East County Sports

Playoff roundup: Cougars, Wolf Pack, Highlanders advance



By Adam Paul
© East County Sports.com


SPRING VALLEY (5-18-16) – In a play-in game of the San Diego CIF Division II playoffs, the No. 6 seeded Steele Canyon Cougars used some timely hitting and stellar pitching to hold off the visiting No. 11 seeded OLP Pilots, 3-2, to advance to the double elimination portion of the tournament.

The Pilots, who were coming off the first play-in game the previous day, got it going early on as they were able to secure multiple hits in the top of the first inning and including a two-out single that scored a run, but when another tried to score on a hit to left field, HANNAH DUDLEY threw the runner out at the plate. The Pilots led 1-0 early on.

Steele Canyon had ideas of tying the score right away as leadoff hitter AUDREY BAGGE (1-3) singled, GENTRY HOFFMAN (1-2, R, 2B) sacrificed her up, but Bagge rounded second thinking she could make it to third, however the Pilots were able to get her out at third for the double play. The next batter would be retired to end the inning.

In the circle for the Cougars MAKAYLA MCCARTHY (1-3), despite giving up the first inning run, settled down and only gave up a 2-out hit before getting out of the top of the second inning via strikeout.

However on the other side, the Pilots pitching was holding the Cougar offense, as they couldn’t get the ball out of the infield and also struck out to end the second inning.  Both teams held each other in the third inning to keep the score 1-0 in favor of the Pilots.

Steele Canyon went to work in the top of the fourth as McCarthy was able to retired the side in order on a couple of fly balls and a ground out.

Still trailing, the Cougars knew that at any time they could do something and that they did in the bottom of the fourth.

Leadoff hitter Hoffman ripped a double and it looked like it was going to go to waste as the next two batters were retired with Hoffman moving to third on a ground ball, but KYLIE MINSHEW (1-3) rifled a shot down the third base line that the Pilot fielder misplayed allowing both Hoffman to score and Minshew to reach first safely, which tied the score at 1-1.

Now a brand new ball game, the Cougars were in business as they were able to keep the score tied heading into the bottom off the fifth inning. They got the bottom of the fifth started with a bang as JJ VENZOR (1-3, R, 3B) smashed a triple, she scored as SAMANTHA MILLER (run) reached on an error, Dudley sacrificed her to second and ASHLEY TAVIZON (1-2, RBI) doubled to score Miller to push the score to 3-1 Cougars.

The Pilots would score a run in the top of the sixth to pull within 3-2 and threatened to tie the game, but a runner was cut down at the plate on a relay from Hoffman in center to McCarthy to Stromenger at the plate. McCarthy would get the final out on a fly ball to end the inning. The Cougars received back to back hits by McCarthy and Minshew and that would be all in the bottom of the sixth.

Leading by a run heading to the top of the seventh it looked good for the Cougars and it went their way as McCarthy was able to retire the Pilots 1-2-3 all on strikeouts to end the game and set up a date with the Santana Sultans for fourth time this season.

McCarthy in the victory for the Cougars tossed all 7 innings, striking out 8 while giving up 7 hits and 2 runs, of which 1 was earned.


WEST HILLS 13, OTAY RANCH 3 (5 innings) – Despite trailing early on, the No. 5 seeded West Hills Wolf Pack took a bite out of and made short work of their visitors – the No. 12 seeded Otay Ranch Mustangs – 13-3, in 5 innings, Tuesday (May 17th) in a CIF San Diego Section Division I play-in game.

Otay Ranch complicated things early on and had eyes on the victory as they pushed across three runs in the first couple of inning to lead 3-0.

However, the fortunes changed for the Pack, as the offense fired up and sparked as PAIGE BOWLER (3-4, 2 R) led off with a single. SYDNEY CRAVEN (1-1, R) reached on an error, advanced Bowler to third, stole second base, then RYLEIGH DOBYNS (1-3, 3 RBI) singled scoring Bowler, as ALYSSA BUBAR (run) came into run. KENDALL MARINESI (3 R, RBI) reached on a fielder’s choice with Bubar out at second and Craven scoring. ALEXIS HERRERA reached on a fielder’s choice, BROOKE ROBERTS (2-3, 3 RBI, R, 3B) singled, MOANA PISIA (3-4, 2 RBI) singled, scoring Herrera, SIERRA SCHLICHTING (RBI) walked, scoring a run, and ALEX GUAY (1-2, RBI) knocked in a run on a sacrifice fly to give the Pack a 5-3 lead.

Dobyns in the circle for the Wolf Pack did her thing by retiring the Mustangs in order 1-2-3, as the defense behind her helped out as both Schlichting and Pisia threw runners out at first after fielding ground balls.

The offense for West Hills added a couple more runs in the bottom of the third inning as Marinesi and Herrera drew back to back walks. Next up was Roberts, who on a 3-1 count ripped a triple that scored both runners to push the score to 7-3.

The Wolf Pack did more damage in the bottom of the fourth as they pushed across 5 more runs all of which were driven in. This included MIKAYLA CRISTINII (run) walking and coming around to score, both Dobyns and Marinesi would drive in runs as well as Herrera, Roberts and Pisia.  West Hills in all extended their lead to 12-3.  They tacked on the final run in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Dobyns tossed 5 innings in the route, walked 2 and fanned 2 while giving up 3 runs of which 2 were earned on 4 hits. With the victory they will now travel to the North County to take on the No. 4 seeded Rancho Bernardo in the first round of the double elimination portion of the tournament.

By Adam Paul, © EastCountySports.com


HELIX 5, CHULA VISTA 1 – For a while it was a tight contest, but the host No. 9 seeded Helix Highlanders bit into the No. 8 seeded Chula Vista Spartans in the end to move on in the San Diego CIF Division III playoffs.

Helix led early on as DESTINI BULLOCK (2-3, 2 R) singled with two outs and GABBY OLIVARRIA (2-2, RBI, R, 2B) knocked her in on a double to lead 1-0 in the bottom of the first.  It wasn’t until the top of the fourth that the Spartans tied the game at 1-1.

Both teams pitching and defense carried each as both held each other until the bottom of the sixth inning still tied at 1-1 when Helix finally broke through.

MCKENZIE FLORES reached on a fielders choice, Bullock singled, Olivarria loaded the bases as she singled. This all came with one out.  The very next batter VICTORIA CYMAN (2-3, 3 RBI, R, 2B) looped a bases clearing double down the right field line that just fell inside to push the score to 4-1 in favor of Helix. KENDI SWINTON (1-3, RBI, 2B) proceeded to smash a double that scored Cyman to make it 5-1.

The score held up as in the top of the seventh, Helix pitcher BRIANA REED downed the Spartans to get the victory and pushed the Highlanders into the double elimination portion with a date with the Grossmont Foothillers.

Reed tossed all 7 innings for the complete game victory, giving up the 1 run on 4 hits

By Adam Paul, © EastCountySports.com

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