California Gives, Thousand Oaks Takes Title, 4-2

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The first 10 minutes belonged to Whittier California High.

But the next 1:45 was all Thousand Oaks.

Thousand Oaks overcame a two-run deficit and beat California, 4-2, for the Southern Section Division II championship at Barber Memorial Park in Irvine on Friday night.

It is the first section softball title for Thousand Oaks (26-5), which lost to Cypress, 5-0, in 1987.

California (24-5) committed seven errors and the Lancers, with seven hits, threatened in every inning but the fourth.

"That's very uncharacteristic of us," said Coach Jim Kruse of the Condors' errors. "It could have been the bigness game. I don't know. We haven't committed more than two in a game all season."

Errors contributed to all the Lancers' runs and California committed an error in every inning but the second and fourth.

"That's part of our game, to make them rush a little bit and force them to make bad throws," Coach Gary Walin of Thousand Oaks said.

Nicole Angelo (21-4) of Thousand Oaks pitched a three-hitter, allowing two hits in the first and a single in the seventh.

Angelo struck out seven, walking three with one hit batter.

Sheridan Fowler and Andi Keesling each had two hits for Thousand Oaks.

Four batters into the game, Thousand Oaks was on the ropes.

Stephanie McMinn of California reached base on a throwing error to lead off the first. Jennifer Davis singled two batters later to set up Christine Wann's two-run double off the center-field fence.

Keesling retreated into the breakaway fence and the fly ball caromed off the fence and into the playing field.

"Part of that was my fault," Walin said. "We had first base open with runners at second and third, and I should have walked her."

The excitement of a championship game might have affected California's offense as well as its defense.

Angelo consistently used her riseball to keep California's hitters quiet in the middle innings.

"We always start strong," Kruse said. "We score a lot of runs in the first inning. But [Angelo] settled down after that. She went with the riseball and we couldn't lay off it. We talked about it, we knew she was going to throw, we just couldn't resist it."

The Lancers responded with a two-run single by Megan Spehar in their half of the first to tie it, 2-2.

Thousand Oaks scored the go-ahead run in the third.

Fowler led off with a single and went to second on Keesling's groundout. Fowler tagged at second on Jenny Cochran's fly ball to right and scored when the throw got away from the third baseman.

The Lancers added a run in the fifth on two hits and two errors.

Fowler, who singled with one out, scored when Jenni Perez's hard ground ball bounced off the third baseman's chin.

Fowler scored three runs.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
58°