East County Sports

Eagles claim title in season finale over Sultans

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By Adam Paul
© EastCountySports.com


EL CAJON (5-13-16) – In a winner take all game, the host Granite Hills Eagles pushed all the right buttons at the most opportune times to claim the 6-1 victory over the Santana Sultans and claim the Grossmont Hills league crown outright, Friday (May 13th).

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 4.53.55 PMAfter holding the Sultans scoreless in the top of the first inning behind the pitching of HALLE KYLER (1-3, R, 2B) and the defense the Eagles took advantage of theirs in the bottom of the first.  Despite Kyler flying out for the first out, CASSIDY SHEW (run) was able to draw the walk, KAREN CREECH (2-3, RBI, R) hit a line drive single to center which advanced Shew to third base, JESSIE LA PIERRE (2-3, RBI, R) came up and took the MADISON MENDEZ (1-4) offering and laced it to right field for a single that scored Shew to make the score 1-0. The Eagles were in semi-good shape as they still had runners on but Mendez was able to strike out MADISON CALDWELL to end the inning.

The Sultans in the bottom of the second went down in order as Kyler retired SHELBY HOLMQUIST via a pop out, JORDAN TEEGARDIN hit a hard shot to third but it was fielded and she was thrown out and finally CASSIDY MATTHIE struck out swinging to end the inning.

Santana in the top of the third inning was able to put together a great opportunity with two outs as Mendez singled to center, ASHLEY MADRIGAL came into run, MACKENZIE BENNETT (1-2) singled to center but Kyler would get SYDNEY VATES to ground out for the third out to end the inning.  Still leading by a sliver of a lead, the Eagles looked to extend their lead in the bottom of the third inning.

Up stepped Kyler with one out, the count went to 0-2 as both strikes were looking. On the very next offering she ripped a double to left field, she would advance to third on a fly ball by Shew, Creech stepped to the plate where she would bloop it over second base for the run scoring single and would advance to second on the throw, La Pierre would hit the ball to third where a throwing error happened which allowed Creech to come in and score to make it 3-0. Mendez would get BRENDA RUSHING to strikeout but not before the damage had been done in the inning.

Back to Back one out walks by Matthie and Teegardin put the Sultans in business, however Holmquist would hit into a fielders choice back to Kyler who turned and threw to third for the second out. The next batter SYDNEY BENJAMIN hit what would be a routine ball to second but the grounder was misplayed allowing everyone to be safe, so with the bases loaded up stepped CELINE MENARD who worked the count before walking which allowed Teegardin to score to make it 3-1. However Mendez grounded out to end the inning and the threat.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 4.56.52 PMBoth teams would hold each other in the fourth and top of the fifth innings despite hits and runners in both innings for both teams.  The Eagles in the bottom of the fifth really broke the game open as they scored three runs to push their lead to 6-1. Jessie La Pierre singled, she would score a couple batters later on a Rushing single, Rushing advanced to second on the throw, KAYLA MACK (2-3, R, 2B) singled to center and Rushing advanced to third, RILEY AGERBEEK (1-3, 2 RBI) ripped a single to left field scoring Rushing and Mack advanced to third and come into score.

Other than a Benjamin single the Sultans went down in order in the top of the sixth inning. Granite Hills pretty much the same thing, a walk to Kyler was the only runner on in the inning.  Facing a five run deficit heading into the top of the seventh inning the outlook for the Sultans wasn’t a good one as the Eagles had pretty much bottled up the high powered offense all day long.

For the Sultans in the seventh, Bennett led off with a walk, NICOLE PENTON MARCH came into run, Vates would reach on a fielders choice with Penton March out at second, RACHEL WILSON hit a hard grounder for a single to center, Matthie reached on a fielders choice with Wilson out at second for the second out of the inning. Next up was Teegardin who looked to keep things alive but Kyler was able to get her to pop out in foul territory to Creech at first for the final out of the game and to claim the league championship outright.

Mendez in the loss tossed 6 innings, giving up 6 runs of which 5 were earned on 10 hits while walking 3 and striking out 1. Kyler for the Eagles tossed 7 innings, giving up 1 run on 4 hits, walked 5 and fanned 1 on the day to claim the victory.

“The victory feels great and also the championship feels great as we have had quite a bit of adversity this season. The pitching has been great and that has been a huge things for us. The title validates everything this season.” “I thought the game would be a low scoring contest such as a 2-1 or 3-2 game. Our defense has been very good lately and that’s one of the reasons why we were in the position we were in today and it will take us far into the playoffs along with us playing very well right now.” Said Eagles head coach CURTIS BARNES when asked about his feelings on winning the league championship and what it meant.

With the victory the Eagles should stay in the No. 2 position in the CIF DIV 2 Power Rankings and if so will receive a bye and play a first round game on Thursday. As far as the Sultans they should stay in the No. 3 spot and like the Eagles if so will receive a bye and play in a first round contest on Thursday as well. Both teams would host their respective first round games.


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