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High School Softball: Marshall helps break streak

Daily Pilot High School Athlete of the Week

Newport Harbor pitcher led the way in the Sailors' Sunset League win that ended 53-game skein.

April 19, 2013|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
(KEVIN CHANG / Daily…)

Hattie Marshall remembers the day her father took her to the library. It was 12 years ago when Brian and his 6-year-old daughter went to check out a book.

She doesn't remember the book she came home with that day. What she will never forget is what she picked up from the doorsteps of the library — a new sport to play.

"In front of the library, there was a table for softball signups," Marshall said. "My dad asked me if I wanted to try it. It was like T-ball and it sounded fun."

Softball has been a big part of Marshall's life since that trip to the library.

She played. Her father coached her.

The coaching stopped when Marshall entered high school. For the first time, she was going to have a new head coach. She was going to have to develop with someone else leading her and she was OK with it.

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Brian was still going to show up and support Marshall, a pitcher. He backed her decision to go to the neighborhood school, Newport Harbor.

She easily could've gone elsewhere. Marshall said a private school, with a better softball program, recruited her to play.

The decision to attend Newport Harbor is one Marshall doesn't regret. Her friends, the kids she grew up with, those were the reasons why she chose Newport Harbor.

She has suffered with many of them during her first three seasons at the school. Those years went by with the Sailors dropping every single Sunset League game.

The losing was nothing new to the Sailors when Marshall joined as a freshman. The program went into the 2010 season with 22 straight setbacks in league.

The skid just grew 10 games every year. The streak climbed to 52 before the start of league this season.

This is Marshall's senior year. The Sailors opened league with yet another loss. They fell at home to Edison, 14-2, making it 53 straight losses.

Marshall and her teammates weren't sure of the number of consecutive losses.

"We just knew it had been a long time, 2007, since we last won a league game," Marshall said. "Everyone in the league knew about how we kept losing."

The constant losing didn't stop Marshall from competing. Her father was there to see her every time. She had come close before, twice last season, to ending the Sailors' drought in league.

There was the six shutout innings she threw against Edison, only to see the Chargers win it in the seventh by scoring one run.

There was the 16 shutout innings she threw against Fountain Valley, only to see the Barons win it in the 17th by scoring five runs.

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