East County Sports

Sultans take Mayor’s Trophy back east

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Santana poses with the Mayor’s Trophy following its win over West Hills at the Sportsplex on Monday.



By Adam Paul
© East County Sports.com


SANTEE (4-26-16) — As in previous years a nice big crowd came out to the Sportsplex to see the West Hills Wolf Pack take on the Santana Sultans. This year was more of the same as a big crowd came out for both teams to witness the 2016 edition of the Mayor’s Cup Trophy game. Everyone in attendance got their monies worth as both teams battled as the lead changed hands five times, but in the end it was the Sultans pulling out the 6-5 victory.

The Sultans showed they would be no slouch as they set the tone early on in the top of the first inning as MADDY MENDEZ (3-4, RBI) ripped a single, but that would be wiped out on a double play ball hit to third by MACKENZIE BENNETT (2-4, RBI, 2 2B). With two outs, things were looking good for the Wolf Pack as RYLEIGH DOBYNS got out of the jam and needed the final out. However SYDNEY VATES (1-3, RBI, R, HR) had other ideas as she took the Dobyns offering and jacked it over the left field fence for the solo shot to give the Sultans a 1-0 early lead.

West Hills in the bottom of the first threatened as ALEXIS HERRERA (4-4, 2 RBI) led off with a single. A couple of batters later SIERRA SCHLICHTING (3-4, R) singled to advance Herrera to second with only one out. With runners at first and second, the Wolf Pack was in business but Mendez was able to retire the next two batters to end the inning and quash the threat.

The Sultans (12-8, 2-2) added two runs in the top of the second to extend their lead to 3-0. Leadoff hitter JORDAN TEEGARDIN (2-4, R, 2B) smashed a line drive down the left field line for a double, CELINE MENARD (1-3, R) hit a looping single over second base which allowed Teegarden to advance to third base, Menard would proceed to steal second base. Two batters later, SYDNEY BENJAMIN (1-4, R) would lay down a well-placed bunt to third base which she beat out and in the process Teegardin was able to come in to score and Menard advanced to third, Mendez then hit a line drive single to center field that scored Menard and advanced Benjamin to third. With only one out the Sultans looked to add more but Dobyns would retire the next two batters to end the inning.

So far the momentum was all in the favor of Santana, but West Hills (11-7, 2-2) wasn’t the 4-time defending league champions for nothing and they showed they were not out of the game in the bottom of the second inning. The Wolf Pack got their bats going as leadoff hitter PAIGE BOWLER (2-4, 2 RBI, R) laced a line drive single to left field, KENDALL MARINESSI popped out for the first out, BROOKE SNYDER drew a walk to advance Bowler to second, SYDNEY CRAVEN (1-3, R) singled to left field advancing Bowler to third and Snyder to second, Herrera singled scoring Bowler and Snyder advanced to third and would come into score and Craven would advance to second base, MOANA PISIA would reach on a fielder’s choice hit to Vates at short, Craven would advance to third and come in to score on the throw to knot the score at 3-3.

Both teams would hold each other scoreless in the third inning. Things got real interesting in the top of the fourth inning as with one out, Mendez laced a line drive single, ERICA REID (run) came in as a courtesy runner, Bennett would drive in Reid when she doubled to right field to make it 4-3, ASHLEY MADRIGAL (2 R) came in as a courtesy runner, Vates got hit by the pitch to put runners on first and second, Dobyns would get RACHEL WILSON (1-4) to fly out to center for the second out of the inning. Next up CASSIDY MATTHIE (2-3, 2 RBI, 2 2B) would take the offering and mash a double scoring Madrigal to extend the lead to 5-3 and Vates would advance to third. Looking for more up stepped Teegardin but she grounded out to first to end the inning.

A shift in momentum swung in favor of the Wolf Pack in the bottom of the fifth as they wouldn’t go away with a couple of runs to again tie the score at 5-5.  Leading things off, Schlichting singled to center, Dobyns singled center, CAELI GIBBS (run) came in as a courtesy runner, Guay would work the count full before she drew a walk to load the bases, ALYSSA BUBAR came in as a courtesy runner. With no outs and the bases full, Bowler took the Mendez offering and lined a single to center that scored both Schlichting and Gibbs to tie the score. The next batter Marinesi would pop up to short for the first out, Bubar would be picked off at second for the second out and Snyder would ground out for the final out of the inning.

With the score all tied again heading into the top of the sixth inning, everyone in the crowd was on pins and needles as both teams went back and forth. Santana in the top of the inning started well as Bennett would double off of Dobyns to left field, Madrigal came in to run, Dobyns would get Vates to popup to first base, Wilson grounded to second base, advancing Madrigal to third. The Sultans had the go ahead runner at third with 2 outs and Matthie coming to the plate. She calmly was able to get a hold of the offering and rip it to left field for a double bringing home Madrigal to make the score 6-5. The Wolf Pack would get out of the inning without any other damage done.  Other than a single by Herrera, the Wolf Pack didn’t do anything in the bottom of the sixth.

Santana in the top half of the seventh would be retired one-two-three. Even though leading heading into the bottom of the seventh this was a scene that had been witnessed before in leading one minute and only needing the final out, the lead gone and losing in the end. However the Sultans looked to erase those ghosts as they looked to put their city rival away. It wouldn’t be easy as the Pack had the hitters they wanted up to bat. First up was Dobyns who on the first pitch by Mendez grounded to short where it was fielded by Vates who threw to first and got the first out, Guay would pop up to Mendez on the first pitch for the second out of the inning and Bowler would hit a fly ball to left field where Teegarden got under it and squeezed it to end the game and put the ghosts to rest.

“This victory feels so good after the past two years being frustrated and the way we fought back it was great.” Said Sydney Vates when asked about the victory and what it meant to the team.  “I am happy for our seniors as they bookend their careers with wins in the Mayor’s Cup,” said Santana head coach JOHN FAILLA when asked about what the victory meant.

Taking the loss for West Hills, Dobyns tossed all 7 innings, giving up 6 runs which were all earned on 14 hits while walking 1 and striking out 3. In the win for the Sultans, Mendez tossed a complete game 7 innings, giving up 5 runs which were all earned on 10 hits while walking 2 and striking out 2.

With the victory the Sultans evened the series at 3-3 and brought home the trophy for the first time since 2013.

By Adam Paul, © EastCountySports.com

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