East County Sports

D3: Highlanders de-claw Grizzlies; Eagles knock off Vaqueros

Helix at the plate on Thursday.


By Adam Paul



The Highlanders offense takes down the favorite Grizzlies and moves one step closer to the Championship.

Helix coming off their win over the Buccaneers wasted no time on offense when they were able to route the Grizzlies pitching for 7 runs which included sending 11 batters to the plate. Leadoff hitter Kasey Castro (3-3, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI) singled, Camryn Jonilonis ripped a double to right center that advanced Castro to third base. Helix would take a 2-0 lead on a Tony Gwynn impression by Nicole Hernandez who laced one through the 5.5 hole, both Laurali Patane and Bella Bordine drew consecutive walks which loaded the bases. The score would jump to 4-0 as Avery Perez singled scoring two, McKenzie Flores (3-5, 3B, 4 RBI) followed with an RBI single and Castro came up for the second time in the inning and roped a triple that brought home two runs which gave Helix a 7-0 lead.

Mission Grizzlies was able to finally get on the board with three runs in the bottom of the third inning to make it 7-3. However the Highlanders had an answer for the Grizzlies runs as they scored two runs as Perez led off with a single, Flores knocked her in with a triple and Erin Brown knocked her in on a single which gave Helix a 9-3 lead.

The Grizzlies came back in the fourth with a couple of runs to cut the Helix lead to 9-5. But once again like the last inning, the Highlanders didn’t give in and scored two runs. A lead bloop single by Patane, Bordine walked, Liz Bernadino and Melissa Gutierrez came in as courtesy runners and both with two outs would score on a Flores single that made it 11-5.

Starting for the Highlanders was Patane who tossed 4 innings giving up 5 runs of which 4 were earned, she would be relieved by Zoe Kuhlken in the fifth inning who shut down the Grizzlies on offense as she retired 9 of 10 batters she faced. For her efforts she would garner the save.

Next up for the Highlanders will be a winners bracket matchup down in the desert on Saturday morning against the Central Union Spartans who are the second seed.



Late runs by the Eagles allow them to procure the win behind strong pitching on the day.

The Vaqueros got on the board first in the top of the first inning as Alexa Williams (2-3) laced a single to bring home Madison Michalek-Rosales (1-3, R, 2B) who doubled from second to make it 1-0, Bailey Olaveson (3-3) followed with a single which advanced Williams to third but both wouldn’t advance any further.

The lead by the Vaqueros would be short-lived as the Eagles got the run back in the bottom of the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Adriana Molina that scored Arianna Izaguirre to tie the score 1-1.

In the top of the third, the Vaqueros had an opportunity with two outs as Williams singled which was followed by Olaveson singling to right field. However, both would be stranded to end the inning.

Despite walking two in the bottom of the third with one out Kylie Mead was able to get out of the jam when Molina lined into a double play to end the inning.

With both pitchers holding the other offense the game remained tied 1-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning.

Leadoff hitter Emily Tellez for the Eagles reached on an error, a couple batters later Sadriena Rodriguez singled to left field, with two outs Illiana Manzano reached on an error to load the bases, Victoria Cruz followed with a ripped double that cleared the bases to give the Eagles a 41 lead.

It would be a lead the Eagles would hold onto as Rodriguez shut down the Vaqueros and their bats the rest of the way.

Mead for the Vaqueros went 6 innings in the loss while giving up 4 runs on 6 hits while walking 2 and striking out 2.

On the other side, Rodriguez for the Eagles went a complete 7 innings for the victory while giving up 1 run which was earned on 7 hits while walking 0 and fanning 11 on the day.

El Capitan will go into the losers bracket where they will host the ninth-seeded Serra Conquistadors on Saturday for a scheduled 2 pm start.



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