East County Sports

Cougars continue magical run with walk-off win

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A game-winning double by the Cougars’ MAKAYLA MCCARTHY…


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… scores GENTRY HOFFMAN with the decisive run…


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… and first-place Steele Canyon walks off a winner Friday.



By Adam Paul
© East County Sports.com


SPRING VALLEY (4-30-16) – The Chinese every year as part of their calendar, name them in honor of animals and if there ever was a year to add a new one, this would have to be it, as it is definitely the year of the Cougar.  The reason being because the Steele Canyon Cougars who took on the visiting West Hills Wolf Pack went on to come back and win 5-4 in 10 innings in Grossmont Hills League action.

The Wolf Pack looked like they would strike first as MOANA PISIA (2-4, 2 RBI, R, 3B, 2B) doubled with one out but Cougar starter MAKAYLA MCCARTHY was able to retire the next two batters to end the inning.  Steele Canyon threatened in the bottom of the first as AUDREY BAGGE (2-5, R, SB) led off with a single and stole second, the next couple of batters were retired, McCarthy (3-4, 2 RBI, 2B) walked and KYLIE MINSHEW (2-4, RBI, 2B) grounded out to end the inning.

In the top of the third inning, West Hills broke through offensively as BROOKE ROBERTS (4-4, 2 R, SB) led off with a single, stole second base, ALEXIS HERRERA (2-5, R) singled and Pisia tripled to right field scoring both Roberts and Herrera to make it 2-0.  SIERRA SCHLICHTING (2-4, RBI) singled in Pisia to make it 3-0.  Wolf Pack starter RYLEIGH DOBYNS was doing her best to keep the Cougar offense at bay as she squashed the threat in the bottom of the third inning which included Bagge being hit by a pitch, GENTRY HOFFMAN (2-5, 2 RBI, R, 2B) walking, MAKAYLA STROMENGER (2-6, R) struck out for the first out, McCarthy hit into a fielder’s choice to third where Bagge was out, ELIZABETH BOTT in as a courtesy runner for McCarthy, Minshew walked and finally JJ VENZOR grounded to first for the third out of the inning.  Dobyns would keep Steele Canyon scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning.

The offense for the Cougars finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning as Bagge reached on an error, moved to second on the grounder by Hoffman, Stromenger singled to left advancing Bagge to third, McCarthy flied out to center allowing for Bagge to tag up and come into score to cut the lead at 3-1.  Steele Canyon in the bottom of the sixth put more on the board.  SAMANTHA MILLER (1-3, R) singled, HANNAH DUDLEY (1-3, R) singled, EMMA DODSON singled to load the bases, Hoffman singled scoring Miller, Dudley advanced to third and scored to tie the game at 3-3.  Dodson advanced to second and was able to get to third before Stromenger flied out to end the inning. The Cougars were now back in business and possessed new life much to the chagrin of the Wolf Pack.

Steele Canyon threatened again in the bottom of the seventh as they were able to get multiple runners on base but Dobyns was able to work her magic to get out of the jam and send the game into extra innings. The Wolf Pack thought they had gotten the break they needed when in the top of the ninth they were able to push a run across to retake the lead 4-3. Leadoff hitter Roberts singled via a bunt to third, Herrera reached on a sacrifice bunt and Roberts advanced to second. Pisia sacrificed the runners over, Roberts came in to score when a passed ball occurred. That was all the runs the Wolf Pack could muster. However it wasn’t meant to be as the Cougars just wouldn’t go away. Led by Stromenger who singled, McCarthy doubled to left, MACKENSIE PEARLSTEIN came in as a courtesy runner, Minshew would drive in the tying run with a double to center scoring Stromenger to knot it at 4-4. The Cougars had a shot to win it as they had the runners on but again Dobyns and the Pack got out of the jam.

West Hills had a shot to retake the lead in the top of the tenth as Dobyns singled to left with two outs, Roberts came in to run, KENDALL MARINESI walked but ALYSSA BUBAR flew out to end the inning. The bottom of the tenth was when the Cougars worked their magic once again. With one out, Hoffman ripped a double to right field, Stromenger flied out for the second out. Looking like the game was going to be extended as there were two outs, McCarthy stepped to the plate and in crazy fashion smashed a lined double to right field which brought Hoffman in from second to score the winning run and give the Cougars a magical victory and a third straight come from behind victory.

In the circle for the Wolf Pack and taking the loss, Dobyns tossed the entire game, giving up 5 runs of which 2 were earned, walked 4 and struck out 5. Her counterpart McCarthy also went the distance in picking up her 13th win on the season, giving up 4 runs of which 3 were earned on 12 hits, walking 2 and striking out 3.

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