Shut the door on Batbusters Campbell (ranked #2 in the Nation)

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So Cal 3D (Now Panthers Gold) Shut the Door on Batbusters Campbell

By Manny Alvarez- Flosoftball

Ava Justman mowed down batters left and right, striking out 10 to record a two-hit shutout to lead So Cal 3D-Hernandez (Sylmar, Calif.) to a big 1-0 upset victory over OC Batbusters-Campbell (Cypress, Calif.) in the opening round of the PGF 14U Premier Nationals on Tuesday at the Fountain Valley Sports Complex in Fountain Valley, Calif.

Maya Brady and Valeria Pero were the only Batbusters to get hits off of Justman, who was in control the entire game in So Cal 3D’s win over the Batbusters, who are ranked No. 2 in the nation by FloSoftball.

“I just had to hit my spots,” Justman said. “I had to focus and made sure I didn’t let down my team.

I was definitely nervous, but I wasn’t trying to let it get to me. I just had to block it out.

So Cal 3D only managed to get two hits from Miranda Lopez and Rozelyn Carrillo, who led off the bottom of the third inning with a single and advanced to second on an error. Carrillo moved to third on a ground out to third and scored on a Melissa Paz’s grounder to second. That was all the offense Justman needed.

“We just didn’t go up there and have good approaches to the plate,” Batbusters coach Mark Campbell said. “She threw a great game, but it wasn’t anything that we haven’t seen before. We got caught looking away too many times. We looked completely out of place for some reason. I’m not sure what it was, but I’ll give her credit. She threw a good game. We need to adjust. We have a long way to go now.” 

The Batbusters threatened in the fourth inning when Brady led off with a single. She stole second and third, but Justman painted the corner and caught two batters on called third strikes to get out of trouble.

“We did a good job charting,” So Cal 3D coach Chris Hernandez said. “We knew everyone’s tendencies from watching them play in pool games. We had a game plan. We went over our game plan with our pitchers and it was executed well on pitch location.”

The Batbusters have their backs against the wall in the double-elimination tournament when they play Sorcerer at 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday. 

“We have to have a lot better at-bats,” Campbell said. “We have the depth to do it, but it has to be a different team to show up offensively from this point on.”

So Cal 3D will carry huge momentum to the next round on Wednesday when it takes on the East Cobb Bullets Biele (Loganville, Ga.), a 3-2 winner over Sorcerer (Benicia, Calif.), at 5:30 p.m. 

“We just have to take it one game at a time,” Hernandez said. “We can’t think ahead, don’t think backwards. Just one game at a time and keep the wins going.”

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