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Photo by Bruce Jacobsen


LANCASTER - "Thought we'd come out strong, but not that strong."

Marauder head coach Cindy Vargas was musing over an 11 run first inning in the first game of the best of three regional playoff games against Santa Ana on Friday at Marauder Softball Stadium won by the Marauders 20-1.

After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first, the Marauders murderers row got to work.

First Valerie Dorantes opened with a double and was moved to third.  

State Player of the Year Paige Johnson then smacked a double bringing in Dorantes, and in doing so broke the state record for RBI in a season with 92. She had three on the day, upping her record to 94. Johnson was three for three on the day, scoring four runs, which brings her two away from the AVC school record and ups her state high total.

Then Dolly Stevens stepped up for the first time on the day and proceeded to launch one over the right field fence.  But she wasn't done in the inning, when in her next at bat she doubled to clear the bases, giving her five RBI in the inning.

By the time the inning was over, the line score read 11 runs on seven hits.  The 11 runs was more than AVC had scored in a full game in 52 other playoff contests, and just five runs from their previous high of 16.  Additionally, if you take the last inning of the last game AVC played - against Citrus, and add it to the first inning of this game, AVC scored 20 rund in two consecutive at bats.

Twenty runs is the most scored by AVC in a playoff game, and the second most this season.

Stevens homered again in the bottom of the third to give her two on the day, and bring her to within one of teammate Johnson for the state lead at 20.  It also gave her eight RBI, the second most by a Marauder this season.

In all, the Marauders hit four home runs, with Katie Weiser and Morgan Arndt also smacking it over the fence.  For her part, Arndt took the win from the circle, going three innings and giving up a run on three hits with three strikeouts.

The two teams will face each other for the right to go to next week's super regionals on Saturday, May 6 beginning at noon.  If Santa Ana wins that game, the final game of the series will be played at 2 p.m.