East County Sports

Foothillers reach championship summit

Megan Malwitz approaches home after she bombed a shot over the left field fence for a solo homer.



By Adam Paul
© East County Sports.com

LA JOLLA (5-29-16) — The Grossmont Foothillers showed why they were the No. 1 seed and top dogs in the CIF Division III playoffs as they stomped their way to the 5-3 victory over the No. 5 University City Centurions in the CIF Division III Finals at UCSD to claim the championship for the first time since 2011 when they beat Poway 4-3 in the CIF Division I Finals.

The Centurions would fire the first shot in the top of the first inning when the leadoff hitter Erika Silva would hit a high fly ball deep to center over the fielders head who had been playing in and speed around the bases for a long triple. A couple of batters later she would score on the single by Alexi Wyckoff to make it 1-0.

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Taylor Baez makes the catch as Destiny Bacon crashes into her teammate during the championship game at UCSD on Saturday.

Grossmont in the bottom of the first would threaten as with two outs SAMARIA ROOPE walked, LILI FLORES came into run, TAYLOR BAEZ (3-4, 2B) singled and CARLY PEARSON would be hit by a pitch to load the bases. Unfortunately the threat would be squashed as the next batter would be retired to end the inning.

Roope in the top of the second inning would settle down and only give up a single before getting the final out of the inning.  She would hit a batter and walk another before retiring the next three batters to end the top of the third inning.

Grossmont after being shut out for the first couple of innings was able to break through as CHLOE CAMARERO (1-4, 2 R, 2B, SB) roped a single to left field and would score a couple of batters later when Baez blasted a 2-out double to right center to knot the score 1-1.

After shutting down the Centurions in the top of the fourth the Foothillers set the tone for the rest of the game as they plated four runs to extend their lead to 5-1.

Leading things off for Grossmont in the bottom of the fourth, MEGAN MALWITZ (1-2, R, HR) who took the 0-1 offering and absolutely crushed it over the left field fence for an estimated 200 foot solo-jack.

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The Grossmont Foothillers hoist the CIF championship trophy following their victory at UCSD on Saturday.

A couple of batters later KATIE APPENZELLER (2-3, R) followed with a one out single, JESSICA WILSON would fly out for the second out. With two outs, Camarero roped a 2-out double to left center that scored Appenzeller, DESTINY BACON (1-3, R) would hit a shot and actually reach on an error by the first baseman and seeing this Camarero raced around and scored.

The Centurions would pretty much go down in order in the top of the fifth, the Foothillers would receive a single by Appenzeller.

Roope and the Foothillers retired University City in order 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth which included a strikeout. Grossmont in the bottom of the sixth got a single by Bacon who would advance to third on a couple of passed balls with one out but would ultimately be left on base as the next couple of batters would be retired to end the inning.

It was not the top of the seventh inning and University City was down to their final three outs and all the Foothillers had to do was get those outs to end the contest.

The Centurions despite trailing wouldn’t go down easy as the leadoff hitter Natalie Minteer doubled, Samantha Staples came into run. Roope would retire the next couple of batters via strikeout and a fly ball. Needing only one more out things looked like they were going to end. However Silva singled to left field, Leilani Duarte would be hit by a pitch to load the bases.

Things were getting very interesting as the bases were loaded with two down. The next batter for University City, Wyckoff on a 1-2 count laced a 2-run single to left that made the score 5-3 with runners still on.

Coming to bat for University City was Sabrina Schnaubelt who looked to keep the inning going. She was able to work the count to 2-1 and on the very next offering Roope was able to get her to hit a weak grounder back to her where she fielded it and threw it to ALEXIS COLLINS at first who squeezed it for the final out of the game which sent everyone into a wild celebration and also the fans in the stands into a torrid frenzy.

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The 2016 Grossmont Foothillers won the San Diego CIF Division III championship.

Roope in the victory or Grossmont, tossed 6 innings, giving up 3 runs of which 2 were earned on 5 hits while walking 2 and fanning 5 on the day.

“It feels great to bookend the season with a CIF Championship along with the Cougar Classic championship at the beginning of the season. Despite giving up the early run we knew we would be ok as we all had faith in each other to get the job done,” said Junior third baseman Camarero.

“I didn’t expect it to be close as we had played well the previous game, but we like to make things interesting,” said veteran head coach JERRY LERUD referring to having to hold on in the top of the seventh inning.

Despite the close score the Grossmont Foothillers rolled their record in the playoffs to 4-0 and can now call themselves multi-time CIF Champions as they are now 2-time champions.

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