Newport Harbor is now 3-0 this season and has outscored its opponents by a combined 47-3. And Coach Tony Qualin said Thursday wasn't one of his team's better hitting days.
It was clearly good enough for the Sailors to beat their Back Bay rival CdM (1-3) for the fourth straight year.
"We want to win," Marshall said. "We have that drive. Some of the other teams out there that have 40 travel-ball players maybe already feel they have it, but we want it so bad. We have a bigger drive."
Marshall said Newport Harbor has six travel-ball players. They all bat at the top of the lineup – junior shortstop Mandy LeGault, sophomore second baseman Lauren Gandi, Marshall, sophomore catcher Bella Secaira, freshman first baseman Savannah Caviston and junior center fielder Kendall Brennan.
They combined to go 12 for 22 against CdM, with 10 runs batted in. Gandi and Secaira, who was a first-team all-Sunset League selection last year as a freshman, each had three hits. After the game, they went to celebrate Brennan's 17th birthday with a big cake.
"We have very few travel-ball players here, but the girls who come here really want to help the younger girls," Secaira said. "We want to help them, help them learn everything in the game. That's where [our drive] comes from, I think. It's as a team, just wanting go to CIF finally."
Neither team has any seniors. The Sailors would have had one, but Qualin said pitcher Alex Bauer decided not to play softball this year. Bauer, a second-team all-league selection last year, is now on the crew team for Newport Harbor.
"[She was] our big, 6-foot, blonde Jennie Finch look-alike, and she quit playing softball," Qualin said. "She quit her travel-ball team, quit softball and she said, 'I'm going to go row.' [That's] our only senior, our team captain, our leading pitcher and our leading hitter."