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Mistakes cost CdM softball team in title game

Sea Kings lose to University at La Quinta tournament, but still looking forward to a bright future.

March 23, 2012|By Matt Szabo
(Kevin Chang | Daily…)

CORONA DEL MAR — Members of the Corona del Mar High softball team were frustrated late Friday afternoon.

The Sea Kings fell to University, 10-1, in the championship game of the La Quinta Aztec Challenge on their home field. And, while first-year Coach Kiki Muñoz would have rather had her team win the tournament, she said the frustration was actually an encouraging sign.

It was the first tournament championship game appearance for senior mainstays of the program like Delaney Owen and Lindsey Susolik. Muñoz said CdM, which also has a lot of young talent on its roster, will only need to look at Friday's loss as motivation for the rest of the season.

"That fire is burning inside them, that competitor, and that's what I'm trying to build within them," Muñoz said. "You can see it. Today, they're frustrated. In the past, I think they just would have thought it was another game. But you can see the competitive drive coming out in a lot of them now. We're changing the program around, and the girls are doing it. It's not me or the coaches; it's definitely the girls. They deserve all the credit. All we can do as coaches is support them."

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Defensively, the Sea Kings (7-5) were not able to support freshman starting pitcher Sydney McKeown. They made three errors behind the lefty, and one costly one put CdM behind in the fourth inning.

With two outs, a well-hit ball to center field by University's Chandler Smith was dropped. The next two batters, Kim Dennin and Katie Hawkins, each followed up with RBI singles to give University a 3-1 lead.

"Our defense wasn't as tight today," Muñoz said. "Errors can kill you."

CdM had taken a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Jordan Meyers hit a one-out double to left-center, and she was brought home on an RBI single from Mylie Wilson.

The Sea Kings nearly took the lead again in the bottom of the third, but Susolik was thrown out at home to end the inning. CdM fans in attendance thought that Susolik slid under the tag from the Trojans catcher.

University (7-4) broke the game open in the sixth, batting around and scoring six runs.

"We didn't hit for the first couple of innings," Trojans assistant Coach Mike Hawkins said. "Then we got used to the speed of the pitcher, got the bats going and started having a hit parade. The girls made good adjustments at the plate."

Meanwhile, University senior pitcher Elaine Tse was settling down.

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