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Guards softball suffers perfect game defeat in championship rematch with Pomona Catholic, 1-0

For second year in a row, Bell-Jeff loses by one run in CIF final to Pomona Catholic, 1-0.

June 01, 2012|By Charles Rich, charles.rich@latimes.com
(Mark Mullen )

IRVINE — For two teams that scored runs in bushels and had yet to yield a run throughout the playoffs, one trend figured to dissolve when the Bellarmine-Jefferson High and Pomona Catholic softball squads participated in the CIF Southern Section Division VII championship game Friday afternoon.

Entering the contest, the teams combined to outscore their playoff opponents,159-0.

What Bell-Jeff hadn't counted on was seeing its power shut off by Pomona Catholic starting pitcher Amber Padilla in its quest to win the program's first CIF title. Unfortunately for the Guards, they fell victim to a masterpiece tossed by Padilla.

Padilla pitched a perfect game to spark top-seeded Pomona Catholic to a 1-0 victory against second-seeded Bell-Jeff at Deanna Manning Stadium.

Pomona Catholic (27-7) defeated Bell-Jeff (23-6-2) to win the title for the second consecutive season and program's sixth overall championship. The Pacers scored in the top of the first inning and then watched Padilla handcuff the Guards.

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"It's tough to get this close and it comes down to a one-run game," said Bell-Jeff Coach Florencio Galindo, whose team scored 56 runs in its first four playoff contests. "It's tough to swallow, but Amber hit her spots and give her credit.

"I honestly thought we'd have a chance to score a run or win it going into our last at-bat. We didn't make the adjustments and we could never get our offense going."

Padilla struck out eight and only two Bell-Jeff batters hit the ball out of the infield.

"I would have liked to have had a bit more [run production]," said Padilla, a senior. "The last inning was so nerve-wracking and that's a very, very good team.

"I kind of looked back [at the scoreboard] and I didn't want to say [anything about the perfect game]."

The Guards, who were looking to win the school's third CIF championship since the school opened in 1944, couldn't catch up to Padilla's rise ball. That left them flustered with each passing inning.

Bell-Jeff starting pitcher Mia Acosta turned in an excellent performance in the circle, striking out four and yielding just six hits.

The sophomore right-hander, who transferred from Birmingham High, encountered some difficulty in the first inning before settling down nicely. With one out, Acosta walked Victoria Givens and then yielded a single to Padilla. Ashley Montion then singled to score Givens.

"It was my best game and I wasn't nervous," Acosta said. "I didn't do what I had to do and I had a pitched that slipped [to Montion].

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