Oxnard plays in CIF quarterfinal softball game

Girls give high five.
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© Tiffany israel/OUHSD
© Tiffany israel/OUHSD
To say the expectations have changed for the Oxnard High softball program is putting it mildly.

It was only two years ago the Yellowjackets considered winning a first-round playoff game a huge success.

These days nothing less than a semifinal appearance will satisfy them.

Oxnard reached the CIF-Southern Section semifinals for the second consecutive season with an 8-0 victory over Millkan on Thursday afternoon in Long Beach.

After losing in the Division 1 semifinals last year, the Yellowjackets (23-5) will try to break through in Division 2 on Tuesday at home against La Mirada.

“Since most of our team is back, their goal is to be back not only in the semifinals but to get to the championship game and to win it,” Oxnard head coach Paul Tinoco said. “Even our staff and students at school are expecting us to win, so it’s the whole campus.”

Oxnard junior pitcher Alexis Edwards threw a one-hitter with only the first Millikan hitter of the game reaching base with a hit.

Xochitl Coronado sparked Oxnard’s offense with a three-run home run in the fourth inning.

Candice Garcia was 3 for 3 with a double and an RBI. Alyson Hampton was 3 for 4 with two runs scored and two stolen bases and Ariana Lopez was 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs.

“Xochitl’s home run really shifted the momentum on our side,” Tinoco said. “Every inning after that we had runners in scoring position and you could sense we were going to score more.”

Oxnard was even able use the experience from last year’s deep run in the playoffs to help guide them through grad night again.

The coaches rented a hotel room so the six senior players and one senior manager on the team could take a shower and head to Disneyland.

“They are excited,” Tinoco said. “They wanted to go there after a win, not a loss. But they are already talking about being ready for practice tomorrow.”

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