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Ramona scores sweet 16 to reach finals

05/29/2014, 10:56pm PDT
By Terry Monahan, Special to the U-T

Bulldogs answer comeback by Otay Ranch with seven-run rally in the seventh inning

Ramona pitcher Kailey Hill allowed 10 runs but hung on for the win over Otay Ranch.

— When you pile up 18 hits and have your ace pitcher in the circle, most often the game is going your way.

On Thursday, Ramona found out what the exception feels like.

The Bulldogs needed virtually every one of those hits after blowing an 8-2 lead, surviving for a 16-10 victory over No. 2-seeded Otay Ranch in the semifinals of the winners’ bracket of the San Diego Section Division I softball playoffs at Poway Sportsplex.

Ramona (22-8) advanced to Saturday’s championship game at UC San Diego against the winner of the Cathedral Catholic-Otay Ranch game.

Heather Celaya’s 40-foot infield single pushed across the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, snapping an 8-8 tie before the No. 4 Bulldogs scored seven runs in the top of the seventh inning to remove any doubt that Ramona was going back to the final for the first time since 2011.

“This whole game was crazy,” said Ramona senior pitcher Kailey Hill, who allowed 12 hits and all 10 runs but still improved to 13-2. “I thought we could pull it out the whole day.

“I feel a lot more confident going back to the finals than I did as a freshman. I’m not as intense about things.

“I hope we can keep it as a normal softball game.”

Otay Ranch (21-10) scored five runs in the fourth inning and another in the fifth on Nikki Fernandez’s single to tie the game 8-8.

Then came Celaya’s single.

“That hit pumped us up,” said Hill, who was 2-for-4 and scored four runs. “I knew at that point I had to find a way to finish this off.”

Hill surrendered two more runs in the seventh before getting the final out.

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