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Mission Viejo softball learns from difficult loss to No. 4 Roosevelt as league play approaches

Mission Viejo coach Clint Watson talks to his team during a high school softball game against Roosevelt in Mission Viejo, March 22, 2022. Mission Viejo lost the game 11-1. (Ryan Kuhn, SOCoPrepSports.com)

MISSION VIEJO — Mission Viejo’s softball team didn’t get the outcome it would have liked in one of its final games before league starts next week.

The Diablos were trounced 11-1 by Roosevelt in six innings on Tuesday, but some took the lost as a chance to improve. 

Roosevelt entered the afternoon ranked No. 4 in California by MaxPreps.

“We got the pitching we needed to see,” senior outfielder Shayna Glass said. “We all have things to work on and as a team it is only going to prepare us better.”

Mission Viejo was held to just four hits off of the pitching duo made up of senior Azala Lopez and junior Alyvia Herandez. The two also combined for seven strikeouts and just one walk. 

“[Azala] was throwing a bunch of changeups while [Alyvia] threw harder and down in the zone,” Glass said. “You had to focus seeing the ball and hitting the ball to the right side.”

Roosevelt didn’t waste any time taking a lead early in the first inning when senior third baseman Kayla Lyon hit a sacrifice fly to center field. 

The Diablos answered in the second inning when Sarah Araujo lined a single to left, but that was all the offense they could muster. 

The Mustangs started the third inning with four hits that included a line drive up the middle by Priscilla Llamas knocking out starter Reece Uehara out of the game. 

Sophomore Sofia Elliot came in to get out of the inning, but Roosevelt tagged Uehara with five runs and seven hits.

Elliott tamed the Mustangs in the fourth and fifth innings, but Roosevelt’s bats woke up again in the sixth inning as it sent nine batters to the plate and scored six runs. 

Mission Viejo freshman third baseman Kara King atttempts to tag Roosevelt's Kaylynn Jones during a high school softball game in Mission Viejo, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. (Ryan Kuhn, SOCoPrepSports.com)
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The bottom of the order got the inning started spreading singles all over the outfield as Kaylynn Jones and Jordan Elies driving in runs. 

Llamas stepped up to the plate for her fourth and final time and crushed a towering 2-run home run over the left field wall. 

Elliott got on base with a single in the bottom half of the sixth inning, but Mission Viejo couldn’t get a runner past first base as freshman Kara King grounded out to end the game. 

“I didn’t think we played the way we should have,” Diablos coach Clint Watson said. “Offensively we couldn’t get anything going.”

Mission Viejo will host West Linn (OR) on Friday before defending its South Coast League crown in the league opener at Aliso Niguel next Tuesday. 

The Diablos swept the Wolverines last season but the players know what is needed to be successful.

“We need to have good energy. As long as we are having fun and playing our game this is our season, Glass said. “We are going to make it what we want to.”

Born and raised in Dana Point, Ryan went to Dana Hills High School. He graduated from Sacramento State University in 2014 with a BA in Journalism. Throughout his career as a sports journalist, he has covered high schools, colleges, and professional teams. After working for multiple newspapers in as many states, he came to the conclusion that what he really wanted was to make sure the high schools in his hometown area got the sports coverage they deserved. Follow him on Twitter @rskuhn

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