POLA High Softball Rallies To Win RARE Rematch With San Pedro

EL SEGUNDO - Second chances don't come often, and the Port Of Los Angeles High softball team knew crosstown neighbor San Pedro was going to make the most of their rare second opportunity.

The two got together one more time at Recreation Park to earn a spot in the El Segundo Tournament semifinals just two days after the Polar Bears administered a 11-0 whitewashing of the Pirates at Harbor College and for the first time all season, POLA would face some uncertainty after grabbing an early lead, only to watch the resilient Pirates take it away from them.

POLA would dig down deep and eventually rallied to once again defeat San Pedro, 4-2 in the El Segundo Tournament quarterfinal that would end after six innings due to the tournament time limit.

All it took was one long game of cat and mouse between POLA senior first baseman Allison Bayer and San Pedro senior pitcher Jaclyn Rivera in a crucial moment during the top of the fifth inning with one out, loaded bases, and the Pirates (15-6) trying to desperately cling to their 2-1 lead.

Bayer fell behind in the count 1-and-2, fouled off three pitches, then drew a ball. Bayer fouled off another pitch before drawing ball three. Bayer was determined not to strike out like she did in her previous encounter with Rivera, then fouled off five more pitches before finally driving in POLA senior right fielder Sarah Maldonado for the tying run with a sacrifice fly to center field. In all, that at-bat lasted for an incredible 15 pitches. 

"Allison has been seeing.the ball well," POLA softball co-coach Melissa Bugarin-Espinoza said. "I knew she would battle until the end and credit to the pitcher she worked very hard. That battle was a synopsis of the dog fight game it really was."

POLA (23-5) would regain the lead in the top of the sixth inning, as with one out, junior second baseman Rosemary Garcia would lace a ground ball to third base that skirted past San Pedro junior third baseman Taylor Richter, allowing junior courtesy runner Adriana Vargas to score the go-ahead run. One out later, Bugarin-Espinoza would call upon junior Tiffany Mercado to pinch-hit for Maldonado.

With the count at 2-and-2, Mercado drilled a shot down the left field line to the wall for a double to drive home Garcia, giving POLA some well-needed insurance.

That hit literally galvanized the Polar Bear dugout.

"When we saw that hit, the dugout went crazy", POLA junior pitcher Nicolle Miranda said. "Tiffany came in and did her job. She's hot with the bat and getting it done."

Miranda, who scattered six hits and a hit batter while striking out nine, would work around a one-out single by San Pedro freshman designated player Andrea Cline before retiring the final two batters to end the game and clinch POLA's tenth consecutive victory this season, and third straight win overall over the Pirates.

However, this was a much different looking San Pedro team than what they say on Thursday.

"We were a totally different team in this game," said Cline, who went 2-for-3 with a double. "Everybody came into this game with a different demeanor (from Thursday). I'm proud of my girls."

Rivera would pitch three scoreless innings to begin the game for San Pedro before a one-out RBI-double by junior catcher Savana Ramirez gave POLA the early 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning, but the Pirates would battle back early and get to Miranda in the bottom half.

Junior catcher Alexa Ponce laced a single to right field on Miranda's first pitch, then Richter was hit on the right shoulder four pitches later. Cline's ground ball towards Garcia at second forced a hesitated throw that pulled Bayer off first base, loading the bases, and that opened the door for San Pedro junior second baseman Johnie Cortez to make her presence known.

With the count 1-and-2, Cortez launched a shot into the right-center field gap to easily drive home Richter and freshman courtesy runner Andrea Trejo to give San Pedro the 2-1 advantage. Cline tried to score on the same play but a perfect throw from Garcia to Ramirez nailed her at the plate.

"I needed to help the team out and get those runs in," Cortez said. "I needed to redeem myself from Thursday and that's exactly what I did."

The amazing fortitude San Pedro showed in the rematch with POLA wasn't surprising to Bugarin-Espinoza.

"Obviously they are a talented group of young ladies," she said. "They were much more aggressive and took their hacks. They made great plays and made us play every pitch to the last out."

It seemed like the second take on the San Pedro-POLA softball rivalry had an emotional feel to it, especially shown in the collaboration of the Polar Bear battery of Miranda and Ramirez as they pumped each other up on seemingly every pitch.

"Nikki is a wonderful and powerful pitcher," Ramirez said of Miranda. "She came out fighting hard and I did my best in keeping her in the game with showing excitement after every pitch because she deserves the credit for hitting her spots."

Both teams deserve tons of credit for showing their true character, but to POLA goes another shot at Agoura next Saturday in the El Segundo Tournament semifinals. Agoura defeated POLA, 6-0 last year in the semifinals before winning the tournament crown.

As for San Pedro, the grit and determination they showed will only serve them better in the long run as they enter the second half of Marine League competition.

"We know now that we will be okay and I feel that we can play even better than what we did today," Cortez said.

Views: 129

Comment

You need to be a member of San Pedro News Pilot to add comments!

Join San Pedro News Pilot

San Pedro News Pilot by email - sign up!

Delivered by FeedBurner

What is the SanPedroNewsPilot.com?

The SanPedroNewsPilot.com is the social network and information outlet for San Pedro.

Want to keep up with the news in San Pedro, become a member.


 

Membership has its privileges!

• Got news you think everyone should know? Blog it.
• Have a show or attending a benefit? Put it on the calendar.
• Got video of the big game? Embed it.
• Photos of the new storefront or the school play? Upload them.

Latest Activity

michael james ihli posted a blog post

little pirates of seaport village

i wrote a story about growing up in san pedro in 1963. my brothers and i were little terrors, loose on the streets of san pedro. we ruled the alley s and parks, and no dare was left unchallenged.  check out "little pirates of seaport village."  by michael james ihli  on amazon.com or barnes and nobleSee More
19 hours ago

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street's 2 blog posts were featured
yesterday

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street promoted Jamaal Kellen Street's blog post Mary Star's Octave & Pisano: All-CIF Southern Section
Tuesday

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street posted a blog post

Mary Star's Octave & Pisano: All-CIF Southern Section

After two great individual seasons that were tied into team success... two of Mary Star High's best basketball hoopers were rewarded with a great honor from the CIF-Southern Section.Sophomore guard Joseph Octave was named to the All-CIF Division 4A boys team after helping pace the Stars to a 21-9 record and a…See More
Tuesday
Lisa posted events
Mar 14
Umff Tang posted an event
Thumbnail

Universe Multicultural Film Festival at RHCC Community Center

March 31, 2017 to April 2, 2017
Three full days of film screenings (100+ films from 30 countries), Film Market, Panels, Galas. And screenplay showcases, Fantastic Red Carpet Award ceremony; multicultural Fashion competitions. It is a one of the only multicultural fun event, and global cinema art mixer. Event detail is http://umfilms.org/Event.htmlSee More
Mar 14
Melanie promoted Melanie's blog post Do You Look for “Best Chiropractor in South Bay,” “Top Torrance Massage,” “Physical Therapy in San Pedro,” and More?
Mar 13
Melanie posted a blog post

Do You Look for “Best Chiropractor in South Bay,” “Top Torrance Massage,” “Physical Therapy in San Pedro,” and More?

How to find the right treatment for you in your local area“Best Chiropractor in South Bay”“Top Torrance Massage”“Physical Therapy in San Pedro?These may be just a few of the terms you use to search for a chiropractor, massage, physical therapy, and other treatments in your local area. While you may find some results, how do you know…See More
Mar 13

© 2017   Created by San Pedro News Pilot.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service