East County Sports

Sultans win to set up Hills League showdown



By Adam Paul
© East County Sports.com


SANTEE (5-12-16) — In the conclusion of the Battle of Mast Boulevard, a ticket was punched to the title game while the other was trying to play spoiler and perhaps keep their title hopes alive. In the end it was the Santana Sultans sweeping the season series against the visiting West Hills Wolf Pack 6-2 on a day in which three young ladies celebrated their senior day in front of a huge crowd as both stands were full along with everyone including the varsity baseball team, which was parked out in the outfield watching the game and cheering on their counterparts.

The Wolf Pack got on the board first as ALEXIS HERRERA (2-3, R, 2B) lined a double, MOANA PISIA (2-3, 2B) popped a single over second base, SIERRA SCHLICHTING (1-3, RBI) rifled a single to right that scored Herrera to make it 1-0 and Pisia advanced to second. The Sultans got out of the inning without any further damage as the next two batters were retired.  Santana looked to answer the Wolf Pack run in the bottom of the first. Leadoff hitter MADDY MENDEZ (2-4, 2 RBI, R, HR) flied out, MACKENZIE BENNETT (1-4, 2B) doubled to center field, ERICA REID came into run, SYDNEY VATES (run) walked, however the next couple batters would be retired by RYLEIGH DOBYNS to end the inning and threat.

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Sultans’ Wednesday sluggers Madison Mendez and Rachel Wilson, as their two home runs give Santana 27 on the season, which ranks the team eighth all-time in the San Diego Section.

West Hills in the top of the second added to their lead as SYDNEY CRAVEN (1-3, RBI, R, HR) jacked a solo shot over the center field fence to extend the lead to 2-0.

The Sultans again facing a deficit looked to get back into the game, leadoff hitter JORDAN TEEGARDIN flied out for the first out, NICOLE PENTON MARCH (run) would be hit by a pitch, CELINE MENARD (1-3, RBI) struck out for the second out of the inning, SHELBY HOLMQUIST hit a hard grounder to Pisia at second but she would be safe, so with runners at first and second up stepped Mendez who would take the Dobyns offering and single to center field scoring Penton March to cut the lead 2-1. The momentum was in favor of the Sultans as they had cut the lead.

Despite giving up a lead double to Pisia, Mendez would retire the next three batters all via fly ball in the top of the third inning. Everything seemed to be going in favor of the Sultans as Vates led off with a walk, RACHEL WILSON (3-4, 3 RBI, R, HR) roped a single to center that scored Vates to knot the score 2-2, Wilson would be out as she got caught in a run down, the next batter CASSIDY MATTHIE (2-3, R) walked, Teegardin walked, and Menard laced a single to right that scored Matthie to give the Sultans the 3-2 lead. The Wolf Pack got out of the inning but not before the damage had been done.

Mendez for the Sultans went back to business in the top of the fourth as she retired KENDALL MARINESI on a ground ball, Dobyns grounded to Wilson at third who threw her out for the second out of the inning, and Craven would foul off a couple of pitches before striking out swinging for the final out of the inning. Santana in the bottom of the fourth kept the pressure on the Wolf Pack as Mendez led off by hitting the ball to Schlichting at short but she misplayed it which allowed Mendez to reach on an error, ASHLEY MADRIGAL came into run. So with a runner on Dobyns needed to get outs and she was able to get Bennett to ground out to third where Marinesi fielded the ball and threw her out, the next batter Vates hit a rocket shot of a line drive at third where again Marinesi made the grab for the second out of the inning. Looking like the Pack were going to get out of the inning without any damage done, up stepped Wilson with Madrigal at first and two outs, Dobyns managed a 1-1 count and threw the next offering in which Wilson just absolutely got a hold of it and jacked it high and deep over the center field fence for the 2-run bomb which gave the Sultans a 5-2 lead. The next batter Matthie singled, Teegardin walked but Penton March was called out on strikes for the final out.

The Wolf Pack managed a walk by Herrera in the top of the fifth and she was able to advance to second on a BROOKE ROBERTS sacrifice, however that would be as far as she got as Mendez retired Pisia and Schlichting to end the inning and threat.  Santana again in the bottom of the fifth gained more momentum but not before the first two batters went down for outs. The third batter of the inning was Mendez who like Wilson took the Dobyns offering and crushed a line drive over the center field fence for the solo blast to extend the lead to 6-2.

The Wolf Pack went down in order in the top of the sixth as ALEX GUAY popped out to Vates at short, PAIGE BOWLER lined to center where Matthie caught it for the second out and Marinesi popped out to Holmquist in foul territory to end the inning.  A couple of hits by the Sultans in the bottom of the inning by Wilson and Matthie was all they got before the next two batters were retired to end the inning to head to the top of the seventh.

Leading off for the Wolf Pack in the top of the seventh was ALYSSA BUBAR (1-1) who came into pinch hit for Dobyns, she proceeded to double to right field. So with a runner on, Craven came to the plate and Mendez was able to get her to fly out to left field for the first out of the inning. The next batter Herrera grounded to second which she was thrown out at first on a very controversial call by the field umpire, however the groundball advanced Bubar to third. So with two outs the fans in the stands could feel it as there was a really great crowd for both teams. Next up for the Pack was Roberts and on an 0-1 count, Mendez tossed the offering and Roberts swung and hit a fly ball to left field where Teegardin put up the glove and squeezed it for the third and final out of the game.

Dobyns in the loss for the Wolf Pack tossed 6 innings, giving up 6 runs of which 4 were earned on 10 hits, walked 5 and struck out 6 on the day while her counterpart Mendez for the Sultans would toss the 7 innings complete game victory in which she only gave up 2 runs of which both were earned on 7 hits, walked 1 and fanned 3 on the day.

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