As if the mid-day sun wasn’t enough, Ocean View High School’s five second-inning runs really made Madison softball Coach Steve Miner sweat.
Madison fell behind, 5-1, but began a comeback with two runs in the fifth and finished with four in the seventh to defeat Ocean View of Huntington Beach, 7-5, in the championship game of the Tough Time division in the Coca-Cola Orange Glen Easter tournament at Kit Carson Park.
“The comeback surprised me. It was a total team effort,” said Miner, whose team is 7-2. “Most close games are lost (by mistakes), not won, especially in a fast-pitch high school softball.”
Kim Lester singled in a run to begin Madison’s seventh-inning scoring. Jennifer Booker followed with another RBI single to tie it, and Jennifer Land then hit a two-run single to win the game for Madison.
Booker (3-1) pitched seven innings except for the brief substitution of Natalie Hurlburt in the second. After Ocean View scored three runs, Miner replaced Booker with the intention of returning her to the game. Booker had allowed just two hits in the last two innings of Madison’s 1-0 victory over Ocean View (8-7)in a tournament in Irvine last weekend.
“I wanted their team to see something different and let her calm down,” Miner said. “She needed a break. The girls get rattled and start pressing themselves. This is the luxury of having two pitchers you can count on.”
Ocean View’s momentum was slowed in the middle of its second-inning scoring blitz. The trouble began when Sharon Pouelsen, Ocean View’s first batter of the inning, was replaced with a pinch-runner at second. When Pouelsen went to bat a second time in the inning, it was called to Miner’s attention by Madison’s scorekeeper that she had never officially re-entered the game. Neither Pouelsen nor the pinch-runner was allowed to return.
Miner took advantage in the bottom of the seventh when, with one out and one on, he had Marla Pickard walked intentionally so Pouelsen’s replacement, Jennifer Schneller, would hit. Schneller was tagged at first for the second out.
Madison won last year’s tournament with a veteran team that ended up 28-2. Six of this year’s starters played on the junior varsity last season.
“This is a credit to our younger girls coming through in a clutch situation,” Miner said. “It’s definitely a confidence builder. We’re a good softball team but not a dominant team right now.”
Lester was three for four against Ocean View and batted .600 in the tournament. Hurlburt was four for four Wednesday and .438 for the tournament.
Ocean View had defeated El Capitan, 3-2, to earn the right to play Madison for the title.
Monte Vista scored the game’s only run in the seventh to defeat Marina for the varsity division championship. Mt. Miguel defeated Carlsbad, 7-2, in the consolation final.