LA North and Orange County: El Modena rallies in seventh to beat Valencia

The Valencia softball looked like it was in a good position to advance to the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs.

The Vikings were home for their quarterfinal game against El Modena. Their starting pitching, Carly Mortensen, was coming off an impressive 1-0 shutout over Vista Murrieta. El Modena played Wednesday and beat second-seeded Etiwanda, 12-11, shutting down a six-run, seventh-inning rally by Etiwanda to advance.

Mortensen, who has been nursing an arm injury, wasn’t nearly as effective against El Modena and Valencia lost, 5-4, in the quarterfinals.

It was the third time this season that Valencia and El Modena have played. Valencia won the previous two games, including in the Tournament of Champions in Arizona.

El Modena rallied for two runs in the seventh inning of Thursday’s CIF quarterfinal game to take the lead and eliminateValencia from the playoffs.

Mortensen gave up all five runs on 10 hits. She had eight strikeouts and walked three. By comparison, against Vista Murrieta, she tossed a three-hitter and struck out nine.

Karlie Habitz gave Valencia an early lead with an RBI single in the first inning. But El Modena took a 3-1 lead into the third inning off back-to-back home runs by Victoria Zamora and Devin Vanderhoff.

Valencia rallied for three runs in the third. Missy Fundora capped the three-run rally with a two-run double.

Vanderhoff and Sam Mazza each came through with RBI singles in the seventh inning to knock Mortensen out of the game.

El Modena advances to the semifinals and will face Corona Santiago, the third-seeded team in the playoffs, in the semifinals on Tuesday.