Posted on 04 June 2013 by La Habra Journal
By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal
Focusing on the positives: Lady Highlander Head Coach Frank McCarroll talks with the team after the 14-1 loss in the CIF semifinals. McCarroll acknowledged the great season the girls had this year.
The Lady Highlanders softball team saw its season end in the CIF semifinals last Tuesday with a one-sided 14-1 loss to Righetti of San Marino at home.
Righetti, a four seed, came into the game outscoring their last three opponents by a combined score of 23-3.
However, the Lady Highlanders had been to the semifinals before and knew the challenges they faced.
“They hit the ball and we couldn’t get them out,” said La Habra Head Coach Frank McCarroll. “When one team is hitting and the other is not that’s when things get bad.”
The game remained scoreless until the fourth inning when Righetti’s Katie Chenault started scoring with a single RBI. Chenault (24-5) also lead the warriors from the circle pitching a complete game with 12 strikeouts and giving up only four hits.
The Lady Highlanders (23-9) struggled defensively with a throwing error at second that allowed Righetti to get on the board.
Another overthrown ball to first later in the game would allow four more Righetti runs.
“Defense had always kept us in the game and helped out our pitcher this year,” McCarroll said, “and we didn’t have that today.”
For the Highlanders, Senior Vanessa Ciocatto struggled to find the right spot.
“I knew coming into the game that I was going to have to move up and down in the zone,” she explained. “I’m not used to throwing them that low, but you have to make adjustments. It was a couple bad pitches, a couple bad miscues and a couple bad calls.”
Ciocatto, (20-8) pitched five innings giving up eight runs on six hits and eight strikeouts. Junior Taylor Pierce came in from shortstop to relieve, but she too struggled against Righetti’s powerful offense.
Pierce gave up four runs on three hits and walked three in the sixth. At the plate, Pierce scored Raquel Manzo on a single for the Lady Highlander’s only run.
“Sometimes you get the brakes and this time we didn’t,” Ciocatto said. “I believe we had the better team, but sometimes having the better team doesn’t always mean you’re going to win.”
Ciocatto, along with outfielders Amanda Small and Nicole Demille are the only three seniors on the squad. That means the majority of this year’s veterans will be returning next season.