. You say that the umpire gives the other pitcher the corner and more in every game. You question pretty much every call that isn’t in your favor. I’ve seen it countless times. Get over it. It’s done with now. Lets just wait and see what happens next year. New league.. Lets see how you guys play.. And leave it all on the field.

  • Really?

    REALLY SHFAN??? How many college scouts do you see at high school games? ZERO If your daughter wants to play while going to college then she better be playing somewhere else other than just high school ball. Or maybe your precious little girl just isn’t quite good enough. BOO HOO

  • shfan

    I don’t have a daughter on the team. Not everyone wants to play in college anyways. People in travel ball don’t have a life. Game after game after game. Games in Colorado, Florida, Arizona. Look at the money you spend to have your daughter go to Southwest Montana State Junior College of the Handicap. Who cares? After all; it is just a game.

  • Priceless

    Oh the places we have been and people we have met, life experiences that you can’t put a price on and memories for a life time. Much better then staying close to home.

  • easiest road to the finals

    SH has had the easiest path to the finals, you finally saw a contender with Whittier Christian, besides, div 5, 6 and 7 are CIF’s rec ball divisions.

  • Was Jim Joyce behind the plate?

    “”Fisch credited some of McGees success to a liberal strike zone.

    “The umpire was giving her that corner and more” Fisch said. “She lives on the outside and if she gets help shes tough to beat.”””

    Let me esplane for chyou:

    The plate has these sharp angles, they are called “corners”. If the pitch goes over these “corners” the umpire may be inclined to call them strikes. This may be unfamiliar since in the SAL they just throw them right over the plate. I wish I could draw some pictures for you to further explain this concept, but this blog doesn’t allow that.

  • wcfan

    thank you “easiest road to the finals”. Very very very true. I couldn’t think of an easier road. They finally saw competition in the championship and were held scoreless the whole game!

  • They’re just kids

    Hey wcfan…why do you get off on picking on young girls…what did they ever do to you??? These girls didn’t choose the bracket they were in. They just went out and played each team they came up against. Sorry your team lost so early on but that’s what happens; every game has a winner and a loser. It’s how you behave after the game is over that will determine which one you are!

  • code talk

    “”I don’t have a daughter on the team.”” means I most definitely have a daughter on the team and probably a pitcher or infielder.

  • shfan

    Why does that mean an infielder or pitcher? Why not an outfielder?

  • WTF!

    SHFan, you must be crazy for thinking you dont need travel ball to be a good player. It all showed when SH played Whittier all your batters look silly how they swing their bats. They were swinging at anthing shows how much experience they have on the filed. The only player on your Sh teams that we can call a great player is Brittany Rodriguez. It showed how she came out and played the game. When you play travel ball, A TOP TEAM travel ball being in a Championship games is nothing. It shows in Rodriguez. All your other girls were out played and was out pitched. You can say how good your numbers are in league and in the books but when its show time, the true numbers show. Cant hide from the truth. Rodriguez was the only one who can hit on that team, HIT A DOMINATING PITCHING!

  • The Shadow Knows

    South Hills players had a great season, can’t take that away from them! But….

  • can’t wait to see what happens

    “Garrett Fisch said:
    You guys are idiots for saying that South Hills is going to have a hard time next year. Just watch what happens. If you think your school is so good, type your name out on the blog and let everyone know what place your team is going to finish in next year. How far are they going in the playoffs? Not so big are you.”

    You know the saying: The apple doesn’t roll too far……

    just sayin…..

  • Travel ball alive and well

    With at least 3 local travel ball teams going to their Divisional ASA National Championship tournaments this summer, maybe they could get some newspaper print like say little boys Little League managed to get last summer. No respect.

  • Travel ball alive and well

    With at least 3 local travel ball teams going to their Divisional ASA National Championship tournaments this summer, maybe they could get some newspaper print like say little boys Little League managed to get last summer. No respect.

  • The Shadow Knows

    BUT….I wish you all could have heard the clown from South Hills talking to the guys up at Media Central before the game saying, “this won’t be much of a game…we are statistically superior to WC….we are an offensive powerhouse…our lineup has NCAA Division One talent that will dominate…just give us the championship plaque now!!!” I guess one really good kid getting a hit is pretty good. Is that the best team and pitcher you can find out of 3,000 students? Thanks for taking it easy on old WC and their 500 strong student body! Note to self, keep mouth shut and let girls play the game! How does HUMBLE PIE taste? By the way, let your coach know that your pitcher was getting the same strike zone as WC’s pitcher. Instead of crying and making excuses why not make them better hitters!

  • Garrett Fisch

    Thanks “can’t wait to see what happens”. I’m proud of that!

  • Don’t bag TB

    Funny how parents will critize travel ball because their DD can’t cut it in travel ball. In general, for example, a pitcher may have a winning record against weak HS teams, but then get rocked in TB against teams like the Corona Angels. Does that make TB bad? Some kids can handle it, some can’t, nothing wrong with that.

  • College World Series players and their travel teams-

    UCLA:
    Andrea Harrison, Monica Harrison, Donna Kerr, Gionna DiSalvatore, Katie Schroeder – OC Batbusters
    Julie Burney- So Cal Athletics
    Dani Yudin, BB Bates, Aleah Macon – Corona Angels
    Destiny Rodino, Devon Lindvall – Choppers
    Megan Langenfeld – Firecrackers
    Marti Reed, Lauren Mirabal – Victory
    Grace Murray – OC Impact

    Arizona:
    Brittany Lastrapes – OC Batbuster
    Kristen Arriola, Lini Koria, Sarah Akamine, Baillie Kirker – Worth Firecrackers
    Shannon Tinsley – Desperados
    Victoria Kemp – Choppers

    Missouri:
    Kathryn Poet – So Cal Sliderz

    Florida:
    Megan Bush, Shaunice Harris – Explosion
    Brittany Schutte – So Cal Athletics
    Aja Paculba – OC Batbusters
    Francesca Enea – Anaheim Batbusters
    Kelsey
    Bruder – USA Athletics
    Ensley Gammel – Firecrackers

    Washington:
    Niki Williams, Morgan Stuart, Shawna Wright – Corona Angels
    Hooch Fagaly – Cruisers
    Jerrin Faasua – TNL

    Georgia:
    Taylor Schlopy – So Cal Athletics
    Jennie Auger – SD Legacy
    Brittany Hubbard – Teamsmith

    Tennessee:
    Raven Chavanne, Tiffany Huff, Nicole Kajitani – OC Batbusters
    Melissa Brown – Choppers
    Jess Spigner – OC Batbusters/Choppers
    Erinn Webb – Minors Gold

    Hawaii:
    Kelly Majam – So Cal Breakers
    Alex Aguirre, Jenna Rodriguez – Cal Rage
    Mika Cruiz – So Cal Athletics
    Rachel Paragas – Sudden Impact
    Brynn Buchanan – Predators
    Kanani Pu’u Warren – Mirage
    Amanda Tauali’i -Mizuno Pride
    Melissa (Migi) Gonzales – Corona Angels Adishian