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Trabuco Hills’ Jazzy Longo and Aliso Niguel’s Alex Caouette relish OC All-Star Game victory – Orange County Register

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IRVINE — The Orange County Softball Coaches Senior All-Star Game returned Wednesday with a tantalizing chance for players to alter the end of their high school careers.

Trabuco Hills’ Jazzy Longo and Aliso Niguel’s Alex Caouette seized the opportunity and helped the South rally for an 8-7 win at Deanna Manning Stadium.

Longo, heading to northern Colorado, tied the game in the eighth inning with a left double while Caouette, heading to western Michigan, sailed through the final three innings to take the win in the circle.

Longo found some redemption after being part of a Mustangs team that missed the CIF-SS playoffs despite being ranked No. 1 in Division 5. Trabuco Hills did not earn a playoff berth. automatic four-team Sea View League playoffs and there was no room in the bracket for general entries.

But Longo found another way to celebrate on dirt at Bill Barber Park through the All-Star Game.

“It was a great opportunity,” said the outfielder. “It feels good (to win) because it ends because it’s also my last two days of school. So the last time I wore the uniform.

The Mustangs’ absence from Division 5 became a talking point during the playoffs. The Sea View League third-place team behind El Toro and Capistrano Valley finished No. 1 in the final Division 5 poll.

“It was bittersweet because we barely failed,” Longo said. “We didn’t place high enough in the league. It was our goal to reach the CIF… I think we would have done it (until the final).

Longo tied it 5-5 by scoring a brace on the left fielder with one out in the eighth. Two batters later, Beckman’s Jasmyn Yessian — a draftee from North Dakota State — threw a two-run triple down the center to give the South their first lead at 7-5.

Yessian drives to Longo and Kassidy Moore from Tesoro, who had doubled.

The South scored one more run in the top of the eighth to give Caouette an 8-5 lead.

The North cut their deficit to 8-7 on a two-run single from Troy shortstop Sophia Rylaarsdam in the bottom of the eighth.

But in 9th, Caouette quickly withdrew the team in order. She forced takeouts on Aliso Niguel second baseman Casey Antrasian and Tesoro shortstop Cadence Gilliland before sealing the win with a strikeout.

“I like going out there with a tight game,” Caouette said. “I like having that power to win the game, so I was going there with confidence and confidence in my defence.”

Caouette helped Aliso Niguel win the South Coast League title and secure the No. 2 seed in Division 3. Wolverines’ playoff run was cut short by a 2-1 loss to El Toro in the quarter-finals of final.

“It was tough for all of us,” Caouette said of the loss. “I know Aliso has a great future. I know they will get over it, but it was definitely a good end to my high school career.

Caouette knows how to be resilient. His father Alan was surprisingly fired as coach of Aliso Niguel in 2021 after an 11-year tenure that included playoff appearances every season, four league titles and a coaching award.

Caouette stayed in Aliso Niguel with her friends.

“Honestly, I’m really glad I did,” she said. “Not only did I get to play with my friends, but I also have a great connection with coach (Randie) Baldwin.”

Caouette’s number one mentor in softball remains his father. He coached her in travel ball from the 10 and under level with the California Cruisers.

“I definitely wouldn’t be where I’m going today without him,” she said.

Rylaarsdam netted a two-run brace in the third to help the North open a 4-0 lead.

The South slotted Los Alamitos ace Berkley Vance into the fourth and the Seattle-bound senior fired three scoreless innings to set the stage for the comeback.

Capistrano Valley’s Siena Stickney stabbed a liner at second base to help Vance close out the sixth.

RELATED: Roster Set for OC All-Star Softball Game

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