TODAY'S GAMES : Mater Dei, Garden Grove to Match Standout Pitching in 5-A


Top-seeded Mater Dei and Garden Grove League champion Pacifica highlight the Southern Section softball playoffs that continue today with quarterfinal games.

The Monarchs (18-1-1), the Angelus League winners, travel to Pacifica (20-5-1) for a Division 5-A matchup that should feature two of the premier pitchers in the county, right-handers Terry Kobata and Jennifer Surface.

Mater Dei's Kobata has a 10-0 record and a 0.10 earned-run average. Surface is 18-5 with a 0.07 ERA. Surface led the county in strikeouts during the regular season with 230 and pitched all 26 innings in Pacifica's 1-0 victory over Cerritos in a first-round game played over two days. Each pitcher has a perfect game and three no-hitters this season.

Other 5-A action has third-seeded Fountain Valley (19-4) meeting Cypress (22-5) at Cypress College, Kennedy (21-6) at home against Marmonte League champion Thousand Oaks (20-4) and Los Alamitos (16-6-1) visiting Simi Valley (24-2).

The eight teams involved in today's 5-A games won their first-round games by shutouts. Los Alamitos had the largest margin of victory, defeating Santa Barbara, 7-0, and Pacifica and Cypress, which defeated Ventura Buena, both won by the minimum score possible.

In 4-A, top-seeded La Habra (24-2) and Orange League runner-up Brea-Olinda (19-6) meet in one of two all-county matchups in the division.

La Habra, Freeway League champion, advanced with a 5-0 victory at Fontana Tuesday and Brea qualified with a 2-0 victory at Capistrano Valley.

The other county game in the division features South Coast League rivals El Toro (23-8-1) at Mission Viejo (12-15). Both won their second-round games with 3-2 victories Tuesday, El Toro over Covina Charter Oak in 12 innings and Mission Viejo over Sunny Hills.

Century League champion Foothill (23-7), seeded second in the division, goes to Crescenta Valley (20-4) in another 4-A game. The Knights have won their first two games of the playoffs with shutouts by Leeann Gonzalez (21-5).

In Division 1-A, Olympic League runner-up Whittier Christian (17-3) plays at Flintridge Prep (12-8). The Heralds rely on right-hander Deborah Goddu (17-2) and infielder Shelly Thums, who batted .460 during the regular season.

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