Monroe Gets Drop in Final

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The winner of a competitive softball game usually is the team that makes the fewer errors. Such was not the case in the City Section 3-A Division final.

Monroe and Verdugo Hills took turns dropping the ball, booting grounders and overthrowing teammates. What this game came down to was which team made the costliest errors--and Verdugo Hills paid dearly.

Monroe parlayed four singles and two errors into a four-run second inning and went on to beat defending champion Verdugo Hills, 7-3, Tuesday in the 3-A title game in front of about 350 at UCLA.

"We'll take it anyway we can get it," Monroe Coach Bill Hence said.

Monroe (17-2) scored in the first inning when winning pitcher Melissa Ennis (13-1) came home on a groundout by Silvia Ramos, but it was the second inning that proved disastrous for the Dons (18-4).

After Alanna Torres' bases-loaded single gave the Vikings a 2-0 lead, Ennis hit a comebacker to pitcher Shannon Schoonover, who flipped the ball to catcher Jodi Kent. But the throw got away from Kent and Cindy Gutierrez scored. Kent retrieved the ball from the backstop, but then overthrew Schoonover, who was covering the plate. Charlotte Ali scored on the overthrow, but Torres (three for four) was thrown out at the plate by shortstop Stephanie Wood, who recovered the overthrow.

The Vikings, who like the Dons made four errors, added a run on a single by Lupe Brambila (two hits).

"We were hoping to put a little pressure on them with our speed," Hence said. "That (inning) took a lot of pressure off us, really."

The Dons, who won the school's first title last year, never recovered.

"We've hit the ball well all year," Verdugo Hills Coach Dan Balkey said. "But, when you're down four or five runs right off the bat like this, it's hard (to come back)."

Verdugo Hills rallied for three runs in the sixth on three hits and an error to get to within 6-3.

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