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Westview gets some payback on wild pitch

05/14/2013, 8:28pm PDT
By Terry Monahan

Wolverines avenge playoff loss last season to Ramona.

At the time, it seemed like nothing special, just a one-out walk in the eighth inning.

But another out and a stolen base later, Westview High’s Sarah Stone was on third base just a few feet from victory.

On a 2-0 pitch, that moment came as the catcher dashed home with the winning run on a wild pitch to secure the Wolverines’ 4-3 victory over visiting Ramona on Tuesday in the play-in round of the San Diego Section Division II softball playoffs.

“I gave her about 15 instructions at third,” Westview coach Bob Purcell said. “If it’s hit at all, go. If it’s a passed ball, go. If it’s a wild pitch, go.”

Westview (17-10) advances to Thursday’s first round at No. 4 seed Scripps Ranch (17-10).

The Wolverines, who had lost three of their last four coming into the playoffs, had a chance to win the game in the seventh inning. They failed to convert after having the leadoff hitter reach third base.

Natalie Barnes struck out, but a throwing error sent her over to third base only to be nailed at the plate on a comebacker to pitcher Kailey Hill, who allowed just four hits.

When Stone finally scampered home one inning later it also helped ease some of the sting from an 8-7 loss to Ramona in 10 innings in last year’s playoffs.

“With two outs I was thinking go hard on contact and slide,” Stone said of her winning run. “We needed a run right there, especially after last year.

“When I was at third base I could feel it. Last year we lost in extra innings, and I can’t say that’s what I thought about there, but it was sure on everyone’s mind before the game.”

Ramona (16-15) struck first in the fourth inning, scoring on Kenzie Wright’s squeeze bunt.

Westview answered back with Morgan Howe’s inside-the-park homer — her second this year — in the fourth inning followed by Stacy Walden’s ground out for a run and a third run on an error.

But the 3-1 lead didn’t last as Hill and Amber Davis, who were both 2-for-4, slugged back-to-back triples for a run and the tying run scored on Julie Ward’s single.

The Bulldogs opened the seventh inning with a single but failed to score against Audrey Ciruzzi, who improved to 7-5 with three innings of shutout relief aided by a pair of double plays.

“We were one hit away all day it seemed,” Ramona coach Cori McDonald said. “This is about the 10th game we’ve lost this year by one run.

“I hope this stings enough for them to come back next year after a year of hard work to make this right.”

Like the Wolverines did this time.

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