Ale Samperio Is Superior; Mary Star Softball Blanks POLA

Great pitching usually leads to success in high school softball.

Such as the case for Mary Star High softball and their talented sophomore pitcher Alessandra Samperio.

Visiting Port Of Los Angeles High hardly made a sound against Samperio, who only allowed two hits without issuing a walk and struck out 14 batters, while the offense of the Stars finally caught up with Samperio's dominance in the circle and the defense behind her didn't commit an error, all translating to a 6-0 victory for Mary Star on Thursday in the fourth annual crosstown meeting between the two.

With the game scoreless going into the bottom of the fifth inning, Mary Star (2-2 overall) finally awoke from their offensive slumber which was carrying over from Wednesday's 3-0 loss to Palos Verdes in their 2018 home debut.

Freshman Bella Orozco led off the inning drawing a base on balls from POLA senior pitcher Noelany Benitez, who escaped two Mary Star scoring threats in the third inning where the Stars left runners on second and third base, and the fourth when Benitez struck out senior center fielder Jillian Duran to end the inning after tagging out sophomore courtesy runner Skyler Marquez on a squeeze play attempt.

After Orozco's walk, that's when the Stars' bats finally exploded.

On the first pitch from Benitez, sophomore right fielder Sarah Leyba took her deep over POLA senior center fielder Angie Vargas' head to drive home Orozco, then an error on the same play on a cut off throw allowed Leyba to score for a 2-0 lead that seemed to be more than enough with the way Samperio was dealing.

The Stars were not satisfied.

Junior first baseman Rose Amalfitano blasts a first pitch single, then later scored on sophomore shortstop Ashley Rico's booming double off the left-center field fence that chased Benitez from the game. Samperio then fisted a single off POLA sophomore relief pitcher and third baseman Angelina Mercado down the left field line to plate Rico for a 4-0 Mary Star advantage. Amalfitano would then deliver a two-run single with one out in the bottom of the sixth for the final two runs of the game.

Samperio would go 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and her lone RBI, as Leyba and Amalfitano both went 2-for-3 hitting for the Stars. Benitez, who had one of POLA's two hits, pitched four scoreless innings before being tagged in the fifth, finishing on a five-hitter with five strikeouts and two walks for POLA, who was playing their first game of 2018.

Mercado, sophomore second baseman Tori Palomino and junior shortstop Yolanda Racaza turned in some brilliant defensive plays for the Polar Bears despite committing three errors in all. 

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