It is a strategy rarely seen in softball.
But what better time to pull out all the stops than in an all-star game?
With Coach Pat Grennan of Agoura High giving the order, Julie Jensen of Oak Park stole home in the fourth inning for the go-ahead run Tuesday night in the South's 3-1 victory over the North in the Ventura County Coaches Assn. senior all-star game at Borchard Park.
"We've been working on that one a long time," said Jensen, who was coached by Grennan for several years when she played in the Westlake-Agoura Girls' Softball League.
But, Jensen admits, it was the first time she has ever done it in a game.
There were two out with runners at second and third when Jensen took a big lead on the first pitch to Jenna Allen. Catcher Amber Rodarte of Buena looked at Jensen, who continued to inch toward the plate, but threw the ball back to pitcher Erin Heinbechner of Moorpark.
Jensen bolted home and scored easily to break a 1-1 tie.
Jensen, most valuable player for the South, drove in the tying run minutes earlier with a liner up the middle and finished with two of the South's six hits.
"I love it," said Jensen, who will play for Moorpark College next year. "This was so much fun."
Two pitches after Jensen's steal, Allen doubled into the right-center field gap and Dawn Carifi of Simi Valley scored for a 3-1 South lead.
The South's three-run rally in the fourth started with a two-out triple by Rachel Alcorn of Royal. All three runs were unearned off Heinbechner, who allowed three hits in two innings.
South center fielder Shelly Teverbaugh of Thousand Oaks kept the North from scoring in the sixth by throwing out two runners at the plate.
Julia Tamai, who led Cornerstone Christian to a Southern Section Division VI title, led off the inning with a double--her third hit of the game.
Cindy Ball of Camarillo followed with a single up the middle. Tamai rounded third and headed home. Teverbaugh's throw was on the money to catcher April Vaughn of Royal and Tamai was out by three feet.
After a fly out to Teverbaugh for the second out, Shannon Zigner of Camarillo ripped a liner into right-center field and Ball raced home from second. But Teverbaugh's throw was again on the mark for the third out.
Ball, most valuable player for the North, had two hits and pitched two hitless innings.
Lori Tande of Simi Valley shut the door on the North, retiring the nine batters she faced in the seventh, eighth and ninth.