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Flintridge Prep softball enjoys another lopsided playoff victory

SANTA CLARITA — The Flintridge Prep softball team definitely has its offense in overdrive in the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

In two games, the Rebels have accounted for 45 runs in two wins over only 10 innings.

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In a first-round game Thursday afternoon, Flintridge Prep scored early and took advantage of errors from Santa Clarita Valley International to post a 23-6 Division VII victory at William S. Hart Baseball and Softball fields.

Two days earlier, the Rebels opened the postseason on the road with a 22-0 wild-card win against Coastal Christian.

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"I think we have all been prepared and we have been working hard all season and we are getting better and that's showed in the playoffs," said Rebels catcher Emma Stellar. "We are leaning on each other to improve our skills and that has really helped in these last two games.

"We are really hitting the ball right now. We all have been trying to be better hitters and raise our batting averages and it is all paying off."

Stellar helped the offensive onslaught for the Rebels (11-7), who finished fourth in the Prep League. The catcher went two for two with a two-run home run, a triple, two walks, two runs batted in and four runs scored. Shortstop Natalie Dale was three for three with two walks, two RBI and five runs scored and third baseman Oliva Stevens was three for three with two doubles, four RBI, a walk and two runs scored.

Flintridge Prep was also able to take advantage of eight errors by the Stallions (10-4), who won the Omega League championship.

The Rebels, who had 17 hits, got to Santa Clarita Valley Invitational pitcher Kaylie Martinez early, scoring five runs in the top of the first inning. Two runs were scored on a double to left field by Stevens, two came on passed balls and the other on a fielder's choice from right fielder Caroline Yamamoto.

The Stallions got a run back in the bottom of the first to cut the lead to 5-1.

A huge second inning in which the Rebels pushed across 12 runs increased their lead to 17-1. Flintridge Prep brought 15 batters to the plate in the frame, had eight hits and took advantage of four errors. Center fielder Melissa Grande (two for three with a double and three RBI) had a run-scoring single and a two-run scoring double in the second inning and Dale, Caroline Yamamoto and second baseman Georgia Yamamoto drove in runs.

It was in the second that Rebels coach Julia Mejia began to clear her bench and had players step off bases early for intentional outs as to not run up the score even further.

"We are here to play softball, but we want to do it with class," Mejia said. "We've all been on both sides of that and it's never fun when it is happening to you. We just want to do all we can to be competitive, but at the same time stay classy in situations like that."

With a run in the bottom of the second inning, Santa Clarita Valley Christian trailed, 17-2.

The Rebels scored three more runs in the fourth before the Stallions pushed across four runs in their portion of the frame on a grand slam from first baseman Aleena Valenzuela (two for three) to push to within 21-6.

Stellar's two-run home run to right field in the fifth capped the scoring for Flintridge Prep.

The Rebels advanced to Tuesday's second round where they will host San Gabriel Mission, which defeated Riverside Bethel Christian, 14-1, in its first-round game Thursday.

Twitter: @jefftsports

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