Southern Section 2-A Softball : Arroyo Wins Title Despite Robertson

Times Staff Writer

Softball is an unforgiving game, as El Toro High School pitcher Dawn Robertson can verify.

Robertson struck out 10, gave up three hits and no earned runs but lost to Arroyo, 2-1, in the Southern Section 2-A championship game at Mayfair Park Friday.

Meanwhile, her counterpart from Arroyo, sophomore pitcher Laura Lewis (21-1), didn’t strike out a batter and allowed five hits, relying on an excellent defense to lead the team to the first softball title in school history.

Softball tends to favor the front-runners, and Arroyo (22-1) grabbed that role in its first trip to the plate.

With one out, left-handed hitter Teena Vasquez singled to left. Then the No. 3 hitter, Missy Phillips, with a fearsome .603 batting average, popped up. Catcher Karen Robertson, Dawn’s sister, misjudged it and dropped it.


Phillips wound up drawing a walk, and both runners moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Robertson (13-3) struck out Chela Castano. But clean-up hitter Kathy Van Valkenburgh, who had a .409 average and 44 runs batted in, dropped a bloop single behind third base to score Vasquez.

Van Valkenburgh decoyed her way into a rundown between first and second base, allowing Phillips to scramble home for what turned out to be the winning run.

El Toro, which stranded seven, tried to come back in the bottom of the third on singles by Tanya McKinley, Ali Gibson and a bunt single by Gina Giardini. Shawnn Gallagher’s grounder scored McKinley, but the Chargers were unable to add to the rally.

“I feel great,” said Arroyo’s Lewis, posing for photos and grasping her championship medal and patch in her pitching hand afterward. “We’ve never been past the second round before. I just can’t believe we’re here right now.”