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CIF softball: One close game too many

Saugus falls to No. 4 seed

Posted: May 20, 2010 10:32 p.m.
Updated: May 21, 2010 4:55 a.m.
The Saugus softball team has battled in a lot of close games this season.

Unfortunately for the Centurions, they found themselves on the wrong side of another one Thursday, suffering a 3-2 defeat to Simi Valley in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs at Simi Valley High School.

With one out in the eighth inning, a walk-off single by the Pioneers ended the Centurions' playoff run and their season.

"It's been a rough season," said Saugus head coach Julie Watson. "We've been losing by one run all season and never seemed to get the right hit at the right time."

Simi Valley (26-2) took a 1-0 lead in the third inning and held on until the seventh, when Saugus (18-13) went ahead 2-1 thanks to a throwing error by the Pioneers on a hit by Abby Linn. Sara Shier, who had walked, and Emi Shimamoto, who reached on a single, both scored on the play.

In the bottom of the seventh, Simi Valley tied the score at 2-2 on a ground ball up the first-base line. The batter beat out the throw to first, allowing the runner on third to cross the plate.

Watson said the call at first was questionable.

"They called her safe. I thought she was out," Watson said.

The run kept Simi Valley in the game and the Pioneers were able to capitalize in the next inning for the win.
"It was a tough game," Watson said. "But, I'm proud of the way my team fought back."

Centurion starting pitcher Cassie Herrera struck out six and gave up seven hits in the complete-game performance.

"(Herrera) did a great job on the mound and her presence there helped keep the team focused," Watson said.

Saugus loses three seniors this season, including starter Jackie Shimamoto. A core group of 10 juniors will be returning next year.

"They got a taste of what it's like to go to playoffs and I'm excited to see what happens," Watson said.


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