Mariners look strong in tourney

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BY TED APODACA: The Pacifica High softball team has had some early-season ups and downs, but head coach Mark Campbell isn’t concerned with the team's record in March. Campbell puts his players up against tough competition to make sure they are CIF playoff ready.

“I want to see in May how we’re playing,” Campbell said.

BY TED APODACA: The Pacifica High softball team has had some early-season ups and downs, but head coach Mark Campbell isn’t concerned with the team's record in March. Campbell puts his players up against tough competition to make sure they are CIF playoff ready.

“I want to see in May how we’re playing,” Campbell said.

The Mariners closed out their Best of the West Tournament with consecutive shutout wins on Saturday, beating Murrieta Mesa, 1-0, and Cathedral Catholic, 3-0. The Best of the West Tournament draws a full field of teams who are capable of winning CIF titles.

The Mariners had plenty of opportunities against Murrieta, but left nine runners on base, before winning the game in an extra-inning International tie-breaker. Junior Hannah Boos pitched a complete game, allowing just two hits, with three strikeouts.

“Hannah did a good job keeping the ball low and getting a lot of ground balls,” Campbell said.

Boos will lead the Mariners from the circle, but they have plenty of experienced leadership to push the team toward a solid season. Senior centerfielder Dejah Mulipola, senior first baseman Jaymee Campbell and senior outfielder Irieanna Naea should be three of the team leaders.

In the tiebreaker inning against Murrieta, the Mariners started off the eighth inning with junior third baseman Hannah Martinez on second base. Naea moved her to third with a sacrifice bunt. Campbell then promptly drove a ball to right field for a sacrifice fly to plate the go-ahead run.

In the bottom of the inning, Murrieta’s lead-off batter popped up a bunt attempt that Martinez caught for the first out. After a pop up to shallow right field, Boos got one more grounder to second base to end the game.

In the afternoon game, Boos allowed just three hits in the 3-0 win over Cathedral Catholic of San Diego.

Earlier in the season, the Mariners won games with as many as 13 and 12 runs, but struggled at times with shutout losses to top Orange County teams Mission Viejo and Los Alamitos.

But the defense and pitching has remained steady. If the Mariners can also find some consistency at the plate, they should be ready show Campbell their best games when the playoffs arrive.