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SOUTHERN SECTION 5-A SOFTBALL PLAYOFF ROUNDUP : Fountain Valley Reaches Second Round on Rice No-Hitter

Rae Rice has been tough on opposing batters all season, but in Thursday’s opening round of the Southern Section 5-A playoffs against Los Alamitos High School, the Fountain Valley pitcher was overpowering.

The hard-throwing junior pitched a no-hitter, retiring 21 consecutive batters after walking the leadoff hitter in the first inning as Fountain Valley beat the Griffins, 1-0.

“Hopefully, she has saved her best for last,” Fountain Valley Coach Cary Baker said. “She was really in control today . . . throwing awfully hard.”

After walking Julie Harris in the first, Rice (17-2) retired every batter she faced, striking out 13.

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Fountain Valley (21-6) scored its only run off Los Alamitos pitcher Shannon Skoglund in the first inning. Jennifer Allchin reached first on an infield single, advanced to third on two consecutive wild pitches and scored on catcher Shannon Dolan’s single.

Rice and Michelle Kravik then singled to load the bases with one out, but Skoglund struck out Jodi Bixler and Stacy Wainwright to end the rally.

“We had first-inning jitters,” said Los Alamitos Coach Jami Moore, whose team finished at 18-8. “Our kids were overly anxious and swinging at everything.”

Skoglund also had to pitch out of jams in the fifth inning when Kristen Santa Cruz led off with a triple to right, and again in the sixth when Rice and Kravik led off with hits.

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