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Vikes get past Oxnard

Posted: May 17, 2008 2:41 a.m.
Updated: July 18, 2008 5:03 a.m.

Valencia's short stop Madison Shipman(11) quickly turns towards Oxnard's Leilani Tapua (7) as she attempts to steal second base. Shipman successfully tags her out in the third inning of Friday afternoon's game. Valencia defeated Oxnard 4-3.

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When you lose just five games all year, being down 3-0 can seem foreign. But the defending CIF Champion Valencia softball team has seen it all before. The Vikings (25-5-1) rallied and walked off with a 4-3 win over Oxnard (16-12), on a walk-off sacrifice fly Friday afternoon.

"We stayed pretty calm because we knew we were gonna hit (Oxnard pitching) eventually," said sophomore shortstop Madison Shipman.

It wasn't all smooth sailing though, down to the final run.

After reaching on an error and later advancing to third base on a steal, Shipman stood 60 feet from home and victory with the score tied at three and one out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Megan Foglesong hit a sharp line drive toward left field and Shipman took a few quick steps toward home. As Oxnard's left fielder snagged the ball in the air, Shipman hurried back to the base, tagged up and raced home, sliding in safely.

"Ooops," she said with a grin after the game.

"I thought it was gonna be in the gap. We scored so it's all that matters."

Anticipation for another run deep into the postseason was high coming into the game.

"It was a long week," said sophomore Lauren Boser.

So some early jitters were to be expected. Despite the close call, Valencia coach Donna Lee wasn't too worried about the outcome.

"I have total faith in this team," she said. "It was just a matter of time."

The Vikings got some help too. Shipman and Lelani Bernardino both reached on errors by Oxnard second baseman Kathryn Pilpil. After Jessica Spigner struck out, Shipman and Bernardino took off on a ball in the dirt and advanced to third and second, paving the way for Foglesong's fly ball.

"We got a little help in the seventh inning, and we took advantage of it," Lee said.

Batting in the leadoff spot, it was Shipman who got the offense rolling. She reached base three times, going 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored. Boser knocked Shipman in during a two run third inning when the Vikings inched to within a run.

Boser came up with the bases loaded in the first inning and struck out. So when she came up again with two on in the third and yet another time with a runner at third in the fifth, she was looking for payback.

In the third, she beat out an infield single to second, and got an RBI making the score 3-1. In the fifth, she hit a sacrifice fly to score courtesy runner Kendra Feldman from third and tie the score at three.

"I blew it the first time, but came back and redeemed myself," Boser said.

Spigner, who allowed two runs in the first inning and another in the third on a home run by Demi Meza, settled down the rest of the game. Following the home run, Spigner struck out eight batters and didn't allow anyone to reach third base.

It wasn't perfection, but the Vikings will take it as they prepare for a second round matchup against the winner of Poly (Riverside) and Santa Margarita????????????

"It's good to make your mistakes early," Boser said. "You know what you need to fix."

The execution could have been better, Lee said, but the first round could prove to be a learning experience.

"The playoffs are all about surviving," Lee said.

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