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Guards stage rematch with Pomona Catholic for CIF title

Despite not being pushed in weeks and rolling through the playoffs with little resistance, Bell-Jeff likes title chance.

May 29, 2012|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(Raul Roa/Staff…)

SAN PEDRO — It has been more than seven weeks since the Bellarmine-Jefferson High softball team has been involved in a close, competitive game.

The Guards, seeded second in the CIF Southern Section Division VII playoffs, enjoyed another one-sided result in a semifinal game Tuesday against No. 3 Rolling Hills Prep at the San Pedro Softball Complex. Bell-Jeff relied on a steady, three-hit pitching performance from sophomore Mia Acosta and hammered out 12 hits to earn a convincing 16-0 victory.

The Guards easily dispatched all their opponents in securing the Santa Cruz League championship this season, outscoring their foes, 123-8. Bell-Jeff has also experienced little resistance in the playoffs, besting opponents, 56-0, in winning four games.

With the win, the Guards (23-5-2) earn a spot in the Division VII championship game for the second straight season. Bell-Jeff will take on Pomona Catholic either Friday or Saturday at a time to be determined at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine.

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The Bell-Jeff players and coaches are hoping that a lack of competition late in the season doesn't prove detrimental in the team's quest to win a first-ever CIF championship.

"That's why we play in some competitive tournaments and we play against schools that are bigger than us, so we can get that competition against good teams," said Bell-Jeff first-year Coach Florencio Galindo, whose squad took part in the Spring Jamboree in Las Vegas, the Redondo Union Tournament and the Lincoln Tournament. "We knew we might not get a lot of competition in our league, so we wanted to make sure we knew what it is like to go up against tougher teams."

The Guards have won 10 straight games, and the last time the team was pushed in a contest came April 7 in a 3-1 loss to Torrance in the Spring Jamboree tourney.

Bell-Jeff will likely get the competition it has lacked against No. 1 Pomona Catholic, the defending champion. The Pacers (26-7) defeated Mesa Grande Academy, 24-0, in their semifinal Tuesday. Pomona Catholic has not allowed a run in the postseason, either, crushing opponents, 103-0.

In last year's title game, Pomona Catholic held on for a 7-6 win against the Guards.

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