East County Sports

Granite Hills, Steele Canyon have seasons come to end

Steele Canyon pitcher Makayla McCarthy delivers against Escondido on Thursday.

2016 EAST COUNTY PREP SOFTBALL

 

By Adam Paul
© East County Sports.com

 

SANTEE (5-27-16) — Taking advantage was the name of the game in the CIF San Diego Section semifinals as No. 4-seeded Calexico Bulldogs upended the No. 2 seeded Granite Hills Eagles on Thursday (May 26) at the Santee Sportsplex.

The Granite Hills Eagles fired the first shots as they pushed across a couple of runs in the bottom of the second inning to lead 2-0.

Leadoff hitter JESSIE LAPIERRE drew a walk, a couple of batters later KAYLA MACK reached on an error and SYDNEY HUSE jacked a double scoring both LaPierre and Mack.

The Eagles attacked again in the bottom of the third when HALLE KYLER led off with another walk, a couple of batters later KAREN CREECH knocked her in on a single to extend the lead to 3-0. The Bulldogs got on the board in the top of the fourth when they doubled and singled and singled again to pull within 3-2.

Granite responded in the bottom of the sixth inning as Creech singled and a couple of batters later RILEY AGERBEEK blasted a 2-run bomb over the fence to give the Eagles a 5-2 lead heading into the top of the seventh inning.

Looking like they would advance to the finals for the second year in a row as they only needed the final three outs, the Eagles did the unthinkable.

Calexico, behind three hits  and a reach on an error pulled within 5-3. With one down and runners on, Eagles pitcher Kyler looked to get the second out but an unfortunate miscue occurred allowing multiple runners to score and eventually the go ahead run would score for the Bulldogs to give them a 6-5 lead.

The lead would stand as in the bottom of the seventh besides the single by CASSIDY SHEW all other batters were retired to end the game and send the Eagles to the elimination semi-finals game against the Escondido Cougars.

On the day in the loss, Kyler tossed all 7 innings, giving up 6 runs of which only 1 was earned and struck out 5.

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ESCONDIDO 1, GRANITE HILLS 0 (14 Innings) – In a game that went back-and-forth for over 3 hours the No. 1-seeded Escondido Cougars finally scored to put away the No. 2 seeded Granite Hills Eagles in the CIF San Diego Section Division II semifinals elimination game, Thursday (May 26) at the Santee Sportsplex.

The Cougars in the bottom of the first had a couple of opportunities as they were able to get a couple of hits but Eagles starter CATIE DOBBS squashed the threat to end the inning.

The Eagles had an opportunity of their own in the top of the second when RACHEL RILEY singled but she would get out and KAYLA MACK smashed a double before being stranded to end the inning.

Escondido doubled with one out in the top of the fourth but Dobbs retired the next couple of innings to get out of it.

The best opportunity up to this point came for the Eagles in the top of the fifth when Riley led off with a single, Mack singled, MORGAN KELLY sacrificed them over, KARA BLANCHARD walked to load the bases with only one out, Dobbs grounded to first for the second out of the inning.

What happened next was a call that was very controversial made by the umpire at third base.

HALLE KYLER smashed the ball at the third baseman, who didn’t catch the ball in which had the runners running, she then fell down and threw the ball home which hit Riley in the back in which she would have scored but the third base umpire called an out as he said the Cougar third baseman had tagged the bag even though she was nowhere near the bag. So that’s how the inning ended on a controversial call.

Dobbs would shut down the Cougars the rest of the way and the game would head into extra frames. Just like last year both teams matched each other inning for inning.

The Cougars had multiple opportunities to end the game early in extra innings but Dobbs would have nothing of it as she got through the jams and kept Granite Hills alive.  Unfortunately the magic would end in the bottom of the fourteenth inning.

Escondido in the bottom of the fourteenth inning dodged a bullet when with 2 outs walked and the very next batter crushed a sky double to left field that bounced over the fence and allowed the game winning run to score. With the loss the Eagles were eliminated.

On the evening for the Eagles, Dobbs tossed 14 innings, gave up the 1 run while striking out 13 Cougars.

By Adam Paul, © EastCountySports.com

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Escondido executes a putout at home on Thursday to prevent Steele Canyon from an early run. / photo by Ramon Scott

ESCONIDIDO 6, STEELE CANYON 0 – In the CIF San Diego Section Division II semifinals elimination bracket, it was a game of opportunities and the No. 1-seeded Escondido Cougars took advantage of theirs to defeat the No. 6 seeded Steele Canyon Cougars at the Santee Sportsplex on Thursday (May 26).

Steele Canyon had an opportunity to get on the board first in the top of the second inning thanks to multiple hit by pitches.

Leadoff hitter MAKAYLA STROMENGER was hit by a pitch, JJ VENZOR was hit by a pitch and SAMANTHA MILLER reached on a sacrifice bunt to load the bases. Unfortunately they couldn’t convert as the Cougars were able to retire the next three batters to quash the threat and end the inning.

Escondido in the bottom of the third broke through with a run to lead 1-0 thanks to multiple hits and a sacrifice fly.  They would add four more runs in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a 2-run homer and a couple of hits to lead 5-0.

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A Steele Canyon baserunner dives back into first as Escondido attempts a putout on Thursday at Santee Sportsplex. / Ramon Scott photo

Steele Canyon again tried to get back into the game in the top of the sixth inning as again they were able to load the bases with no outs.

Leading off MAKAYLA MCCARTHY singled to center, MARIANNA MARTINEZ into run, KYLIE MINSHEW singled to left field, Stromenger loaded the bases with a single.  Venzor hit into a fielder’s choice with Martinez out at home but the others would advance and be safe.

Unfortunately, the Cougars were not able to push anything across as Miller grounded back to the pitcher who got the out.

The Cougars tacked on another run in the bottom of the sixth to lead 6-0.

Steele Canyon would have one more opportunity in the top of the seventh but they would go down in order 1-2-3 to end the ball game and unfortunately the season which saw many heroic and epic comebacks in the latter innings.

In the loss, McCarthy went 6 innings, gave up 6 runs of which 3 were earned on 11 hits while walking 3 and fanning 4 on the day.

By Adam Paul, © EastCountySports.com

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