Double dose of Lauren

LA Canada

The rain clouds threatened to postpone La Cañada's CIF-Southern Section Division V quarterfinal playoff game Thursday, but the rain never came.

Thanks to the Spartans' two Laurens: O'Leary and Cox, neither did the runs from their opponent, Savanna High of Anaheim.

Both O'Leary and Cox dominated the Savanna bats, as they combined to pitch a complete-game shutout.

"They were right on. I thought they did a great job of hitting their spots early, changing speeds and eye levels. It was an all-around great job," Spartans Coach KC Matthews said.

O'Leary and Cox got all the run support they would need in the second inning when junior second baseman Megan Siepler hit a two-run home run.

"We wanted to jump out early and play our game," said O'Leary, a junior. "We knew we could do it because we had confidence going in."

After the home run, O'Leary came back out in the circle in the third to strike out the side in order.

"I was just going straight at them because I knew we had a little bit of a lead. It makes it a little bit easier to pitch," O'Leary said.

She pitched four innings, finishing with five strikeouts after giving up only two hits and no walks.

Cox picked up right where O'Leary left off, pitching the last three innings without surrendering a hit or walk, something she has grown accustomed to this year.

"I normally always close for Lauren [O'Leary], so I am pretty used to that," said Cox, a sophomore. "I have to focus because if I let up, then we could possibly lose, and that is just not an option. I have to do my best to keep us where we're at."

Matthews wasn't surprised by the pitching performance he saw Thursday.

"I hate to say I expect it out of them, but they have been doing it together for two years, and O'Leary for three," Matthews said.

Unfortunately for the Spartans, they lost Tuesday in the semifinals to host South Hills, 3-1.

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