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Edison softball can't catch up in CIF game

May 30, 2012|By Michael Sciacca
  • Edison's Casey Africano walks back to the dugout following the last out in the seventh as Santiago players celebrate the 6-4 win in the CIF-SS Division 1 softball semifinal game at Edison High School on Tuesday.
Edison's Casey Africano walks back to the dugout… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Down to potentially the last out of the game, and its season Tuesday, the Edison softball team showed its character by putting together a final rally that created some anxious moments for Santiago of Corona in the semifinal round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 softball playoffs.

Trailing by five runs, the sixth-ranked Chargers used back-to-back home runs to pull within two, but had their spirited comeback fall short on an outstanding catch in center field that ended the game. That diving catch by Brittany Abacherli sewed up a 6-4 victory for the 10th-ranked Sharks. It also sent the division's defending champions, who ran their win streak to nine, on to the championship game. They will face top-ranked and Big VIII League rival Norco for the title this weekend.

Edison, which ran up a program-record 26 victories, finished 26-5.

"We started hitting the ball, but it was too late," Edison Coach Josh Musselman said. "The girls never gave up. We got those two big hits (home runs) but we didn't have timely hitting early on, and that cost us."

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Edison, which took a 1-0 lead after three innings, trailed, 6-1, with two out in the bottom of the seventh. Junior Karley Wester, whose sacrifice fly in the third scored junior Carissa Sherman for the game's first run, kept the Chargers' hopes alive by lacing a single into left field. That brought Mercedes O'Connor to the plate and the senior, who will play next year at BYU, took a 1-0 pitch for a two-run home run that made it a 6-3 game.

"It stayed over the plate," O'Connor said of the pitch she belted for her two-run shot. "Every time I was at the plate today, I just knew that I would put the ball somewhere. The entire season, I'd been in somewhat of a slump but I started coming out of it late in the season. I was glad that I was able to keep us in the game."

Clean-up hitter Jessica Plaza then obliterated a 1-1 pitch by the Sharks' Erica Romero well beyond the fence in left field, her home run drawing the Chargers to within 6-4. The game was back on.

"I was just trying to help my team any way that I could," said Plaza who will play softball next year at Stanford. "It's tough to lose this one but I ended my senior year with a bang."

Senior captain Casey Africano followed Plaza and sent a hit into shallow center field. The ball looked as though it was going to drop but Abacherli raced up to make a diving catch on the run. Game over.

It also ended a rocky finish for Santiago head coach John Perez.

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