Los Angeles Preps: Maywood Academy

South Gate's Ortiz blanks Maywood

May, 31, 2012
LAKE BALBOA -- South Gate starter Daniel Ortiz was supposed to pitch only one inning in the CIF City Section Division II semifinal against Maywood Academy.

But his team staked him to a four-run lead in the first inning and coach Steve Ramirez decided to let Ortiz stay in the game until he ran into trouble.

Trouble never surfaced. Ortiz shut out Maywood, 8-0, and pitched his first complete game of the season at Birmingham High School on Thursday.

Ortiz, a CIF All-City Section selection at catcher, tossed a four-hitter, struck out three and didn’t walk a batter for only his second win of the season.

“We have seven guys that can legitimately throw the ball,” Ramirez said. “Before you know it we score four runs. I wasn’t going to touch him.”

South Gate reached the semifinals of the Division II playoffs last year and lost. Ortiz said he did not want to see a repeat in the semis this year.

“We came this far last year and lost and it sucked,” Ortiz said. “I was kind of skeptical. I was hoping it wasn’t a rerun, and that wasn’t the case.”

Ortiz was dominant out of the gate. He retired the Maywood batters in order in the first inning and sent down nine of the first 10 batters he faced.

Chris Naredo singled for Maywood (21-5) to lead off the second inning, but he was caught trying to steal second base. He was Maywood’s only baserunner in the first three innings.

South Gate, meanwhile, scored early and often against Maywood.

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The El Camino Real softball team won its 14th City Section championship Wednesday afternoon with a 5-0 victory over top-seeded Carson at UCLA's Easton Stadium.

Senior pitcher Karyn Wright went the distance for second-seeded El Camino Real (27-5), striking out seven and allowing five hits. Wright will play her college ball at Portland State.

ECR claimed a 2-0 lead in the third inning on a Carson fielding error, and added another on Dayna DeBlasi's RBI single in the fifth. The Conquistadors scored twice in the seventh to seemingly put the game out of reach.

The Colts (25-6) beat ECR in the title game last year but couldn't defend their crown. Long Beach State-bound shortstop Darian Tautalafua of Carson failed to set a new state record for career home runs, finishing tied atop the leaderboard with 53.

It was ECR's first title win since 2005. The Conquistadors' 14 softball titles rank second among City Section schools, two behind leader San Pedro (16).

The two other championship results from Easton Stadium:

Invitational Division

Harbor City Narbonne beat Maywood Academy, 4-3, to win its third Invitational Division championship in four years. The Gauchos answered Maywood Academy's two first-inning runs with three in the bottom half and never relinquished the lead.

Small School Division

San Pedro Port of Los Angeles captured its second consecutive City Section Small School Division title behind freshman pitcher Nicolle Miranda's one-hitter in a 6-0 victory over Wilmington Harbor Teacher Prep. Miranda had 12 strikeouts, a pair of RBIs and carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning.

Port of Los Angeles, which finished the season 20-7, won its first-ever championship last year.