LANCASTER — Favoring the same approach that led it to a District 16 championship, the Foothill 10-11 All-Stars used stellar pitching, clutch station-to-station hitting and fleet feet on the bases to begin their Section 2 Tournament quest on a winning note.
Foothill softball pounded out 10 hits, while allowing District 40 San Fernando only two en route to an impressive 9-3 win on a hot Friday evening at El Dorado Park in the opener of the 10-11 Section tournament.
"We're proud of the girls, this was a good win for us," Foothill assistant Todd Fabian said.
Perhaps most impressive was that Foothill, which will play District 51 Quartz Hill at 6 p.m. today at El Dorado, scored all nine of its runs with two outs.
"Usually we're not worried when there's two outs, but we're more intense because we know we have to score," said leadoff hitter Sammy Fabian, who had two singles, three runs batted in, a run scored, a walk and one of Foothill's three stolen bases.
Foothill also committed one error to five for San Fernando.
"We have pretty good offense and our defense, sometimes we have to work on it, and sometimes we're really good at it," said Fabian, a shortstop.
Foothill grabbed a 3-0 lead with runs from Sophie Georges, Kristin Laulette and Arianna Campbell in the top of the second inning. The rally was keyed by Fabian's bases-loaded walk and an RBI single by Alex Howard, who also had two hits.
San Fernando answered back in its half of the frame, using three walks, an error and a two-run bloop single to add up to a tie ball game.
But after Foothill emerged with a 6-3 lead in the third, Howard took over in the circle. She twirled two no-hit innings, notched the win and struck out four to just one walk.
"Our pitching was on today, our pitching was just dynamite," Todd Fabian said. "Alex Howard came up huge."
Miranda Diaz came on in the fifth, retiring the side to continue a span in which her and Howard combined to sit down 10 straight batters. She saw a bit of trouble in the sixth, allowing a walk and a single with one out, but escaped the jam to end the game.
Five Foothill singles, including two bunts and another infield base hit, led to a three-run third to make it 6-3. The biggest blow was Fabian's two-run single to center that scored Georges and Regina Kim.
A double by Diaz, who also had two hits, scored Jordan Lousararian to make it 7-3 in the fourth and a Fabian run made it 8-3 in the fifth.
Lousararian closed out the scoring in the sixth, reaching on an error and working her way around on a groundout and two wild pitches.
Now, Foothill readies for the Quartz Hill squad that beat it in the 9-10 title game last season.
Said the elder Fabian: "We have to do everything better [today]."