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CIF softball: Hart slows to a halt

Indians’ bats are quieted in quarterfinals

Posted: May 27, 2010 9:44 p.m.
Updated: May 28, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
CORONA - After threatening early, the Hart softball team was held to a single hit in the final four innings of a 3-0 loss to Corona in the CIF-Southern Section Division I quarterfinals on Thursday at Corona High School.

The Indians had baserunners in each of the first three innings, but couldn't to cash in on the opportunities.

"Always in a game like this you can look back (at missed opportunities)," said Hart head coach Steve Calendo. "We had first and third a couple of times and didn't get a hit. It happens. They got the best of us today."

Hart (22-7-2) was held down by Panthers left-handed starting pitcher Loie Kesterson, who had five strikeouts in the complete-game win.

"Their pitcher did a heck of a job," Calendo said. "She hit her spots really well and we were hitting the ball, but we hit some right at people at couldn't put anything together against her. She was sneaky fast. The girls said the ball was coming in quicker than they thought."

Corona (21-9-1) jumped out to a 2-0 lead early with two RBI singles from freshman Emily Rogers in the first and third innings, then tacked on a run in the sixth thanks to a home run from junior Chelsea Crawley.

"We never expected to be here," said Panthers head coach Jo Ann Byrd. "It was a miracle. They're a good team and it was almost like playing ourselves. It could have gone either way, but we were really fortunate that it went our way."

Hart junior starting pitcher Emili Escamilla ran into trouble in the early innings, but at one point retired eight consecutive Corona batters in the middle innings.

"She may have gotten squeezed a little on the strike zone, but she pitched a good game," Calendo said of Escamilla. "They got a couple very timely hits and she made one mistake on the home run. That's what happens this time of year."

Even though the loss ends the Indians' season, Hart was noticeably upbeat after the game.

"We're not hanging our heads," Calendo said. "It was a great season with 22 wins an a trip to the quarterfinals. Nobody likes to go out at any time and I'd love to be playing next week, but we have no regrets at all."

The Indians will return a core of young talent in 2011, including eight returning starters.

"It's something to look forward to for the program," Calendo said. "If they play as hard as they did today, it should be a fun season for them."


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