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CdM pulls away from Mustangs

High School Softball

Sea Kings, coming off one-win season, beat Costa Mesa to keep momentum headed into Thursday's rivalry game.

March 25, 2014|By Matt Szabo
(Don Leach, Daily…)

Winning was something that the Corona del Mar High softball team got to experience just once in Carly Smith's first year at the helm.

The Sea Kings came out on the wrong side of the score every time but once last year. They finished 1-21, only winning a nonleague game against Costa Mesa.

CdM showed Tuesday that it could again beat the Mustangs, taking a 7-1 decision at Bonita Creek Park.

But this time, it's more than just a footnote. It's a continuation of the momentum the Sea Kings have been building in the early part of the season.

They are now 6-4, including a strong fourth place at the Costa Mesa tournament and second-place bracket finish at the La Quinta tournament.

Smith, the former catcher at Canyon High and Concordia University, has seen her players' attitudes shift.

"When we first started winning, the girls were like, Oh my God, this is crazy!" Smith said. "Now it's kind of like, OK, this is what we're supposed to do, and how are we going to take care of business? We like the winning feeling, how are we going to keep it going? Yeah, definitely more positive attitudes out here. They want to win."

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CdM senior Miley Wilson certainly helped enable that Tuesday. She pitched five sparkling innings, allowing just four hits and one unearned run. She struck out five and walked none. The Sea Kings' other pitcher, junior lefty Sydney McKeown, came on to pitch the final two innings.

Wilson and McKeown are each in their third year pitching on varsity.

"We do a one-two punch," Smith said. "We try to get them both into the game."

CdM took the quick lead after McKeown led off the bottom of the first inning with an infield single and stole second. She eventually scored on a two-out balk, but Costa Mesa junior pitcher Arianna Morales got out of the bases-loaded jam by earning a strikeout.

CdM scored again in the second, when senior shortstop Karley Johnston earned a bases-loaded walk. But Morales again managed to stop the bleeding, getting back-to-back pop-ups to Mesa freshman shortstop Brenna Alvis.

Coach Heather Orduna said she was proud of Morales, who has pitched every inning for the Mustangs (0-9) this year. Orduna said Mesa lost its starting catcher on Monday, when MeiLani Silk unexpectedly transferred out of the school district. Jasmine Herrera filled in on Tuesday.

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