East County Sports



By Adam Paul





In the first of what will be a number of matchups this season the Cougars went to business after trailing and never looked back.

Right away the Wolf Pack struck in the top of the first inning as Haley Valles (1-3, R) led off with a single, Makayla Cristini (1-3, R) also singled and Alyssa Bubar (1-3) singled followed by a single by Ashleigh Hartwig (2-3, 2 RBI) that scored Valles and Cristini to make it 2-0 with no outs. The Wolf Pack had an opportunity to garner more runs but Grace Richter was able to get out of the threat by retiring the next three batters.

The Cougars knew they could come back as they had been scoring runs like crazy in their last few games and it showed right away. With one out Audrey Bagge (2-3, 2R) singled, JJ Venzor (2R) walked and Maggie Carpenter (2-3, 2B, HR, R, 5 RBI) came up on an 0-2 count took the next offering and just crushed it for a three-run jack to give the Cougars the 3-2 lead.

Steele almost put more on the board with two outs as Tayler Thomas (2-3, R, 2 RBI, 2B) roped a double but she would be stranded.

Cougar pitcher Richter kept the Wolf Pack offense in check as she retired them in order until the top of the fourth when Mia Collabello (1-2) singled but she would be stranded.

Still leading by the one run heading into the bottom of the fifth the Cougars knew they had to put more on the board. The bats answered for the Cougars as again Bagge led off with single to left, Venzor reached on an error and Bagge moved to second, Carpenter again did damage as she roped a double to left that scored both Bagge and Venzor to make it 5-2, a couple batters later Thomas stepped up and crushed a 3-0 count over the fence for a 2-run jack to extend the lead to 7-2.

West Hills tried to get runners on in the top of the sixth as Hartwig singled with one out but the next two batters would be retired to end the inning.

Taking the loss for the Wolf Pack was Carly Bursch who went 5 innings giving up 7 runs of which 6 were earned on 8 hits, 2 walks and striking out 3.

Garnering the victory for the Cougars was Grace Richter who went 6 innings, giving up 2 runs of which both were earned on 6 hits and struck out 2.



Both teams handled each other for the first couple of innings of play and it was until the bottom of the third when the Pilots would break through for the first run of the game.

The Pilots would get a two-out double and would score on a miscue to make it 1-0 after the ball was thrown in and that runner was caught trying to go to third.

Moving to the top of the fifth with the Pilots clinging to the slim lead the Sultans knew they were running out of chances. With one out Marilyn Downing (RUN) walked, Natalie Sims (1-2, R, 2 RBI, 3B) on a 1-2 count roped a fly ball to center that went to the fence that scored Downing to tie it at 1-1 and Sims would end up at third for the triple, Ashley Madrigal (1-3, RBI) drove Sims in on a single to make it 2-1, Shelby Holmquist (2-3, R) with one singled but Madrigal would be thrown out at third for the second out, Erica Reid singled to move Holmquist to second, she came into score when Madison Mendez (1-4, RBI) singled to center to make it 3-1.

Unfortunately, the lead didn’t last as the Pilots in the bottom of the fifth took advantage of some opportunities and put runners on base. The leadoff hitter was hit by a pitch, a couple batters with one out the batter grounded out but both runners were safe at first and third as both made it before the throw, a single scored the runner from third to make it 3-2, back to back walks tied the game at 3-3, and with two outs a Santana miscue allowed the Pilots to tale a 4-3 lead.

Now trailing again in the top of the sixth inning the Sultans knew again time was running out. Lead hitter Joey Barkhimer (1-4) lined a single to center, Downing laid down a sacrifice and a head up play seeing the Pilots were not ready Barkhimer advanced from second to third base, Mackenzie Sims came into run, Natalie Sims came up and laid down a sacrifice back to the pitcher but Sims was able to beat out the throw to tie the game at 4-4. However, there was controversy as the Umpire didn’t make the call right away as it was a bang-bang play at the plate which gave Natalie Sims a chance to move to second base. In the end, the umpire called Sims safe at the plate which brought out the Pilots coach to argue but to no avail.

With the score tied the Pilots again had another opportunity in the bottom of the inning with one out a Sultans miscue allowed the runner to be safe but she would be stranded.

Moving to the top of the seventh with the score tied at 4-4 the Sultans knew they were back in business and given a second chance. With one out Mackenzie Bennett (1-3) laced a single, Krysten Service (1-4) followed with another single, Erica Reid would somehow end up at third and come in to score to put the Sultans up 5-4.

The Pilots would have a runner at second for the International tie-breaker rules in the bottom of the seventh. The Sultans intentionally walked the next batter to put runners on first and second and given them a chance for a double play. The next batter would try and lay down a sacrifice to no avail as Lakaila Aquiningoc-David got the out at third, the next two batters that Mendez faced she would strike out to end the contest.

Mendez in the victory went 7 innings, giving up 4 runs of which 3 were earned on 5 hits, walked 3 and struck out 4.




The Patriots got the offense rolling in the bottom of the second with one out when Maddie Simmons (2-2, 3R, RBI, 2B) roped a double to left field, she advanced to third on a wild pitch, a couple batters later with two outs and runners at first and third Savanah Chapman (3-4, 2R, 6 RBI, 2B, HR) stepped up and absolutely crushed it over the center field fence for the 3-run bomb to put the Pats up 3-0, Ari Rios (2-4, 2R, 2 RBI, 2B) followed with a triple and came into score on a Lauren Nett single to make it 4-0.

Hilltop in the top of the third inning would garner a run back to make it 4-1. However, the Patriots answered in the bottom half of the inning with six runs. Starting with lead hitter Dezianna Patman (1-2) who singled, Jessica Dewitt into run, H Jenks (2R) would reach on an error and both her and Dewitt would advance another base. With runners on second and third up stepped Simmons who singled which scored Dewitt to make it 5-1, Maggie Zimmerly (RBI) grounded out which scored Jenks to make it 6-1, a couple batters later with 2 outs Chapman singled scoring Simmons to make it 7-1, Rios singled to make it 8-1, she stole second and would come into score on the double by Nett to make it 9-1. The Patriots added another run on a Lili Pena single.

The Patriots would tack on three more runs in the bottom of the fourth which would end the contest.

On the day Laila Spracklen tossed 4 innings for the victory, giving up 1 run which was earned on 1 hit, walked 2 and struck out 6.




The Norsemen had hope of advancing on in the tournament as they led late but the Wildcats would steal the victory with a game-winning home run.

Things started off right for Valhalla as they would take a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning thanks to a lead single by Victoria Villegas (1-2, R) and a couple batters later Samantha Green (2-3, 2R, 4 RBI, 2 HR) jacked a two-run dinger over the center field fence.

However, the Wildcats would take advantage of a miscue and multiple walks and base hits with two outs to score three runs and take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the second inning.

Neither team would do anything as both teams kept each other in check for the next few innings.

Heading into the top of the sixth and trailing the Norsemen would finally put something together. With one out Villegas walked, Delaney Stettler grounded into a fielder’s choice and Villegas would be thrown out at second base for the second out. Zoe Glenn came into run for Stettler, she would steal third base after advancing on an illegal pitch. The next batter Green who homered early in the contest came up again and once again jacked a 2-run homer over the center field fence to put the Norsemen up 4-3.

After no movement in the sixth inning and the top of the seventh, the Wildcats had one more shot in the bottom of the inning. Stettler for Valhalla was able to get the first out of the inning but unfortunately walked the next couple batters back to back. She would then get the second out but the next batter took the very first offering and hammered it over the center field fence for the game-winning three-run blast.

Stettler in the loss went 5 2/3 innings, giving up 6 runs of which 3 were earned on 7 hits, walked 5 and struck out 2.






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