Covering High School Sports in America
File photo by Vince Pugliese

Darian Tautalafua came within inches of setting the California career home runs record. She will have one more chance, playing on UCLA's home field.

Needing just one home run to establish a state career record, Carson (Calif.) softball star Darian Tautalafua three times lofted long fly balls against Granada Hills (Calif.) on Tuesday, only to have all three of them caught at the fence.

In the first inning the senior shortstop went deep to right field against a strong wind only to watch Sara Namay reach over the fence and make the catch. The other two powerful blasts - also hindered by a strong wind - were snared by center fielder Karla Canseco.

The 5-foot-7 Long Beach State recruit had tied the state record last week with her 53rd career home run.

Tautalafua told the Torrance Daily Breeze, "There was a lot of pressure, but I just tried not to let it get to me. It looked like I was swinging for the fence, but I really was not. I just wanted a base hit."

She will get one more opportunity to stand alone as the record holder, because Carson was able to nip Granada Hills 2-1 in the Los Angeles City Section semifinals and will play El Camino Real (Woodland Hills, Calif.) for the title on May 30 at UCLA.