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Huntington Beach softball hammers its way into second round

Huntington Beach softball hammers its way into second round
Jadelyn Allchin, shown scoring a run on April 17, homered twice in Huntington Beach High's 16-4 win at Riverside Poly in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs on Thursday. (Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

At Huntington Beach High, additional parking is provided along the outfield fence of the softball field.

Anyone who chooses to occupy one of those spots does so at their own peril. Signs along the fence state that the drivers park there at their own risk.

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It is particularly dangerous to do so at the end of the week, when the Oilers partake in a home run derby of sorts. The Oilers call these practices "Front Window Friday."

"We'll say, 'It's parking lot day,' because there are so many cars parked right along the fences that we're just like aiming for them," junior center fielder Jadelyn Allchin said.

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Friday came early for the Oilers this week.

Huntington Beach hammered six home runs in a 16-4 win at Riverside Poly in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs on Thursday.

Allchin, a University of Washington commit, homered twice and had four runs batted in. Sophomore designated player Malia Cockrell and junior catcher Katelyn Mangrello hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning.

Playing in her first playoff game, Cockrell followed a Kelly Ryono double with a fly ball that bounced off the center-field fence and out of the yard.

"That felt good, especially because I knew I helped my team out," Cockrell said. "I know if I get it going, it will just be like a chain."

Mangrello's solo home run gave the Oilers (20-7) a 10-4 lead. The Oilers scored five runs in the sixth inning to put the mercy rule into effect.

Every starter in the Oilers' lineup had at least one hit. Senior third baseman Kelli Kufta and freshman right fielder Devyn Greer also homered.

Ryono, a junior first baseman, had four hits, including three doubles. Senior shortstop Allee Bunker and Allchin each had three hits, and sophomore left fielder Shelbi Ortiz had a pair of singles.

Savannah Favre and Celeste Ponce each had two hits for the Bears (19-9).

Last season, Huntington Beach's season ended with the tying run at third base in a 4-3 first-round loss at home to West Covina South Hills. Oilers coach Jeff Forsberg said that his team, the coaching staff included, was noticeably relaxed prior to Thursday's playoff opener.

"We've come to the playoffs before just really tight, from us, to the kids," Forsberg said. "Today, we were like, 'We're playing with house money. Just throw it out and see what happens.' "

A long road trip would be enough to take the life out of some teams, but not the Oilers.

Huntington Beach left for Riverside at noon, and Greer said that the Oilers were quite a lively group on the way over.

"We practice our interviews, but not nearly the same questions as this," she said. "We listen to our music. We're vibing."

The ability to have fun ahead of a big game points to the Oilers being a confident bunch. Marquee wins, like the one at Los Alamitos to earn a share of the Sunset League title, have a way of doing that.

At the time of the teams' meeting, the Griffins were the top-ranked team in Division 1.

"I think we really proved ourselves throughout the season, especially getting the big win against Los Al," Greer said. "It has really put us in a place where [opponents] know our name. They know that we're going to win."

Huntington Beach, the eighth-ranked team in Division 1, has won six games in a row. The Oilers will host No. 9 Valencia on Tuesday in a second-round game.

With their 2-1 win over Vista Murrieta on Thursday, the Vikings (25-7) have won 15 games in a row.

Twitter: @ProfessorTurner

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