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Acosta lifts Guards to semifinals

Softball: Pitcher tosses a three-hitter and has three hits of her own in 6-0 CIF quarterfinal victory at home.

May 24, 2012|BY JEFF TULLY
(Roger Wilson Staff…)

GROSS PARK — It was relatively easy for the Bellarmine-Jefferson High softball team to score runs in bunches in its opening two games of the CIF Southern Section Division VII playoffs. In fact, the Guards crossed the plate 34 times and held their opponents scoreless in notching two shutout victories.

However, through the first three innings of Thursday's quarterfinal game against Bloomington Christian, Bell-Jeff could account for only a single run, as it clung to the slim advantage.

Following a slow start, the team's bats finally came alive, as the Guards pushed across two more runs in the fourth inning and three in the sixth to secure a 6-0 victory at Gross Park.

The win propels Bell-Jeff (22-5-2) into the division semifinals for the second straight season. The Guards will take host Rolling Hills Prep at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday. Rolling Hills Prep defeated University Prep, 23-15, in its quarterfinal Thursday.

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In a 2011 semifinal, Bell-Jeff defeated Rolling Hills Prep, 5-4, in a dramatic come-from-behind win in the seventh inning. It paved the way for the program's first appearance in a CIF championship game.

"Since we got to the championship game last year, it has been our goal to make it back this year," Bell-Jeff sophomore center fielder Jaylen Watson said. "We really think we can do it."

In Thursday's win against the Ravens (20-9) — the runner-up in the Victory League — the Guards received an outstanding performance from sophomore pitcher Mia Acosta. Not only was Acosta solid in the circle, but she also went three for three at the plate.

The starting pitcher began the game by surrendering a hit in each of the first three innings. Luckily for Acosta, she didn't give up anything else in the first three frames, even benefiting from a defense that turned a double play in the first. Bloomington Christian moved a runner into scoring position in the second inning with two out when Tyler Hernandez reached on a fielder's choice and stole second. However, Acosta struck out Danielle Stousy-Henderson to end the threat.

"I have a lot of confidence in my team," Acosta said. "I know they've got my back and they will help me out."

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