East County Sports

Highlanders’ freshman Hernandez puts hurt on hosts

Helix at the plate against Olympian on Thursday afternoon.


By Adam Paul




The Highlanders traveled down to the South Bay to take on the Eagles who gave Steele Canyon a run for their money the previous day. However, the Highlanders were not kind to their hosts as they led 7-0 after 5 1/2 innings.

In the top of the first, Avery Perez (4-5, 3R, RBI) for the Highlanders would start things off with a single and would advance to second on a sacrifice, McKenzie Flores (2-4, R, 2 RBI) would lace a single that moved Perez to third. The Highlanders would take a 1-0 lead when Perez would race home on a wild pitch by the Eagles. They preceded to extend their lead on a smash double by Laurali Patane (3-5, 3R, 3 RBI, 2B, HR) which scored Flores making it 2-0.

Helix would have a big inning in the top of the third when they pushed three runs on the board to make it 5-0 thanks to multiple opportunities. Starting with a fielder’s choice reach by Patane, Kasey Castro walked and both would come in to score on a three-run jack by Nicole Hernandez (4-5, 2R, 6 RBI, 2B, 2 HR) deep over the center field fence for her first career varsity homer. They would go on to add 2 more runs in the top of the fourth to extend their lead 7-0.

The Highlanders received some good pitching from sophomore Zoe Kuhlken (3-5) who in the first three innings retired the Eagles in order each time. She wouldn’t surrender a hit to the Eagles until the bottom of the fourth inning and would actually keep them scoreless until the bottom of the fifth when they managed to push across a couple runs to make it 7-2.

However, the Highlanders were not content with their five-run lead when in the top of the sixth they would add a couple more runs thanks to solo blasts from Patane and Hernandez which was her second on the day.

Pitching-wise, Kuhlken only gave up one more run the rest of the contest and would go 7 innings, giving up 3 runs of which 1 was earned on 6 hits while walking 2 and striking out 3 to garner the victory.

Also on the day, the Highlanders would rack up 21 total hits against the Eagles.


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