Taft-MPC softball

 Northern California Regional Playoffs
 Friday's game
 Taft (25-12) at MPC (29-8), 2 p.m.
 The Lobos will be hosting one of the hottest teams in the state today when they open up the Northern California Regional best-of-three playoffs against Taft.
 The Central Valley Conference champions, Taft owns the fourth longest winning streak to date in the state at 12, having gone 17-4 in conference and 25-12 overall.
 MPC will look to add to its school record 29 wins, having won its first Coast Conference South title in 33 years last week with a win over rival Hartnell.
 Conference Pitcher of the Year Sally Bowles posted a 22-4 record this spring with a 1.45 earned run average for the Lobos, striking out 124 in 151 innings.
 MPC hit .350 as a team with North Salinas product Serena Castaneda winning the team triple crown, leading them in hitting (.465), home runs (6) and runs batted in (46).
 Former Carmel standout Lauren Salvati hit .464 for the Lobos while Seaside graduate Malia Usrey finished at .422. The only sophomore on the team is catcher Alyssa Salazar.
 It's been more of a committee approach for Taft this spring as eight different players have driven in 12 or more runs, including Halle Neher's team leading 24.
 While not overpowering in the circle, Andrea Gardner mixes her pitches well, winning 15 games this spring while posting a 2.91 earned run average for Taft.
 The best of three series will resume Saturday at noon. If a third game is needed, it'll be played right after the first game.

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