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MARAUDERS CLINCH EASTERN LEAGUE TITLE ON SENIOR DAY

Marauders regain Eastern throne
First league crown since 2007
By Nick Pellegrino
© East County Sports.com
MIRA MESA (5-9-12) — For the first time since 2007, the Mira Mesa Marauders can label themselves as Eastern League champions.
Buoyed by a 2-hit shutout by freshman ALICIA GARCIA, the host Marauders scored late to down second-place Patrick Henry, 5-0, Monday (May 8), ending a 4-year drought after dominating the league when claiming three SDCIF crowns to open the century.
"I'm happy for all of our seniors, who've all been on really good teams before I got here, but just didn't win league," said Garcia. "Now they can go out as winners – although we'd like to win CIF, too."
The victory moves second-ranked Mira Mesa (22-5-1) into position to challenge for the top seed when the CIF San Diego Section playoffs open next week. The Marauder still have two regular season games remaining, but can't be caught since Patrick Henry and Serra both have three losses in league play.
Garcia allowed just a pair of basehits, but one occurred after Patrick Henry placed the leadoff batter on base due to an error in the 4th. But with two on and only one out, Mira Mesa received a major break.
On a popup which saw Marauders second baseman QUIRISA MAUGA step back just two steps to make the catch, neither umpire called for an automatic out on an infield fly.
"I guess because Quirisa was on the outfield grass, they didn't make the call," admitted Mira Mesa coach BRAD GRIFFITH.
One of the Patrick Henry runners came halfway off first base, but by the time she raced back to the bag, Mauga fired to ELIZABETH COFFIN for an inning-ending double play, keeping the ballgame scoreless.
Mira Mesa took immediate advantage to score the only run they would need.
Following walks to LANI VANTA and KATIYANA MAUGA, TANI LEASAU laced a basehit to center field, with Griffith vigorously waving Vanta home.
The Marauders then erupted for four runs in the 6th to put away the victory.
"We didn't just sit on our one run, we kept adding on," added Garica.
AMBER RATZA reached on a one-out error, MARISSA RILLO reached on a bunt single which hit a defender instead of spinning foul, then Vanta followed with an RBI single to left for a 2-0 lead.
Quirisa Mauga followed with a 2-run triple to right-center field, as a Patriots defender went for a do-or-die dive but missed instead of conceeding a single. Mauga would score on a wild pitch.
Katiyana Mauga was the only player with two hits, including a double.
For Patrick Henry, the only basehits were singles by catcher MADDY BARRAZA (2nd inning) and shortstop JENNIFER SCHUFF (5th).

BOX SCORE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Patrick Henry 0000000 0 0 0
Mira Mesa Varsity 0000000 5 0 0

Date: May 8, 2012     Time: 4:00pm      Venue: Mira Mesa   

Patrick Henry
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Mira Mesa Varsity
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Patrick Henry
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Mira Mesa Varsity
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