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MX News Update 2024

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La Serna softball falls into quarterfinals as Valley View rallies in seventh inning – Whittier Daily News

WHITTIER – After defeating No. 2 in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs, the La Serna softball team appeared to be in position for an epic playoff run.

Entering the seventh inning of Thursday’s quarterfinals, the Lancers were tied with Valley View at 2-2, and still had an excellent chance to earn their first trip to the semifinals since 2015.

The visiting Eagles, however, had other ideas. They scored two runs in the top of the seventh and held on for a 4-2 victory.

Valley View advances to the semifinals and will play the winner of the California-Whittier Christian quarterfinals.

Pitcher Candace Puig went the distance for the Lancers, allowing eleven hits and four runs (three of them earned) in seven innings.

After giving up two runs in the first three innings, Puig surrendered and didn’t allow another run until the seventh. The Eagles had scored 18 points in their first two playoff games.

La Serna head coach Jason Clay praised Puig for her effort Thursday and her improvement throughout the season.

‘She’s excellent. Once we got her dialed in after the first couple of innings,” Clay said, “she really came down and started doing well.”

The Eagles continued to knock on the door, scoring hits on Puig all game long.

Tatiana Gomez led the way at the plate for Valley View, finishing 2 for 3 with two doubles, one RBI and a walk.

“She’s a great hitter…she understands what I want,” said Valley View head coach Jose Perez, “and today she went out and did it. She wanted it.”

Valley View started the game with a two-out rally in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Miranda Maese got the first of her two RBIs with a single to right, bringing in Skye Johnson.

La Serna wasted no time responding when Middle Tennessee State commit Sabrina Ritto led off the bottom of the first inning with a triple. Two batters later, Aubrie Baruch hit a sacrifice fly, allowing Ritto to tie the score.

The Lancers scored a run in the third inning. After Ava Sanchez doubled to open the inning, the next batter, Jaylyn Renteria, drove in Sanchez with a single.

Clay said La Serna’s offensive struggles from the regular season carried into Thursday’s game.

“We’ve had trouble getting runners around,” Clay said, “with runners leading, but we hit the ball hard today, but we couldn’t drop any,”

Valley View starting pitcher Giselle Morales gave up just three hits in the final four innings to keep the Eagles in the middle until they could open things up in the seventh inning.

Puig issued a walk to start the seventh and things started to spiral from there. The Eagles had runners in scoring position with only one out. At that point, Maese picked up her second RBI of the game with a single to right field.

Morales added another run with an RBI single that gave the Eagles a 4-2 lead.

Morales gave up a one-out single to Emma Apodaca in the bottom of the seventh inning, but quickly sealed the victory for the Eagles.

“She’s a warrior,” Perez said of Morales. “(Puig) their pitcher was a warrior too.”