East County Sports

Soaring Eagles take Hilltop Tournament

2018 Hilltop Tournament champion Granite Hills Eagles.

2018 EAST COUNTY PREP SOFTBALL

By Adam Paul

EastCountySports.com

HILLTOP TOURNAMENT

CHAMPIONSHIP

GRANITE HILLS 17, STEELE CANYON 2

The Eagles won in convincing fashion as they scored all their runs over the first two innings to procure the game.

Granite Hills in the bottom of the first, were able to push across three runs as Staci Chambers smashed a bases-clearing double that scored Bailey Wallace, Kara Blanchard, and Haley Johnson to make it 3-0. They would tack on a fourth run as McKenzie Boehm knocked in Aylani Ottley.

The Eagles pushed across more runs in the bottom of the second starting with a two-run jack by Haley Johnson that scored Blanchard, Chambers followed with a double, Ottley in to run, Boehm walked and Sydney Huse singled to score Ottley to make it 7-0.

Julia Tysling followed by reaching on an error which allowed Erica Simon to score and Brooke Bertussi to score both Boehm and Huse to extend the lead 10-0. A couple batters later Blanchard knocked in Tysling with a sacrifice fly, Johnson reached on an error that scored Bertussi, Rylee Omahen into run for Johnson, Chambers singled to score Morgan Kelly to make the score 13-0. Granite Hills would go on to score four more runs in the inning to take a 17-0 lead.

Steele Canyon finally broke through in the top of the fifth with one out as Marley Rimoldi hit a hard grounder that was misplayed allowing her to reach on an error, Grace Richter singled and Tayler Thomas laced a single that scored both Rimoldi and Richter to make it 17-2.

However, that would be all the Cougars would muster as Chambers retired the next two batters to end the game.

Taking the loss for the Cougars was JJ Venzor who went 2 innings giving up 17 runs on 8 hits while walking 13 and striking out 1.

For Granite Hills Chambers got the win going all 5 innings giving up 2 runs on three hits while walking 1 and striking out 8.

With the win, the Eagles claimed the 2018 Hilltop Tournament Championship which is their second tournament championship of the season. They previously claimed the Falcon Fiesta tournament.

Another perk for the Eagles victory was the fact that Haley Johnson, Amaya Esparza and Staci Chambers who was named Most Valuable Player all made the All-Tournament team. Also named to the All-tournament team for Steele Canyon was JJ Venzor and Audrey Bagge for the second year in a row.

With the win, the Eagles who have been on fire of late have now won 12 games in a row and have now worked themselves in the pack of the Open Division playoffs.


SEMI-FINALS

GRANITE HILLS 3, SCRIPPS RANCH 2

Once again the Eagles prove themselves to be the cardiac kids as they once again rallied late in the fifth inning to pull out the victory.

Neither team was able to get anything going in the first three innings of the game as both pitchers shut down the offenses.

However, the Falcons finally broke through in the top of the third as Lexi Osowski hit a ball to center that went all the way for an inside the park home run to make it 2-0.

But the Eagles were able to break through themselves and scratch a run back in the bottom of the fourth as Haley Johnson absolutely crushed the offering and hit it over the right-field fence in which it nailed the storage container.

Granite Hills would eventually take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth as Morgan Kelly crushed a ball that went a long way in center field for an inside the park home run to score McKenzie Boehm.

Catie Dobbs would shut down the Falcons offense the rest of the way.

Dobbs on the day went all 7 innings for the complete-game victory as she gave up 2 runs on 1 hit while walking 4 and striking out 9.


GAME ONE

GRANITE HILLS 1, CLAIREMONT 0

The Eagles took advantage of an opportunity and pounced while pitching and defense did the rest to give them the victory.

Granite would have an opportunity in the bottom of the first inning with one out as Kara Blanchard was hit by a pitch and Haley Johnson laced a single. However, both would be stranded to end the inning.

Moving along to the bottom of the fourth inning with no score as the pitching on both sides kept each other in check. Leading off was Staci Chambers who took the 0-1 count and just absolutely belted a blast over what would have been the center field fence for over 200 feet to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

The one run lead would stick as Chambers would settle down the Chieftains the rest of the way including in order in the top of the seventh to get the victory.

For the Chieftains in the loss, Maddy Jacobs went 6 innings giving up 1 run on 4 hits while walking 1 and striking out 6.

Chambers for Granite went the distance for the 7 innings victory as she gave up 0 runs on 3 hits while walking 0 and striking out 9 on the day.


SEMI-FINALS

STEELE CANYON 6, OTAY RANCH 4

With the score tied late the Cougars once again pushed across runs late to claim the win and move on to the championship game.

Steele Canyon took an early 1-0 lead on a JJ Venzor triple to score Jazmin Alvarado in the top of the first inning.

However, the lead didn’t last as the Mustangs pushed across three runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 3-1 lead.

Once again Venzor banged a triple to score Audrey Bagge who had doubled, and Morales singled to score Venzor to tie the game at 3-3.

With the score tied late in the game in the top of the sixth inning the Cougars were able to retake the lead as Bagge doubled to score Tayler Thomas and also Elizabeth Bott which made it 5-3.

Steele Canyon added their last run in the top of the seventh as Otay Ranch committed an illegal pitch that they were called for which made the score 6-3.

Otay Ranch made one last push in the bottom of the seventh as they pushed across a run but Richter retired the next to batters to end the game.

In the win, Richter went all 7 innings giving up 2 runs on 6 hits while walking 6 and striking out 3.


GAME ONE

STEELE CANYON 6, WEST HILLS 3

The Cougars took advantage of opportunities late and were able to push across three runs over the final three innings to procure the victory.

Steele Canyon got rolling in the top of the first inning as Bianca Morales drove in Audrey Bagge on a single, Tayler Thomas did the rest of the damage as she hit a hard ball to right which scored both JJ Venzor and Morales to lead 3-0.

Things got a little interesting in the bottom of the fourth as the Wolf Pack rallied as Ashleigh Hartwig singled which scored Jules Fossing on the throw and Alyssa Bubar advanced to third base, Gabby Clippinger hit a sacrifice fly to score Bubar to make it 3-2.

The Cougars answered with a run to take a 4-2 lead in the top of the fifth inning on an Amanda Whipple base hit to score Venzor.

West Hills didn’t go down with a fight as they pushed across another run to pull within 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth as Hartwig ripped a double to score Fossing.

Steele answered right back as Venzor drove in Bagge on a base hit to extend the lead 5-3 in the top of the sixth inning. They would score another run in the top of the seventh as Grace Richter hit a sacrifice fly to score Maggie Carpenter who led the inning off with a walk.

Richter in the bottom of the seventh only gave up a two-out walk to Valles before retiring Bubar to end the game on a groundout.

For the Pack in the loss, Kimmie Brouard went all 7 innings giving up 6 runs on 6 hits while walking 8 and striking out 6.

On the other side in the victory, Richter 7 innings for the complete game victory giving up 3 runs on 4 hits while walking 4 and striking out 3.


GAME ONE

OTAY RANCH 11, SANTANA 7

The Sultans couldn’t overcome late runs by the Mustangs and unfortunately couldn’t rally late in the contest.

Otay Ranch would start off the scoring with a run in the top of the first to take an early 1-0 lead. Santana would rally in the bottom of the first with a couple of runs starting with a double by Mackenzie Bennett, Marilyn Downing in to run, which also advanced Ashley Madrigal to third, she came into score on a Joey Barkhimer sacrifice fly and Downing would come in on a roped triple by Lakaila Aquiningoc to give the Sultans the lead 2-1.

Unfortunately, the slim lead didn’t last as the Mustangs again pushed across five runs to retake the lead 6-2 in the top of the third inning. Things got worse for the Sultans in the top of the sixth as Otay Ranch added to their lead with a couple more runs to lead 8-2.

However the Sultans in the bottom of the sixth rallied as Emmett Leggett reached on an error that scored Nicole Madrigal, Natalie Sims knocked in Brittany Mundy on a sacrifice fly, a couple batters later Madison Mendez ripped a triple that scored both Leggett and Ashley Madrigal to make it 8-6, Santana tacked on another run as Bennett roped a double to score Mendez which made it 8-7.

Once again however, the Sultans couldn’t hold as Otay Ranch took advantage of opportunities and pushed across three runs to lead 11-7.

Taking the loss for the Sultans was Leggett who went 3 innings while giving up 6 runs on 6 hits and walked four and struck out one, in relief came Mendez who tossed 4 innings while giving up 5 runs on 2 hits and walked 5 and struck out 4.


GAME ONE

SCRIPPS RANCH 3, EL CAPITAN 1

The Falcons were able to score a run in the second inning and didn’t look back as they held the Vaqueros offense in check on the day.

Scripps Ranch struck first in the top of the first as Lexi Osowski doubled in a run to make it 1-0 early on. However, the Vaqueros answered that run with a run of their own as Bailey Olaveson lined a single which scored Madisyn Wieher to tie the game at 1-1.

The Falcons, however, took advantage of an El Capitan miscue in the top of the second to retake the lead 2-1.

El Capitan would get a lead single by Kylie Mead in the bottom of the second but she would be stranded.

Scripps Ranch in the top of the fifth pushed across another run to extend their lead to 3-1.

Again a lead single in the bottom of the fifth by Katie Collier for the Vaqueros but she would be stranded to end the inning.

Unfortunately, the Vaqueros couldn’t muster any other offense as the pitching for the Falcons shut down the El Capitan offense.

For the Vaqueros in the loss, Mead went all 7 innings giving up 3 runs on 6 hits while walking 3 and fanning 6 on the day.

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