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One sweet sweep for Estancia

April 22, 2006|By Dominic Perrone

COSTA MESA ? The seniors on the Estancia softball team don't take joy in the pain of their cross-town rivals. They were, however, thrilled to cram three years of losing at the hands of Costa Mesa into a solid season sweep of the Mustangs.

The Eagles won, 15-3, Friday at Costa Mesa in a Golden West League game that was stopped after five innings.

Senior Allison Wyman, who had three hits, could not have been happier. The center fielder notched her first victory over Costa Mesa, 7-1, on March 21, so this was just icing on the cake. And there was a lot of icing for Estancia, which scored 12 runs in the third inning.

Left fielder Taylor West also had three hits for the Eagles (6-5, 3-3 in league) and drove in three. Keile Brown was two for two, driving in four runs.

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Danielle Morton, Janae Rivera and Emily Pulaski each had two hits for Costa Mesa (2-13, 0-7 in league).

"It felt so good," said Wyman, who came a couple feet from a home run in the third. "We didn't run up the score."

The Eagles emptied the bench to start the fourth inning, up 15-2. It was a familiar sight for Costa Mesa Coach Lori Esparza. The Mustangs have lost 12 straight ? six of them stopped before the completion of seven innings ? after starting 2-1.

"We always have one bad inning," Esparza said. "We have the makings of a quality team, except for that. We need to eliminate that; it's our only issue. I told them it's all mental."

While Costa Mesa has been dealing with blowouts, Estancia's trouble recently has been in the close games. The Eagles lost two in a row entering Friday's game, both to league opponents and both by one run.

Estancia Coach Alan Caouette said the decisive victory would help his team in close games.

"The girls are ready to step up. We just need to get a couple breaks. Anybody can beat anybody in this league," Caouette said. "Normally, we would give away a lot of games. Now we're not, teams are just beating us."

The offensive explosion was a welcome sight. Estancia scored more runs in the third inning than in the previous five games combined.

"They are finally believing they can win," Caouette said.

Josie Flores pitched three innings for her fifth win of the year. The junior was relieved to see the sudden burst of run support to go with the solid defense. Estancia did not make an error and ended the game on a double play shortly after throwing out Pulaski, who tried to stretch a double into a triple.

"It's really good to have everybody make those plays," Flores said of the defense. "They did really well. They gave it their all."

Estancia smashed 11 hits in the third inning, all singles, and 16 batters came to the plate. No hit traveled further than Wyman's first shot of the inning. With two on, she lofted a pitch over the center fielder, but with no outs, the runners held up and Wyman settled for a single and an RBI.

"I wanted it to be more; it was really good," Wyman said. "We came out ready to play."

Even when Costa Mesa made a play in the inning, it didn't go the Mustangs' way. With the bases loaded, Morton made a diving snag of a shot down the third base line. She rose to her feet, tagged the runner heading home and threw to second for another out.

Costa Mesa trotted off the field, thinking the inning was over. But after a meeting, it was determined the ball hit the ground first and Estancia still had an out remaining. The Eagles went on to tack on two more runs.

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