SOUTHERN SECTION SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS : Trabuco Hills, Not at Full Strength, Falls to Don Lugo

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

On a day when the Trabuco Hills' softball team needed all systems on go, the Mustangs stalled on the launching pad.

Second-seeded Chino Don Lugo defeated injury-depleted and error-plagued Trabuco Hills, 7-1, in the second round of the Southern Section 3-A softball playoffs Wednesday at Trabuco Hills.

Don Lugo (24-4), the Baseline League champion, advances to the quarterfinals to play West Covina South Hills, a 2-0 winner over Artesia, Friday. Pacific Coast League runner-up Trabuco Hills finishes 19-10.

The Mustangs were without shortstop Amy Rodriguez, who broke her ankle during the weekend after hitting .432 during the regular season, and compounded their problems by committing three fielding errors and numerous mental mistakes.

"We needed to be at full strength and play a mistake-free game to win," said Trabuco Hills Coach Mike Flanegin. "We couldn't do either today."

Don Lugo scored two runs in the first on a walk, a base hit, a Trabuco Hills error and a wild pitch by Brianna Burkman. Trabuco Hills threatened to get back into the game in the bottom of the inning after Christy Lunceford led off with a triple, but the Mustangs couldn't bring Lunceford home.

Don Lugo pitcher Leah O'Brien struck out Angela Summa and Michelle Clark to end the inning after a walk to Theresa Summa gave Trabuco Hills runners on first and third with one out. From there, O'Brien didn't allow another hit until the fifth inning, when April Kargel hit a home run to right field.

While O'Brien cruised, the Mustangs struggled on defense. Two walks and three hits allowed by Burkman in the third led to two more Don Lugo runs, and the Conquistadors took advantage of Trabuco Hills' errors in the fifth and sixth to score in each inning.

In other 3-A games:

Woodbridge 4, La Mirada 0--Alison Ward allowed only a third-inning single in six innings. She struck out six and didn't walk a batter for the Warriors (27-4), the tournament's top-seeded team. Stacy Washington pitched a perfect seventh for her third save.

In the second inning, Keri Byrd drove in a run with a triple and later scored on a single by Lisa Weaver to give the Warriors a 2-0 lead. Woodbridge will play Walnut, a 5-2 winner over Pomona Catholic, Friday in the quarterfinals.

University 1, Chino 0--After two outs in the bottom of the sixth, the Trojans rallied to score the game's only run. Michele Ponce singled and took second when the ball got past the left fielder. Ponce moved to third on an infield single by Carrie Kirk and scored on a single by Lakita Johnson. University (20-10) advances to play Quartz Hill, a 2-1 winner over Santa Fe, in the quarterfinals Friday. Chino finished 24-5.

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