STOCKTON -- Linden High threw down a challenge to Lacey Kohl on Saturday, and Orestimba's senior first baseman was happy to accept.
"If they want to pitch around Jules (Juliana Santos) to get to me, my job is to make it hurt," said Kohl, the Warriors cleanup hitter. "I didn't do that the other night, so I knew they'd be doing it again."
This time Kohl made the Lions pay for pitching around the LSU-bound Santos, belting three doubles and driving in a career-high eight runs to rout Linden 12-0 rout in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V championship game.
It was second consecutive title for the Warriors (27-3), who went 26-0 in 2007. Similar to last year, the Warriors scraped by the preliminary rounds with close victories -- before a blowout finale.
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"This has been our goal since the end of last season," said Santos, a .667 hitter who led the section with 11 homers and 55 RBIs. "We wanted to go unbeaten, but when we lost the first game, all our attention shifted to a title."
Orestimba, which beat Linden 3-1 in nine innings Wednesday, scored twice in the first inning for a quick lead in the title game.
Linden then walked Santos to load the bases with two out in the second, bringing up Kohl. A .432 hitter in the regular season, she had struggled in the playoffs.
Kohl ended her drought, however, by lining a three-run double into the left-center alley. After Santos was walked again with a runner on second and two out in the fourth, Kohl lined a two-run double off the right-center fence.
"Lacey's in the four hole, batting behind Jules, because she's a lefty who has power and puts the ball in play," said coach Kasey Cooper, whose club had nine runs in the first three playoff games combined. "Lacey knew they'd be coming after her today and she showed she's earned the respect to be our cleanup hitter."
In the sixth, with the Warriors up 8-0 and two runners on, Linden finally pitched to Santos and retired her on a grounder. Kohl then hit another two-run double off the right-center fence -- then the Warriors scored two more.
"By that last at-bat, I was having so much fun," said Kohl, who also had a first-inning RBI. "You get those days when you're hitting it great. This was my day."
Kara Spinelli set down Linden in the bottom of the sixth, and the 10-run mercy rule allowed the the Warriors' bench to spill onto the field for the celebration.
Spinelli scattered six hits and got out of early jams by throwing strikes and making the Lions hit the ball. She had struck out 11 Lions in their previous meeting.
"Kara hits her spots and isn't afraid to let her defense play behind her," said Cooper, whose ace is 40-3 with a 0.90 ERA these last two seasons. "She gets kids to hit ground balls and dinky fly balls. That keeps our girls alert."