Rebels clinch share of title

GLENDALE — Entering its final Prep League game of the season Thursday afternoon, the Flintridge Prep softball team had two pieces of business to attend to.

First, the Rebels wanted to exact revenge by beating Westridge. If they could accomplish that feat, it would give them a share of the league championship for the first time since 1995.

Behind a no-hitter from Denise van der Goot, the Rebels rolled to a 10-0 league home win against Westridge in six innings.

Van der Goot struck out 13 and faced the minimum 21 batters. The senior right-hander, who missed the first meeting against Westridge on April 19 because of illness, hit the first batter of the game. The batter was then caught attempting to steal second and van der Goot then set down Westridge the rest of the way to split the league crown with Mayfield.

"Everyone is really excited [about winning league]," van der Goot said. "It's a great thing and no one else has been able to do it for a long time.

"When you hit the first batter, you are not under as much pressure to keep it a perfect game. The no-hitter is not as much pressure. The perfect game is what I really want."

Flintridge Prep Coach Julie Jaime, whose team improved to 13-4, 10-2 in league and will find out its first-round playoff opponent in the CIF Southern Section Division VI playoffs when the CIF office unveils its postseason pairings Monday, said van der Goot and the Rebels responded to what was at stake Thursday.

"It was definitely a big game for us, it was a must-win for us to win league and the girls knew that," Jaime said. "[Van der Goot] is a phenomenal pitcher. [After she hit the first batter] everything just came together and it is a great reward for her."

Abbey Deckop finished with three hits, including a pair of doubles, and drove in four runs to help Flintridge Prep turn back Westridge (4-12, 3-9). Charlotte Kay collected three hits for the Rebels, who got two hits each from Kelly Wang and Ashley Kim and three stolen bases from Maya Okamoto.

"It was a total team effort and that's the way it's been all season," Jaime said.

Flintridge Prep scored twice in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead and then pushed across one run in the third to make it 3-0. The Rebels scored three runs in the fourth to extend the lead to 7-0 and matched that output in the sixth to bring about the mercy rule.

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