LONG BEACH-- Stephanie Necaise was virtually unhittable Friday leading West Harrison to a 3-0 win over Long Beach and the softball championship of Region 8-5A.
"We came in ready to play," said Hurricanes coach Brittany Rogers. "Tonight they showed up."
Long Beach (9-9, 5-1) defeated West Harrison at home 3-2 earlier this season, meaning the Hurricanes (12-10, 5-1) had to win by at least two runs to clinch the championship.
"We made it a goal to win district this year," said Rogers, "It's huge for us."
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"I'm really excited," Necaise said. "We came together as a team to win the district."
The Hurricanes got their needed two runs in the first inning when Sydney-Brooke Sims tripled to drive in Kristen Sexton, who led off the inning with a single. Sims later scored on a passed ball.
In the third, back-to-back singles from Sims and Rebecca Cuevas put runners on the corners. Sims scored her second run on a passed ball for a 3-0 West Harrison lead.
Necaise made sure the lead stood, pitching a perfect game through four innings and allowing only three hits. She didn't run into serious difficulty until the seventh inning.
With two outs, Krystal Goodman, who led off the fifth with a solid single to left-center, connected for her second hit of the game. Faith Peterson followed with the Bearcats third hits to put runners on first and second.
"She got a little tired in the seventh," Rogers said. "She usually doesn't pitch that many innings."
"I was a little nervous because I didn't know how things would turn out," Necaise said. "But I knew I had a good defense behind me and I trusted my defense."
Necaise's trust in her defense paid off when Fallon Groves slapped a screamer down the first base line. Hurricanes first baseman Sexton, though, snagged the liner for the third out to end the game.
Sexton and Sims had two hits each for West Harrison.
Necaise didn't walk a batter and struck out eight as West Harrison takes momentum into the playoffs.
"We are getting to where we need to be," Rogers said.