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SOUTHERN SECTION SOFTBALL SEMIFINALS : Lopez, Newbury Park Thwart Fountain Valley

Fountain Valley High loaded the bases with none out in the first inning Tuesday, but Newbury Park pitcher Lea Lopez responded by retiring the next 21 batters to lead her team to a 1-0 victory in a Southern Section 5-A Division softball semifinal at Golden West College in Huntington Beach.

Lopez had walked the first two batters she faced and then gave up a hit to load the bases.

“I was just so nervous, thinking, ‘Oh, this is the semifinals,’ ” Lopez said. “I was just getting the bugs out. But, finally, I loosened up.”

And, after finding her rhythm, she struck out 11.

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Newbury Park scored in the first inning. With one out, Cami Ferris bunted and reached first on Fountain Valley pitcher Rae Rice’s throwing error.

Lopez singled to right field with Ferris stopping at second. One out later, Marcie James grounded to short, but shortstop Kristin Santa Cruz’s throw to first was wild and Ferris scored from second.


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