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MIRA MESA EDGES OTAY RANCH TO ADVANCE IN CIF PLAYOFFS

The Marauders scored two in the bottom of the 5th to take the lead, and held on to defeat the Mustangs 3-2 in CIF Playoff action on Tuesday afternoon. Mercedes Humphrey had a big day with 2 RBI and an outstanding diving catch in leftfield. Alicia Garcia pitched another great game in going the distance to pick up the win. Rightfielder Marissa Rillo made a key defensive play in the 1st inning, as she made a nice basket catch running in and toward the line with runners on 2nd & 3rd, to prevent Otay from taking an early lead. The Marauders went ahead 1-0 in the 1st as Quirisa Mauga doubled to deep right and scored on Humphrey's RBI single. The Mustangs scored one in the 3rd and another in the 5th to take a 2-1 lead, however Mira Mesa responded with two in the bottom of the 5th on a Katiyana Mauga bad-hop single off the shortstop, a Tani Leasau sacrifice bunt and Humphrey's second big hit of the day, a line shot RBI double to left-center. Amber Cordero drove in what proved to be the game winning run on a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Humphrey. Rillo made another good catch in short right in the top of the 7th with the tying run on 2nd base. The freshman Garcia kept her poise in the pressure packed final two innings, doing a great job in keeping the Mustangs off the board in this elimination playoff contest.

Marauders advance in
Griffith's final home game
By Nick Pellegrino
© East County Sports.com
MIRA MESA (5-23-12) — The Mira Mesa Marauders are known for their power hitting, but it was the execution of smaller skills which earned them a final four berth in the SDCIF Division I championship.
The Marauders utilized a pair of sacrifices, including a fly ball by AMBER CORDERO, to bring in MERCEDES HUMPHREY with the tie-breaking run in a 3-2 decision over Otay Ranch in Tuesday's (May 22) third-round elimination game.
The victory came on the final home game for outgoing Mira Mesa coach BRAD GRIFFITH, who is retiring following a marathon career in athletics which started as a minor league baseball player in the New York-Penn League in 1959.
"I just wanted to get the ball out of the infield," said Cordero, who missed on a high 2-0 pitch, yet bounded back to clear a 2-1 pitch to center field for the game-winning RBI. "We can defeat anyone with team character and heart in order to win."
Mira Mesa (26-6-1), the second seed even though they are ranked second in the entire San Diego Section by the media, needs to win twice on Thursday to gain a berth in Saturday's championship game at UC San Diego. They first meet top-seeded Torrey Pines at 3 p.m. at Sportsplex USA of Poway in order to advance to the losers bracket final at 7:30 p.m.
Otay Ranch snapped a 1-all tie with a run in the 5th inning, only to watch the Marauders bounce right back with a pair of runs.
KATIYANA MAUGA opened a sharp one-hopper which bounced off the shoulder of the shortstop. TANI LEASAU bunted her to second base, then Mauga tied the contest when Humphrey smacked a one-hopper off the left-center field fence for an RBI double.
Mira Mesa pitcher Alicia Garcia walked, with both runners advancing on a wild pitch. Two pitches later, Humphrey lifted her fly ball to center.
Garcia then retired the Mustangs in order in the 6th, then survived a pair of singles in the 7th (by pitcher Adri Puentes and Palacios, the shortstop) when a ground ball to the right side was deflected by first baseman ELIZABETH COFFIN directly to second baseman QUIRISA MAUGA, who fired the ball back for the final out.
In addition, Garcia received assistance from Humphrey in left field. Otay Ranch's Niki Fernandez opened the 5th with a sinking liner, but Humphrey, a sophomore, charged forward to complete a shoestring catch.
"I knew I had to make a dive because I knew I needed to do something to help us win," said Humphrey. "We all have faith in each other to never give up."
Humphrey also posted an RBI double in the 1st, scoring Quirisa Mauga for a 1-0 lead. Both Mauga sisters batted 2-for-4.
Otay Ranch took a short-lived lead in the 5th when Carlee Wood walked, Sashel Palacios was hit by a pitch, then senior captain Sonia Mazon singled home Wood, although Palacios was thrown out attempting to advance to third base.

BOX SCORE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Otay Ranch 0010100 2 0 0
Mira Mesa Varsity 1000200 3 0 0

Date: May 22, 2012     Time: 3:30pm      Venue: Mira Mesa   

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