Lakewood Long Beach Poly Millikan St. Anthony Wilson

Surprising Season Has Moore League Softball Prepared For Playoffs

Wilson and Millikan beating Lakewood for the first time since 2012 made for a memorable and historic Moore League regular season. Whether that and shifts in CIF Southern Section playoff equity translates into a successful postseason, something the local teams haven’t had in years, remains to be seen.

All first-round games are scheduled for 3 p.m. on Thursday.

In Division 3, Moore League champion Wilson (15-15) is hosting Irvine at Joe Rodgers Stadium where the Bruins are 5-3 this season.

“The entire league season came down to pitching and defense,” Wilson coach George Molina said. “Putting the ball in play is key, and we’ve got to continue to do that. Hopefully the Moore League games have us ready for the playoffs.”

Wilson senior Katelyn Howard has a team-high 34 hits, 35 RBIs, 22 runs scored and five home runs. Senior pitcher Joey Vega won 12 of her 25 starts this season with a 3.35 ERA in 125.1 innings. She stuck out 105 batters while only walking 19.

Irvine (12-11) finished second in the Pacific Coast League with four league losses.

Also in Division 3, Millikan (18-11) is on the road at Woodbridge where the Warriors (18-11) are champions of the Pacific Coast League.

Millikan junior Maya De Sota leads her team with 38 hits, 28 runs scored and 16 RBIs. Sophomore Jasmine Fernandez has a team-high 10 stolen bases. Junior pitcher Rachel Rubio has a 3.03 ERA in 69.1 innings.

At the top of the Division 3 bracket, St. Anthony (8-18) has the unenviable task of taking on top-seeded West Torrance (25-3) on the road in the first round. The Warriors have outscored their opponents 212-60 this season.

In Division 2, Lakewood (18-12) is on the road to face a tough Cypress team. The Centurions (18-9) have played tight games with some of the best teams in Division 1. The Lancers lost in the first round of the playoffs last year for the first time in more than a decade. In that span, Lakewood has reached four quarterfinals, two semifinals and one finals in 2013. The Lancers finished second in league.

Long Beach Poly (8-12) needed to beat Redondo Union in a wild card game on the road Tuesday in order to advance to the first round of the Division 4 bracket.

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.