Foothill's magical run concludes

COLTON — On the doorstep of advancing to the Western Regional, the Foothill Major All-Star softball team appeared to have things in control.

Throughout most of its playoff run, Foothill excelled in every facet of the game. In order to get to that next step, Foothill had to overcome an opponent that proved to be a worthy challenge.

Unfortunately for Foothill, Westchester Del Ray came in as good as advertised and derailed its championship aspirations.

Foothill saw its season conclude with a 12-0 loss to Westchester on Wednesday night in the if-necessary championship game of the Southern California State Championship at Ken Hubbs Little League Field. Earlier Wednesday, Westchester picked up a 5-2 win in the championship game.

"We just ran into a buzz saw," said Foothill co-Manager Tyson Howard, who worked with Todd Fabian to guide Foothill to District 16 and Section 2 titles. "We knew they were a great team after we beat them, 7-6, the other night in nine innings.

"We knew they were going to be trouble again. They came out hitting the ball hard in the second game and it wasn't how we wanted to play.

"It's a tough way to end it for us, but we got this far. It's great to have gotten here."

In the if-necessary game, called in the fourth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule, Westchester scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning. Westchester's first eight batters each recorded a hit and further deflated Foothill.

Melissa Euyoque had a two-run double to make it 2-0 and Simone Simon then had a two-run single to extend the lead to 4-0. Back-to-back hits by Sarah Robinson and Kendall Times made it 6-0 for Westchester, which won the Section 4 championship.

Westchester finished with eight first-inning hits and never looked back.

"They just came out hitting in the second game," said Howard, whose team finished with four hits and went 9-3 in the playoffs. "We didn't play our best game and they did."

Westchester scored six runs in the second to complete the scoring.

Foothill received one hit apiece from Alex Howard, Danielle Ryan, Miranda Diaz and Claire Smith.

Foothill third baseman Sammy Fabian said Westchester proved to be a model opponent throughout the tournament.

"We knew it would be really hard to beat them," Fabian said. "Even though we lost, we played our hardest just to get here."

Things started off well in the first game for Foothill, which scored a run in the top of the first to take a 1-0 lead. Fabian led off with a walk and then stole second and third before scoring on a groundout by Jordan Lousararian. Westchester tied the game at 1 on a sacrifice bunt by Times. Westchester made it 2-1 in the third on an error and extended the lead to 4-1 in the fourth. Westchester scored its last run in the fifth before Foothill closed out the scoring in the sixth on a groundout by Diaz that brought home Howard.

"Their hits fell in the first game," Tyson Howard said. "The balls we hit didn't go where we wanted."

Foothill notched six hits in the first game.

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