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Millikan Softball

PREVIEW: Millikan Softball In CIF Championship Today Against Mission Viejo

The562’s high school baseball and softball coverage for the 2022 season is sponsored by LBUSD Board of Education Member Megan Kerr

Millikan softball has happily embraced the underdog role during its run through the CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoffs this month.

The Moore League champion Rams (22-10) have knocked off higher-seeded opponents La Habra, South Hills and Corona Centennial to reach their first CIF championship game since 2005.

“It feels really good because we weren’t supposed to be here, and now we get to perform on this stage,” Millikan first baseman Katie Knarr said.

Millikan will take on Mission Viejo in the last game of the Division 2 bracket today at 6:30 p.m. at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine. CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS

“We’ve got the same mindset we had against (the other playoff teams) when we knew we were the underdogs, that we had to play our best, limit the errors… we’re walking in feeling like we’re definitely the underdogs and we have something to prove,” Millikan coach Michelle Lehr said.

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Mission Viejo (25-5) is the South Coast League champion led by sophomore pitcher Sofia Elliott. The Diablos have outscored their four playoff opponents 20-0 thanks to phenomenal pitching and defense. According to MaxPreps, Elliott is 19-3 with a 1.88 ERA in the circle. She is also instrumental in the lineup with a .453 batting average, 16 home runs and 39 RBI.

“She is skilled because she has good location and control,” Lehr said of Elliott. “She isn’t going to blow anybody away but she spins the ball really well.”

The Rams have tried to stay loose and rely on what they know about themselves during practice this week.

“The number one thing is confidence,” Millikan shortstop Emily Hanniff said. “This is the environment we thrive in. We just need to trust each other, keep things simple, stay locked in and maintain a positive and competitive mindset throughout the game.”

PODCAST: Interviews With Millikan Softball Before CIF Championship Game


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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.