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Archive for May 2011

St Lucy’s Softball Post-Season Run Comes to a Close

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The St.Lucy’s softball team’s improbable playoff run finally came to an end on Thursday in a 4-0 defeat to the No. 1 seeded Oaks Christian Lions in a CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoff home game.

The quarterfinal game was the furthest St. Lucy’s (16-13, 8-7) has gone into the playoffs since the 1997 post-season.

The Regents had been able to escape with an inability to produce runs during a three game post-season stretch which saw junior lefty Danielle O’Toole win back to back 1-0 games against quality opponents like Burbank Burroughs and Highland, but St. Lucy’s offensive woes finally caught up with them.

St Lucy’s was only able to produce one hit against visiting Oaks Christian and as a team combined for just four hits in three games after out slugging Fillmore 11-9 in the wild card game which opened their 2011 post-season.

After striking out a dozen batters last time around, O’Toole, who’s committed to San Diego State, still pitched another great game striking out eight, but she walked two batters and gave up a 3 run homer in the 5th inning which proved to be the game clincher.

“She still pitched fantastic,” said Regents coach Ryan Nuveman, “She still pitched well enough to win, unfortunately those mistakes like the walks and the few more hits in games like this, that’s the difference. They hit the ball pretty hard, obviously that home run was a shot.”

For their part, the Lions utilized two pitchers to keep the Regents’ bats at bay with senior Kiana Quolas tossing five scoreless innings before giving way to freshman Kristin Cullen in the final two frames.

“She had great control, which we expected she would,” said Nuveman about the opposing pitcher, “The few times we made contact we hit it right at people, but generally we didn’t make very good contact, they didn’t have to make a ton of tough plays.”

The Lions took a 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning by getting a runner to first on a walk and then bunting in a score on a single where the runner beat a tag to the plate.

The Regents mounted a threat in the 3rd inning when Caroline Smith reached first base safely after the Lions’ infielder bobbled a ball, but Smith was unable to advance to second on a bunt attempt by Katie Lange.

“We had a lead off runner on twice and we could not move her over,” said Nuveman, “we had two sacrifice opportunities that we did not execute.”

O’Toole continued to rack up strikeouts and the Regents played good defense until the Lions placed runners on scoring position on a walk and hard hit single which went over Laura Swan’s head. Savannah Carpenter then came up and swung the 3-run shot over the fence to swell Oak Christian’s lead.

Nuveman said his message to the team after the game was to be proud of the season they just completed.

“I’m proud as heck to have been their coach this year. I’m proud that they made the season into what it’s going to be. We’re talking 15 years since the school’s gone this far and to do that when we were an inning away from not even making the playoffs is remarkable.”

The Regents had to win both games against Claremont to finish above .500 and to get into the post-season, a feat they accomplished by winning two close games and going on to win three playoff games.

“This season has been a rollercoaster that I didn’t want to have to get off. Sometimes those rollercoasters can make you sick to your stomach, like this one did,” Nuveman said adding he was proud of the way his team responded down the stretch.

“We were 7-11 at one point and had to win 6 out of our last 7, just to get in, so we were playing playoff softball back in late April, it felt like. I give the team a ton of credit for that. The character that they showed by beating some very good teams in our league, as you can see with 3 teams being in the quarterfinals, it really was impressive.”


Written by sgvsports

May 28, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized