NEWPORT BEACH — Righty against lefty, junior against freshman.
The Battle of the Bay softball game turned into a pitcher's duel Thursday at Bonita Creek Park. Newport Harbor junior Hattie Marshall and Corona del Mar freshman Sydney McKeown matched each other nearly pitch for pitch.
Newport-Mesa Girls' Softball hosted the game. Plenty of young girls in Newport-Mesa uniforms watched the teams fail in their quests to put up crooked numbers on the nonexistent scoreboard.
This was not the blowout of years past.
The Sailors still found a way to end up on top.
Junior captain Lauren Gandi hit a solo home run in the fourth inning and the Sailors hung on to win the rivalry game, 2-1, for the fifth straight year.
Newport Harbor (10-0) is off to its best start in many years, if not program history. The Sailors, ranked No. 7 in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 coaches' poll, already collected the Costa Mesa tournament title earlier this month. They are in the semifinals of the Savanna tournament on Saturday.