East County Sports

Vaqueros, Sultans establish playoff positions

Photo by Matt Burkett

Non-League

El Capitan 4, High Tech SD 1: The Vaqueros pound out 14 hits and score late to reign in the Storm and position themselves into excellent playoff real estate.

The Vaqueros looked to score the momentum heading into their showdown with the Highlanders for league on Thursday with a big victory in non-league. They did just that starting in the first inning.

ZANNDRA RAGOLE (1-3, R) singled to center with one out, AMANDA VASQUEZ (1-4) reached on an error and Ragole advanced to second, ALEXA WILLIAMS (2-4, RBI) flied out which allowed Ragole to tag and advance to third base, GRACE BURKETT (4-4, 2 RBI, 2B) followed with a two out single to center that scored Ragole to make it 1-0.

However the Storm came back to tie it with a couple of hits including a double and single that scored the run to make it 1-1.

El Capitan had an opportunity to score in the third inning with two outs as Burkett roped a double but she would be stranded to end the inning. High Tech had their opportunity in the bottom of the third as CARMINA NICOLAS walked and she would be advanced on a bunt single but Williams was able to get out it by retiring the next couple of batters to end the inning.

The scoring drought finally came to an end as El Capitan broke through in the top of the fifth inning. Things started well as MADISYN WIEHER (1-3, R) led off with a single but the next couple of batters would be retired but Wieher each time would tag and advance where she would end up at third base. Williams would knock her in with a single to make it 2-1.

Holding onto the slim margin of a lead the Vaqueros would go back to business in the top of the seventh. Leading things off Vasquez laced a single, KATELYN COLLIER (RUN) into run, Williams singled to right to give runners at first and second, HANNAH HARVEY (RUN) into run, Burkett would add to things with a single which scored Collier to make it 3-1 and BAILEY OLAVESON (2-4, RBI) singled which scored another run to make it 4-1.

Now with a three run lead Williams looked to end things in the bottom of the seventh inning. She was able to get the first batter out on a ground ball, the second batter grounded out for the second out of the inning and the final out would be registered on a swinging strikeout.

Williams on the day went 7 innings, giving up the one run on five hits, walked one and struck out four on the day.

 

Santana 4, Point Loma 1: The Sultans played themselves into excellent playoff position with their extra innings victory over the Pointers.

Santana got it started early as MACKENZIE BENNETT (2-3, 2B) roped a double to left field, BRIANNA JERIG (2 R) into run, CASSIDY MATTHIE (1-3, R, RBI) knocked in Jerig on a single up the middle to center field to make it 1-0.

Both teams had their opportunities as the Pointers got a double in the bottom of the first but that would be washed out and Santana in the top of the second would get a one out double by ASHLEY MADRIGAL (3-4, RBI, 2 2B) but she would be stranded.

Point Loma in the bottom of the third inning would position themselves with one out as they received a single, the next batter reached on an error and the next batter walked to load the bases. Santana looked like they would get out of the inning unscathed as MADISON MENDEZ would get a grounder to Wilson who would throw home to get the runner out for the second out, however Mendez would hit the next batter which allowed the runner at third to come into tie the game 1-1.

RACHEL WILSON (2-4, RBI) would single for the Sultans in the top of the fourth but that would be all they would garner.

Point Loma in the bottom of the fourth had another opportunity as they had a couple hits, a hit by pitch but again Mendez got out of the jam by retiring the last two batters to end the inning.

Another opportunity for the Sultans in the top of the fifth inning as HAILEY JUSTICE with one out walked, ERICA REID (1-3) followed with a single, both runenrs would advance on the Mendez grounder, Bennett walked to load the bases but Matthie would hit a hard shot but the third baseman made the catch to end the inning.

Still tied heading into the bottom of the seventh inning the Pointers looked to steal the game as the lead hitter was hit by a pitch, however Mendez would get the next two batters out, the next batter walked to put runners at first and second, the next batter would hit the ball to Wilson at third who fielded it and threw it to first for the final out and send the game to extra innings.

Bonus ball was where things got interesting as the Sultans finally took momentum. Leading off Bennett lined a shot to right for a single, Jerig into run, she stole second, Matthie walked, RACHEL WILSON came up and smashed a double that scored Jerig to give the Sultans a 2-1 lead, Matthie advanced to third base, LAKAILA AQUININQOC into run for Wilson, NICOLE MADRIGAL (2-4, R, RBI, 2B) came up and doubled scoring Matthie to make it 3-1 and Aquininqoc was thrown out at home trying to score for the second out, Ashley Madrigal doubled to score Nicole Madrigal making it 4-1.

Now leading 4-1, Mendez looked to put things away and that she did as she got a first out grounder, the next batter grounded out for the second out and the next batter hit a fly ball that was caught by Wilson to end the game.

Mendez on the day went 8 innings, giving up 1 run on 7 hits, walked 3 and struck out 1.

Mendez for her efforts picked up her 20th victory on the season. She is the first Sultans pitcher to do so since 2013 when AMBER SCHISLER won 21 games.

With the victory the Sultans claimed their 20th victory on the season for the first time also since 2013 which was also the last time they won the CIF Championship. That year they won 27 games and won the Championship for Division III over Cathedral Catholic.

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