Fullerton's Fancuberta Uses Arm, Bat to Win : Division II softball: Sophomore pitcher's key hits help Indians beat La Puente Bishop Amat, 4-1.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Fullerton softball Coach Scott Weber repeatedly has said the secret to his team's success this season has been hard work and team effort.

But a large dose of sophomore Angie Fancuberta has been a big key for the Indians, especially in their run through the Southern Section Division II playoffs.

Fancuberta again was the heroine Saturday night at Mayfair Park, as she gave up three hits over 10 innings and had the key hit in both of the Indian rallies as Fullerton knocked off third-seeded La Puente Bishop Amat, 4-1, at Mayfair Park.

Fancuberta struggled in the middle innings, giving up her only earned run in 45 innings of playoff action. She walked three and struck out 11. At the plate, she doubled to lead off the fourth, helping the Indians take a 1-0 lead, then had the only Fullerton base hit in a three-run 10th inning that sealed the Indians' (19-13) first Southern Section softball title in 10 years. It was their 10th victory in a row, and they beat the Nos. 4, 1 and 3-seeded teams in the playoffs.

Fullerton took advantage of the Lancers' (22-5) generosity in putting together their game-winning rally. Two errors, a hit batsman, and an intentional walk loaded the bases with one out. Losing pitcher Chrissy Gil then walked to Alissa Sorrell, forcing in the winning run. Fancuberta singled to make it 3-1, and Deborah Hargrave contributed an RBI groundout to make it 4-1.

Fullerton opened the scoring in the top of the fourth inning. Fancuberta singled to right. Gina Luna tried to make a diving catch, but the ball caromed off her glove and into center field, allowing Fancuberta to advance to second.

Hargrave followed with a ground ball to third. Pinch-runner Ashley Jones alertly waited for the throw to first, which retired Hargrave, then broke for third and beat the throw across the diamond.

Nadia Hoerner hit a bouncer to second base, but Jones slid around the tag to give the Indians a 1-0 lead.

Bishop Amat took advantage of Fancuberta's wildness in the fifth, scoring the tying run without the benefit of a hit. After striking out Rhonda Luna to open the inning, Fancuberta issued consecutive walks to Kristina Chavez and Michelle Salinas, and a passed ball moved the Lancer runners to second and third with one down.

Carrie Woodward's ground ball to second drove in pinch-runner Laura Gomez, tying the score, 1-1.

"I think Angie just got rattled a little bit," Weber said. 'I don't know why--that hasn't happened to her before--but you have to remember she's only a sophomore and I think things got to her a little."

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