On Saturday, February 22, the San Pedro and Port Of Los Angeles High softball teams got together like they have done for the past three years to be special guests for the San Pedro High Girls Softball Association's Opening Day ceremony for the 2014 season.

They took a dual team picture together, and separate team photos. It was one big happy family.

Come Thursday, April 24 however, they will be on opposite ends of a crosstown spectrum that is sure to be entertaining to watch, but don't make the mistake of calling this battle a classic case of 'big sister vs. little sister'.

San Pedro, currently 14-4 overall, is a 16-time CIF-Los Angeles City Section Division I champion but POLA, 13-3 overall, is the reigning three-time Small Schools Division champion in the City Section who is making a giant leap into the Division I realm for the playoffs. It's a nonleague clash that is destined to draw a massive audience and a game the City Section playoff pollsters are going to keep a close eye on.

"I know it's going to be a good game, but it's also going to be fun playing another team within the City (Section)," San Pedro senior outfielder Doreen Corella says. "Personally though, I think it's just another game in our schedule."

POLA coach Melissa Bugarin-Espinoza is one to never let her guard down about the magnitude of this game.

"Our team is UP for ALL games we play," Bugarin-Espinoza says. "We know that we have had many successes and opportunities to prove the legitimacy of our program, and whenever we have the chance to play decorated programs we show up ready. These ladies have never had the 'just another game' mentality."

POLA, currently preparing for the Spring Jamboree Tournament in Las Vegas which begins Thursday, is off to their best start in school history and has already claimed the Redondo Tournament. San Pedro is coming off winning the Whittier Tournament and 13 straight games before two Marine League losses to powers Carson and Banning knocked them off a notch.

The Pirates defeated Gardena last Thursday and is currently off on spring break before the showdown with POLA, 3 pm at Los Angeles Harbor College on April 24.

San Pedro senior catcher Armida Roman has been the biggest surprise of the year, hitting .410 with six home runs and 17 RBIs, including the massive three-home run game against South Torrance on March 17. Junior outfielder Cayla Ezelle is the next most dangerous hitter at .333 with three homers and 14 RBIs for the Pirates who have gone a pitcher-by-committee deal with seniors Jocelyn Kondash and Jaclyn Rivera, along with freshman Cindy Robles.

POLA counters with a two-pitcher tag team with junior Nicolle Miranda and freshman Analise De La Roca, while their main hitters thus far have been junior infielder Briana Valencia, freshman outfielder Shelby Younkin and junior catcher Savana Ramirez. Although senior mainstays first baseman Allison Bayer and shortstop Kelsea Short have both struggled most of the year at the plate, they thrive in big-game situations.

In fact, the last time San Pedro and POLA faced each other in the first round of the El Segundo Tournament on April 28, 2012, it was Short's walk-off single that propelled the Polar Bears to a dramatic come-from-behind 6-5 victory.

"When you have the chance to play a decorated program that has a history of success like San Pedro, it is always a BIG win for the girls and the program," Bugarin-Espinoza says. "That game versus Pedro was a great game and it came down to who blinked first."

This year's meeting is the quintessential rubber match considering San Pedro won the inaugural battle, 9-0 in five innings in the first round of the El Segundo Tournament on April 30, 2011.

"We're going to just try to give it all we got and play one game at a time," Ezelle says. "POLA is a good team, and we are a good team. We just need to go out there and play our game."

POLA's Short, Bayer and senior outfielder Sarah Maldonado along with San Pedro's Corella, Roman, senior shortstop Angelina Boskovich and senior first baseman Katrina Herrera were a part of both the 2011 and 2012 encounters, and all will figure to play a vital role in this meeting that will go a long way in determining who gets a first round home game in the City Section Division I playoffs...

Not to mention bragging rights for the city of San Pedro.

"The first two times were a great match-up for us," Bayer says. "We've always been the underdogs.  For me, it's always a thrill taking on a well-known, already proven team because it's a chance to prove ourselves over and over again with each game."

Fasten your seat belts for this one, you're sure to be in for a thrill ride.

Views: 164

Tags: 2014, Angeles, High, Los, Of, Pedro, Port, San, School, Softball

Comment

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

Join San Pedro News Pilot

Call (323) 200-9052 to learn more or click here to send an email.

San Pedro Weather

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

John posted a blog post

AltaSea CEO Rachel Etherington joins Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors

AltaSea CEO joins Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce Board of DirectorsRachel Etherington Connects with Business Leadership to Promote Economic Potential of Sustainability San Pedro, CA, January 29, 2015 – Rachel Etherington, CEO of AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, will be appointed tonight as a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Southern California’s largest nonprofit…See More
yesterday

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street shared their blog post on Facebook
yesterday
Profile IconSan Pedro News Pilot via Facebook
Thumbnail

Tall Ship Sweetheart Sail

sanpedronewspilot.com

Tall Ships provide the ultimate romantic setting making your Valentine's Day magical and unforgettable! Invite your sweetheart and get ready to dine on sumptuo…

FacebookThursday · Reply
Joleen D'Rage posted an event
Thumbnail

Tall Ship Sweetheart Sail at Boarding Berth 78, Ports O'Call Village

February 14, 2015 from 5pm to 8pm
Tall Ships provide the ultimate romantic setting making your Valentine's Day magical and unforgettable! Invite your sweetheart and get ready to dine on sumptuous fare prepared by the ship's crew.This is a three hour moonlight cruise along the waterfront from 5:00pm – 8:00pm offered by Los Angeles Maritime Institute (LAMI).The ticket price includes a complete dinner, dessert, beverage, and souvenir gift to remember your romantic adventure at sea.Alcohol is not included, but you can bring your…See More
Wednesday
Profile IconCentral San Pedro Neighborhood Council
The Mayor’s Office is extending the opportunity to nominate or recommend a few passionate students to participate in the Mayor’s Los Angeles Youth Council. Read More.  See More
Tuesday
Bernardo Alps posted an event
Thumbnail

Exploitation and Recovery of Antarctic Whales at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

January 27, 2015 from 7:30pm to 9pm
American Cetacean Society - Los Angeles Chapter FREE Monthly Speaker Series Tuesday, January 27At 7:30 p.m.Whales in Antarctica: Age of Exploitation, Age of Recoveryby Ted Cheeseman, owner and expedition leader for Cheesemans' Ecology SafarisThe Antarctic oceans boast the world’s greatest productivity, home to well over 1 million great whales before the whalers came. Yet in the 20th century, all species larger than Minke Whales were removed to commercial extinction. What were the consequences?…See More
Tuesday
Larry Momo aka Thomas W Irons posted a blog post

Curmudgeon Corner - Poke In the Eye?

My Thoughts for January 25, 2015Well, now House Speaker John Boehner has an ally in the Senate, namely Mitch McConnell, the new Senate Majority Leader to help him belittle and make the President look less presidential.  Neither republican likes the idea of the President taking credit for the country’s rebounding economy or the fact that he claimed credit for the millions of new jobs added to the work force.  Well, it’s a fact Speaker Boehner and it should be noted that trickle-down economics…See More
Monday
Rollo Hartstrom Jr. posted photos
Monday

© 2015   Created by San Pedro News Pilot.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service