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Pacifica’s Freed Gives El Modena Nothing

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Amanda Freed used a blazing fastball and a baffling change-up to pitch her ninth no-hitter of the season and second in a row, as top-seeded Pacifica defeated visiting El Modena, 2-0, Thursday to advance to the Southern Section Division III softball semifinals.

The Mariners (27-3) will face Paso Robles, a 1-0 winner over Redondo Beach Redondo Union, on Tuesday.

Freed (15-2), who struck out 14 and allowed only three balls out of the infield, said she does not feel any added pressure as the Mariners attempt to defend their title. “I prepared for this game the same way I always do,” Freed said. “They’re a great team and I just tried to keep them off balance.”

The biggest Vanguard threat came in the seventh inning when Chrissy Lake led off with a infield grounder but wound up on second on a throwing error by third baseman Tiare Auelua.

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After Lake stole third uncontested, Freed took over. She struck out the 3-4-5 batters, Erin Norton, Jessica Keenan and Seeley Bair to end the threat, the game, and the season for the Vanguards (22-6-1).

“After we scored our last run I was relieved,” Freed said. “When the runner made it to third I just didn’t worry about it.”

Norton (20-6), El Modena’s pitcher, gave up only two hits.

“It was a pitchers’ duel,” Vanguard Coach Rhonda Weyer said. “We went out playing the best. I’m happy for our team. We came a long way this year.”

The winning run came in the fourth, when catcher Toria Auelua reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and advanced to third when Diana Barreras was caught in a rundown between third and home.

Norton threw a wild pitch to Nicole Pickett, which enabled Auelua to score.

Auelua led off the sixth with a triple and scored when Pickett dropped a single into center field.

“She [Norton] pitched a good game,” Mariner Coach Rob Weil said. “She only made a couple of mistakes, but you can’t make mistakes to players like Toria Auelua, Amanda Freed and Nicole Pickett.”

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In Division IV:

Rosary 5, Santa Fe Springs St. Paul 2--Erin Connors had two hits, two runs batted in and a run scored for host Rosary (25-6), which defeated third-seeded St. Paul (22-5) and advanced to the semifinals to play West Hills Chaminade.

In Division VI:

Southern California Christian 4, Norwalk Pioneer Baptist 3--Tara Long’s two-out single in the sixth drove in pinch-runner Tina Alexandro to cap a three-run rally for host SCC (18-4), which advanced to the semifinals for the first time.

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SCC will play Cornerstone Christian, a 5-1 winner over Grace Brethren.


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