Chino High School softball Coach Dave Long knows that his team can beat El Monte in the Southern Section 2-A final tonight at 6 at Mayfair Park in Lakewood.
He knows his girls have a good shot because the last time they played the Mission Valley League champions, Chino pitchers allowed only two hits.
Chino’s defense, however, was more charitable, giving El Monte four unearned runs and a 4-1 victory in the semifinals of the Royal Oak tournament.
“If we get as good a pitched game as we got last time, and if we play defense, we figure to be there,” Long said.
El Monte, seeded third in the 2-A, has a 24-1 record. Chino, Hacienda League champion, is 24-4.
Left-hander Stacey Campbell will start for El Monte, and her pitching opponent will be senior Mitzi Leitzman (15-3), who went the distance in Chino’s 4-2, nine-inning win over Mission Viejo Tuesday.
In the 3-A championship game, starting at 8, La Habra Sonora (22-7) will play Garden Grove (24-7). It figures to be a low-scoring game, since neither team has allowed a run in the playoffs.
Sonora, which finished second in the Freeway League and was unseeded in the playoffs, has swept through the playoffs with 34 shutout innings behind two sophomore pitchers.
Kristen Robinson (12-3) will pitch the final, having allowed just three hits in 15 playoff innings. If she runs into trouble, Sonora has another sophomore pitcher, Lisa Johnson (10-4), who has given up only three hits in 19 playoff innings.
For No. 3 seed Garden Grove, pitcher Leslie Osterman has been the winner or the loser in every game the Argonauts have played this season and has four straight shutouts in the playoffs.