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Ocean View climbs to top

Softball

Seahawks tie for first place in Golden West League after losing early league game to Segerstrom.

May 01, 2013|By Mike Sciacca
  • Ocean View pitcher Alyssa Slater winds up for a pitch during last week's game against Santa Ana.
Ocean View pitcher Alyssa Slater winds up for a pitch during… (Don Leach, HB Independent )

When the Ocean View softball team dropped an early Golden West League showdown at home to Segerstrom in early April, it forced the Seahawks to immediately play catch-up in the chase for the 2013 league crown.

That 5-0 loss on April 11 put Ocean View and Segerstrom one game behind Loara, which, in a league opener two days earlier, had edged Segerstrom, 1-0. That win gave Loara early confidence, and early league lead, as they took a 4-0 record into the final game of the first half of league play.

It was there, on April 24, that they met Ocean View. The Seahawks gained a game back in the league standings and moved into a three-way tie for first place by handing Loara a 4-0 shutout loss.

On Friday, it became a two-team tie at the top when Ocean View dominated Santa Ana, 11-1, and Segerstrom edged Loara, 6-5. Those outcomes set up another showdown this week between Ocean View and Segerstrom. The teams met Wednesday at Segerstrom. The score wasn't available at press time.

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When Ocean View went to Loara on April 24, the Saxons were ranked No. 2, the Seahawks No. 4 and one spot behind Segerstrom, in the CIF Southern Section Division 4 poll.

"There was no way Brittany was going to let Loara beat us," Ocean View Coach Mike McLaughlan said of his senior ace, Brittany Hitchcock, who tamed the Saxons.

Hitchcock threw a one-hit shutout. She struck out eight and aided her pitching performance with two hits including a big-time swing at the plate in the top of the third inning, a two-run home run.

Her blast extended Ocean View's lead to 3-0.

Hitchcock was one of three Seahawks to hit home runs in the game as Olivia Russ and Billi Derlerth each hit solo homers and each finished with two hits.

Ocean View, which rose to No. 3 this week in the Division 4 rankings, improved to 5-1 in league and 17-3 overall by handling Santa Ana, 11-1, Friday. They received another pitching gem, this time, from freshman Alyssa Slater, who started her first varsity game. She gave up a hit in the first inning but didn't allow another the rest of the way. Slater retired the next 15 batters she faced and went on to register eight strikeouts.

The Seahawks offense got off to somewhat of a slow start, scoring two runs after three innings. They put the game away by scoring nine runs in their final three at-bats. Hitchcock again homered and also singled, and Erika Jason doubled twice and drove in three runs, to lead the offense.

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