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HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: THERE'S A PONCE IN SYLMAR'S STEP.

Byline: GIDEON RUBIN Special to the Daily News

Angie Ponce jumped onto first base and threw her arms in the air. Then she got mobbed by her high-fiving and fist-bumping Sylmar High softball teammates.

It was hard to blame the Spartans for making such a commotion after their senior first baseman delivered the winning hit in a thrilling nine-inning 2-1 Valley Mission League victory over visiting arch-rival San Fernando.

The win moved the Spartans (13-1, 8-0) 2 1/2 games ahead of San Fernando (9-11, 5-2), virtually assuring them of a third consecutive league title.

Ponce came to the plate with runners and first and second and one out in the bottom of the ninth, when she stroked a 1-0 line drive to right, scoring sophomore shortstop Alianna Telles from second.

Telles reached on a fielder's choice after Adrian Lira led the inning with single. Lira was 2 for 4 with an RBI triple.

Telles, who was playing with a jammed wrist and a bloody nose for a short-handed Sylmar team that had one sub, was among the first to get to Ponce.

"Best feeling in the world," Ponce said emphatically. Ponce also came through with her glove in the ninth to end a San Fernando threat, making an inning-ending diving stab on a line drive in foul territory off the bat of Krystal Cordova with the go-ahead run at second.

Both teams made several excellent defensive plays. Sylmar center fielder Christine Lopez robbed Ponce with a sensational running shoestring catch leading off the seventh.

Sylmar sophomore Crystal Hernandez (9-1) pitched a two-hitter, striking out 10 batters and three walks and two hit batsmen.

gideon.rubin@dailynews.com

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 25, 2006
Words:279
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