East County Sports

Sultans earn key win in Hills League scramble



By Adam Paul
© East County Sports.com


SPRING VALLEY (5-11-16) – In a Grossmont Hills League boxing match, the Santana Sultans were able to take all the cards as they won in the latter innings over the heavyweight Steele Canyon Cougars, 3-1, Tuesday (May 10).

People attending the game figured runs would be scored at a premium as that was the case the previous time these two teams met as both teams combined for 23 runs, however instead it would be a case of dueling pitchers.

Both teams wouldn’t score in the first inning and it was looking like it was going to again scoreless but it would be the Sultans striking the first blow in the top of the second inning.

Leadoff hitter CASSIDY MATTHIE (1-3, R, SB) singled, stole second and came around to score on the RBI single by JORDAN TEEGARDIN (2-3, RBI, 2B) to make it 1-0.

However the lead didn’t last as the Cougars pounced on their opportunity.  Leadoff MAKAYLA MCCARTHY (1-3, 2B) led off with blooper that ended up being a double, MARIANNA MARTINEZ (run) came into run, she advanced to third on a wild pitch and came into score on a passed ball to knot the score 1-1.

Now it was a brand new ballgame and the pitching and defense took over for both teams as it was time to hold and see who would blink first.

The Sultans tried to get something going in the top of the third but McCarthy despite giving up a single to MADDY MENDEZ (3-4), MACKENZIE BENNETT (1-4, RBI, 2B) hit a grounder to short where SAMANTHA MILLER fielded it and threw it to EMMA DODSON for the first out who in turn threw it to KYLIE MINSHEW (1-3, 2B) at first for the third and final out of the inning.

The Cougars would go down 1-2-3 in order in the bottom of the third inning.

Steele Canyon would threaten in the bottom of the fourth inning as Minshew would rope a two-out double, but the next batter, Dodson, would hit a hard shot down the third base line, but RACHEL WILSON would catch it for the final out of the inning.

Santana in the top of the fifth threatened to score when Teegardin led off with a double, but the Cougars buckled down and McCarthy crafted her magic in retiring the next three batters via groundball and strikeout.

Steele Canyon went down in order in the bottom of the fifth as Mendez got JJ VENZOR (1-3) to ground out to SYDNEY VATES (1-3) at short who threw her out, Dodson grounded out to second base and ASHLEY TAVIZON popped out to first base to end the inning.  It was nervous time for the fans in the stands as the last time these two teams met the Cougars made their move in the latter innings before winning it in extras.

Top of the sixth for the Sultans and in boxing terms it was the 11th round, Mendez roped a 2-2 count off of McCarthy for a leadoff single to left, ERICA REID (run) came into run, Bennett doubled to left advancing Reid to third who would come into score, ASHLEY MADRIGAL (run) came into run for Bennett, Vates grounded to short where what should have been a routine play by Miller, instead she threw it over the head of Minshew and into the dugout which allowed Madrigal to come into score to give the Sultans a 3-1 lead.

It would be all the damage done by the Sultans, as McCarthy was able to shake things off and get out of the inning.

However, Mendez and the Sultans were able to hold the Cougars in the bottom of the inning as AUDREY BAGGE grounded out to Vates who threw it to first for the first out, GENTRY HOFFMAN proceeded to hit a fly ball to Wilson at third for the second out, and MAKAYLA STROMENGER grounded to Wilson at third who threw her out for the final out of the inning to move it to the top of the seventh.

The last round of the fight also known as the seventh inning. Leading off for the Sultans, NICOLE PENTON MARCH (1-3) singled to left, she would advance to second on a sacrifice bunt, CELINE MENARD came into hit and she would reach on an error, Penton March advanced to third, however the next two batters would be retired to end the threat.

So it all came down to the bottom of the seventh. The last time at Santana, the Cougars were able to come back and tie things in the top of the seventh with a 2-strike, 2-out homer by Minshew to tie the game, which they would go on to win in extras.

This was on all the minds on the fans in the stands for both teams. Steele Canyon had their horses coming to bat.

Leading for the Cougars, McCarthy would take the 0-2 count and smash a liner to left, but Teegardin would get a glove on it for the first out of the inning. Up next Minshew would take the first Mendez offering for a strike, and the next offering by Mendez was a called strike. So facing an 0-2 count, Mendez tossed the offering which caught Minshew looking at a called third strike and the second out of the inning.

So it all came down to MACKENSIE PEARLSTEIN to keep things alive for the Cougars, she would take the first pitch strike and go onto foul off quite a few pitches. Facing an 0-2 count, Pearlstein hit the Mendez offering and grounded to SYDNEY BENJAMIN at second who fielded it and calmly threw it to first for the final out of the game and give the Sultans the victory.

Taking the loss for the Cougars, McCarthy tossed 7 innings, giving up 3 runs of which 2 were earned on 9 hits, walked none and struck out two. Her record now stands at 13-6. Her counterpart Mendez for the Sultans also tossed 7 innings, giving up 1 run which was unearned on 3 hits, walked none and struck out 2 on the day. In the process her record improved to 14-7.

With the victory, the Sultans created a four way tie for first place for the time being and also extended their winning streak to 3 games in which they have outscored their opponents 32-4.

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