East County Sports

Griffins’ offense gets rolling in opener with Rustlers



By Chris Davis
© East County Sports.com

EL CAJON (1-30-16) — There isn’t a much better way to start a season than to get an 11-3 run-rule shortened game.  That is how the Grossmont College Griffins started out the 2016 season as they defeated Golden West College on Friday (Jan. 29).


RACHEL EVERETT (Bonita Vista) was the hitting star for the Griffins (1-0) as she went 3-for-4 with three runs batted in.


The Griffins came out hot as AMANDA IZZO (Hemet) walked and stole second.  On a fly out to right, Izzo tagged up and went to third.  KATIE SCHMIDT (Valhalla) singled to left field to plate Izzo for the first run of the day and season.  The Griffins would go quietly the rest of the inning.


“I think we were a little tight early in the game,” fifth year head coach DOUG HARTUNG said after the game.  “We loosened up and played our game and that made all the difference.”


Golden West (0-1) got on the board with a pair of runs in the top of the second to take a 2-1 lead.


In the third, the Rustlers would tack on what they thought at the time was an insurance run for a 3-1 lead.


The bottom of the inning saw Izzo single to lead off the inning.  Everett dropped a bunt for a single and Izzo took off to get to second.  The Rustlers third baseman threw the ball down the right field line allowing Izzo to continue the run around the bases.  That brought the Griffins to within one at 3-2.


After a perfect inning defensively for the Griffins, they got back to hitting.  Things were led off with another defensive miscue by Golden West and a wild pitch to put MACKENZIE REYNOLDS (Santana) on second with no one out.  SOPHIA SAHAGUN (Heritage Christian) singled past third base to bring home JESSICA RUBIO (Patrick Henry), who had been entered as a pinch runner, to tie the game up at 3-all.  Everett out down an excellent bunt hit to put runners on first and second.


The Rustlers went to the bullpen to get some pitching help, but that didn’t quite work out the way they wanted it to.  The first pitch by the new pitcher was a wild pitch to advance both runners.


Enter another new pitcher.


Izzo flew out to center for the first out of the inning.  Everett lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to bring in Sahagun and a 4-3 Griffin lead.


The Griffin pitching did its job by getting out the Rustler batters, setting up the bottom of the fifth.


Catcher DIAMOND MEJIA (West Ranch) grounded out to get things started in the fifth.  SIERRA SALAZAR (Helix) singled and stole second.  ARISA ROSADO (Olympian) doubled to left field to plate Salazar.  Rosado advanced to third on a Reynolds single to put runners on the corners.  After the third pitcher of the day for Golden West came on, Sahagun doubled to right center to plate both Rosado and Reynolds for a 6-3 Griffins lead.


But wait, there is more!


ALEXIS FLORES (Calexico) was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second.  Izzo coaxed a walk from the pitcher to load up the bases.  Everett came through with a single to right centerfield to bring Sahagun.  Schmidt had excellent vision to garner another walk to load up the bases and push Flores home.


At which point a mini-village came in via substitutions for GWC.  Mejia reached on a fielder’s choice that forbade Izzo from scoring her third run of the day.  Salazar singled to centerfield to score Schmidt and Everett for the 10th and 11th runs of the day.  Mejia took too wide of a turn and was run down for the final out of the day.


“Absolutely!  There were several clutch hits.  Rosado early in the game, Schmidt to left field, our shortstop line drive late and a few more,” Hartung said after asked about the clutch hits for the Griffins.


Fullerton (1-0), who defeated 32 time PCAC champion Palomar 9-7 on Friday (Jan. 29), will come to Grossmont for a doubleheader starting at high noon on Saturday (Jan. 30).

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