Two years ago in the first career high school softball start for Mary Star High softball wunderkind Marina Vitalich, Downey Calvary Chapel rocked her for 14 runs (8 unearned) in a game that was called due to darkness, leaving the game tied at 14-14 on March 2, 2012.
From that game on to the present stage, look where Vitalich has came back from now?
Facing the one team that provided Vitalich her worst outing of her legendary career at Mary Star, she would make no mistakes in providing arguably her greatest outing of all time by tossing a rarity not only for the Stars, but for all of San Pedro prep sports... a complete seven-inning perfect game.
Vitalich was completely unstoppable as she completely dominated all 21 batters she faced to the tune of 17 strikeouts in only 74 pitches, 59 of them were strikes, in powering the host Stars to a 6-0 nonleague victory over Calvary Chapel at the San Pedro Softball Complex. This latest performance has been just a microcosm of how the season for the George Mason-bound Vitalich has been going since her junior year began.
Already in the 2014 season, Vitalich has no-hit Chadwick of Rolling Hills Estates and Environmental Charter of Lawndale along with the Grizzlies, fanning a total of 51 batters without allowing a single walk or hit batter.
"I have dedicated a countless number of hours to improving my game so it's very rewarding to see all the hard work and commitment pay off," said Vitalich, who also drove in the game's first run in the bottom of the first inning with a sacrifice fly that brought home her sister, freshman shortstop Amanda Vitalich.
A two-out deep fly to center field from Vitalich in the fourth inning was dropped, allowing for two more runs to score. Mary Star (3-0) would then finish the scoring in the bottom of the sixth inning with a bases-loaded walk drawn by senior first baseman Brina Garcia, and another infield pop up error that allowed senior pinch-runners Victoria Vitalich and Miranda Luarca to score.
Vitalich would strike out 13 of her 17 victims swinging by using a devastating array of mixing speeds and using various pitches to become just the second prep softball pitcher in San Pedro to throw for a seven-inning perfect game, joining Ashley Esparza, the former San Pedro High legend, who threw her perfect game against Palisades in 2004.
Ironically, Esparza had 17 strikeouts as well during that game where the Pirates won, 3-0 over Palisades in the first round of the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division I playoffs.
"It meant a lot to have thrown a perfect game, especially against a school like Calvary Chapel who has a very competitive team every year, but I couldn't have done it without my team," said Vitalich, also noting the three ground ball assists by senior third baseman Christina Padilla along with a first-pitch ground out combo recorded by Garcia and junior second baseman Lexie Geich in the fifth inning as keys to getting her perfect moment.
Vitalich also paid homage to Esparza by saying: "It is also an honor to be the only other pitcher alongside Ashley Esparza to throw a perfect game because I personally know her, and I know how great of a pitcher she was."
Pretty soon if no one has figured it out by now... everyone will know how great Vitalich truly is.