East County Sports


Santana circles the bases on a home run Tuesday against Mt. Carmel. / photo by TRYAN PHOTOGRAPHY


By Adam Paul




Santana and Mt. Carmel in a play at the plate on Tuesday. / photo by TRYAN PHOTOGRAPHY

#3 SANTANA 13, #4 MT. CARMEL 5

Quite the day for the Santana Sultans (21-10) as they pounded out 14 hits against the Mount Carmel Sundevils (20-8) in the runaway victory late.

Santana started things off in the bottom of the first inning with one out as Madison Mendez (3-3, 2R, 5 RBI, 2 HR) roped a double, Emma Leggett into run, Mackenzie Bennett (2-3, 2R, RBI, HR) laced a single advancing Leggett to third, she would attempt a steal of home but would be caught stealing, with two outs Joey Barkhimer (1-2, 2R, 2 RBI, HR) came up and crushed the 1-0 count over the left field fence for her first career dinger; a two run blast to give the Sultans a 2-0 lead.

Moving along to the top of the fifth inning with the Sultans still leading 2-0 the Sundevils right away took advantage of opportunities as they reached on back-to-back errors, a single to load the bases. With the bases loaded and no outs, the Sundevils had the Sultans right where they wanted them and were able to do damage as they pushed across three runs to take a 3-2 lead thanks to a couple more miscues by the Sultans. Mount Carmel tacked on another run via a base hit to extend their lead 4-2.

Now trailing by a couple runs in the bottom of the fifth, Santana knew they had to do something or else they would be eliminated. With one out Marilyn Downing (2-2, 2R, 2B) roped a double to right field, Natalie Sims (1-3, R, 2B) followed with a double advancing Downing to third. Still with only one out Santana was right back in business and up came the top of the lineup. A couple batters later with two outs, Mendez stepped to the plate and absolutely crushed the first pitch over the center field fence for her 11th jack of the season a three-run bomb to put Santana back on top 5-4.

Interestingly enough Bennett who the Sundevils, when they played in the Cougar Classic winners bracket, walked her four times instead elected to pitch to her. This time Bennett made them pay as she hammered an opposite-field blast over the right-field fence for her sixth on the season and also give Santana a 6-4 lead.

The Sultans would go on to tack on a couple more runs in the inning when Lakaila Aquiningoc-David who doubled would come around to score which made it 8-4.

Mount Carmel would push across a run in the top of the sixth to pull within 8-5.

However, the Sultans answered with more runs in the bottom of the sixth as Krysten Service (1-4, R, RBI, 3B) tripled which allowed Downing to score, Mendez followed with another hammer shot over the center field fence for the two-run jack to make it 11-5. The Sultans would tack on a couple more runs to round out their scoring.

Despite giving up a double Mendez would retire the next couple of batters to end the game and keep the Sultans repeat Championship hopes alive.

In the big win Mendez went all 7 innings giving up 5 runs of which 1 was earned on 7 hits while walking 1 and striking out 4.

With the win the Sultans beat the Sundevils for the third time this season and will move on to the Santee Sportsplex to take on the San Pasqual Golden Eagles who beat Clairemont 4-1 in extra innings and who the Sultans already defeated 2-0 earlier in the playoffs. The Losers Bracket portion of the Semi-Finals contest will take place at 2:00 PM with the winner playing another game at 6:30 PM against the loser of the Brawley vs Olympian winners Semi-Final contest.

NOTABLE NOTES: Santana Sultans Madison Mendez with her two jacks in the game has now hit 12 on the season which ties the school record for a season with Amber Schisler who did it in 2012 and also Kayti Grable who accomplished the feat in 2010. Mendez is also one behind the single-season record for the Grossmont Conference which is 13 set by former Valhalla player Carlee Wallace who as a senior set the record in 2014.



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