East County Sports

Roundup: Cougars claim Hilltop Tourney via domination

Photo by Tina Dodson



By Adam Paul



CHULA VISTA (4-25-17) – The Steele Canyon Cougars just completely dominated the field in the Hilltop Tournament on their way to the championship as they outscored their three opponents on the day 29-2 in the three games including the big win over No. 3 Mater Dei Catholic.


STEELE CANYON 9, HILLTOP 1 (5 inn.) – Steele Canyon used a balanced game both offensively as they pounded out 13 hits and in the field limited the host Lancers to only 4 hits on the day to claim the tournament championship.

The third game of the day for the Cougars and they just continued their hot streak as AUDREY BAGGE led off with a walk, GENTRY HOFFMAN singled advancing Bagge to second, MAKAYLA MCCARTHY drew the full count walk to load the bases with one out. MASEN PEARLSTEIN came into run.

The very next batter EMMA DODSON broke the scoring open with a ripped double that cleared the bases to make it 3-0.

MACKENSIE PEARLSTEIN walked, a couple of batters later with 2 outs MAGGIE CARPENTER walked to load the bases again, ELIZABETH BOTT walked which scored Dodson to push it to 4-0, Bagge came up and singled to left scoring both Pearlstein and Carpenter to extend the lead to 6-0.

Hoffman drove in Bott on a pop single to center and JJ VENZOR lined a shot left that scored Bagge to give the Cougars an 8-0 lead.

The Lancers would score their only run in the bottom of the first to make the score 8-1. SAMANTHA MILLER singled with one out for Steele Canyon in the top of the second, with 2 outs Bott singled on a pop fly to center, and Bagge drove in Miller on a ground ball to the shortstop to make it 9-1.

McCarthy would induce ground ball after ground ball and the Cougar defense was able to do the rest as this would end the bottom of the third in order.

Hilltop only threatened a couple of times after the third inning. A two-out double but that would be thwarted in the bottom of the fourth.

In the bottom of the fifth and one out, the Lancers were able to draw back-to-back walks and they would both advance on a wild pitch to second and third.

However that would be the farthest they would get as McCarthy was able to strike out the next batter looking and the following batter lined out to RACHAEL HAESSLY who tossed it to McCarthy at first where she stepped on the bag for the final out and giving the Cougars the victory and push their winning streak to three games.

McCarthy in the championship victory tossed the 5-inning complete game victory for her sixth victory on the season, she gave up the 1 run which was earned on 4 hits, walked 2 and fanned 1.

For her efforts, McCarthy was named the Hilltop Tournament Most Valuable Player.



STEELE CANYON 7, No. 3 MATER DEI CATHOLIC 1 – The Cougars toook advantage early of the opportunities and never looked back in their Hilltop semifinal victory over the No. 3 Crusaders.

Mater Dei had an opportunity to strike first as theone-out one out triple but couldn’t convert as they were halted on an attempt to steal home to end the threat.

Steele Canyon in the bottom of the first had an opportunity as JJ VENZOR ripped a triple with two outs but the next batter was retired to end the inning.

However in the bottom off the second inning, the Cougars broke the scoring open as they scored 4 runs.

Leadoff hitter MARIANNA MARTINEZ reached on an error, MASEN PEARLSTEIN came into run, EMMA DODSON walked, MACKENSIE PEARLSTEIN hit a ground ball up the middle into center field and Pearlstein was able to score on the throw, AUDREY BAGGE singled scoring Dodson to make it 2-0, GENTRY HOFFMAN reached on an error, Bagge advanced to second, both Pearlstein and Bagge would score on the grounder by Venzor to third who threw home but the catcher made an error.  Now with both scoring, Steele Canyon led 4-0.

Mater Dei got on the board with a run in the top of the third to cut the lead to 4-1.  Steele Canyon scored another run in the bottom of the fourth on a double by SAMNTHA MILLER to make it 5-1.

Steele Canyon scored another run in the bottom of the fourth on a double by SAMNTHA MILLER to make it 5-1.

GENTRY HOFFMAN drove Miller in on a single, Venzor walked and McCarthy singled scoring Hoffman to round out the scoring 7-1.

The rest of the game, McCarthy made the Crusaders look silly as the only runner they were able to get on past the fourth inning was a hit batter.

The top of the seventh, McCarthy was able to retire the Crusaders in order all on ground balls to end the game and put the Cougars into the Championship game.

McCarthy went the whole 7 innings, giving up the 1 run on 5 hits while walking 2 and striking out 5.



STEELE CANYON 13, SERRA 0 – A blitz by the Steele Canyon offense over the first three innings put the game away early and they never looked back as they won their quarterfinal hilltop tournament contest.

Leadoff hitter for the Cougars, AUDREY BAGGE (2-2, 2 R) singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch and would score on a triple by JJ VENZOR (2-2, 2 R, 5 RBI, 3B) to make it 1-0, MAKAYLA MCCARTHY (1-3, R) walked, MARIANNA MARTINEZ (2-4, R, 3 RBI, 2B) reached on an error to load the bases, EMMA DODSON (1-3, R, 2 RBI) singled which scored Venzor, and a triple by MACKENSIE PEARLSTEIN (1-3, 2 RBI, 3B) scored both Martinez and Dodson to make it 5-0.

The Conquistadors would get their only hit of the game in the bottom of the first inning when VIVIAN TOMOVICH singled with one out.

Steele added three more in the top of the second when Bagge again led off and was able to single, GENTRY HOFFMAN (RUN) walked and VENZOR hit a fly ball to center for a 3-run homerun to make it 8-0.

SAMANTHA MILLER (1-2, 2B) led off the top of the third with a double, Pearlstein came into run, JASMIN ALVERADO advances Pearlstein to third, RACHAEL HAESSLY (1-2, R, RBI, 2B) doubled in Pearlstein to extend the lead to 9-0.

Steele Canyon would add four more in the top of the fifth inning to round out their scoring.

McCarthy tossed a 1-hit shutout while striking out 2 on the day in the complete game victory.


HILLTOP 2, EL CAPITAN 1 – A late score by the Lancers on an error put the game away against the El Capitan Vaqueros.

El Capitan had an opportunity in the top of the first to strike first as MADISYN WIEHER led off with a walk, she advanced to second on a single by ZANDRA RAGOLE (2-3, 3B) and it looked like the Vaqueros were in business.

The threat was quickly erased as AMANDA VASQUEZ (1-3, RBI) hit into a double play and ALEXA WILLIAMS hit a fly ball to center for the third out.

Hilltop in the bottom of the first would score a run with two outs to take a 1-0 lead.

The Vaqueros couldn’t get anything in the second despite a single by GRACE BURKETT (1-3).

El Capitan in the top of the third inning would tie the game as Ragole roped a two out triple to left, KATELYN COLLIER (RUN) came into run and scored on a single by Vasquez to knot the game at 1-1.

Both teams pitching matched each other as each team went down in order until the bottom of the sixth when Hilltop was able to break through.

Hilltop in the bottom of the sixth with one down was able to get a triple and the next batter followed with a double to right in which SAVANNAH MINSHEW threw the ball home but Ragole misplayed it allowing the runner to score and give them a 2-1 lead.  The next two batters were retired to end the inning.

Now trailing by a run, El Capitan looked to rally but unfortunately Burkett grounded to third for the first out, BAILEY OLAVESON flied out to right and MARIA LOTTA grounded out to second for the final out to end the game.

Taking the hard luck loss for the Vaqueros was Vasquez who went 6 innings, giving up the 2 runs on 5 hits, walked 1 and struck out 3.



HIGH TECH SD 11, HELIX 5 – High Tech was able to rally and put away the game in the middle innings including scoring 6 runs in the bottom of the fourth to win the Duds By Dudes tournament contest.

High Tech High scored a couple of runs in the bottom of the first to take an early 2-0 lead. Helix would take the lead in the top of the second as they pushed across three runs to lead 3-2.

However in the bottom of the third and fourth innings, High Tech scored 8 runs over those innings to take a 10-3 lead. The Highlanders cut that lead in half with a couple of runs in the top of the fifth to make it 10-5.


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