East County Sports

Sultans March past Pointers; Shebloski’s blast lifts Pats


East County Sports staff report

A few local prep softball games were completed in between the rain drops on Wednesday…

SANTANA 6, POINT LOMA 5: At Point Loma, the host Pointers took advantage of three walks, two errors and a hit batter to score four times in the bottom of the seventh inning on Wednesday (Mar. 5), but an easy tapper back to the pitcher produced the final out to allow the Sultans to escape with a pool play triumph in the Gold & Silver Classic.

Santana is now 2-0 in the season-opening event.

The Sultans trailed 1-0 most of the misty afternoon but erupted for five runs in the 6th inning. However, it was the seemingly unneeded run in the 7th which proved to be the ultimate difference.

Santana catcher Nicole Penton March, the clean-up hitter, led the offense by going 3-for-4, featuring a pair of doubles. However, it was shortstop Krysten Service, the leadoff batter, who produced the runs instead of scoring them, driving in two on a base hit in the 6th-inning rally.

The inning started on a walk and two singles to load the bases. Corner outfielder Gilliane Johnston followed with an RBI single to tie the ballgame, then No. 9 hitter MacKenzie Sims lined anRBI single to left field.

Service followed with her two-run hit, then Sims caught the Point Loma napping when she scored from third on a Madison Mendez pop out to second base, as the defender caught the ball with her back to the infield.

In the 7th, Penton March again doubled, coming around on a ground ball and a passed ball.

Mendez survived the final inning to gain the complete-game pitching win. She struck out six and allowed just two earned runs.

For Point Loma (2-2), sophomore shortstop Simone Cobb batted 2-for-4 with 2 RBI and a run scored.

CHRISTIAN 7, CENTRAL 4: At El Centro, Audrey Shebloski smacked a go-ahead home run in the 7th inning, as the visiting Patriots (1-3) get off the schneid in spanking the Spartans. Christian fumbled away the lead in the 6th, yet rebounded with three runs in the 7th to break a 3-3 deadlock to claim the Gold & Silver Classic contest at Emma Jones Field.

“The count was 3-2 and it was a middle-outside pitch,” Shebloski said. “The pitcher threw pretty typical varsity speed – not too hard, not too slow.

“I had a pretty good feeling it was a home run but with the heavy wind, I had a few doubts while running to first. It felt great to hit the go-ahead home run knowing that I could help my team win today.”

For Shebloski, a junior, her blast to center field was her second of the year, matching her total for all of last season.

“I could hear my teammates as they were super loud knowing how close of a game it was,” Shebloski said. “We needed that win and it felt great.”

The late rally continued on consecutive walks to Devyn Krystek and Kate Manes, Rachel Stephens followed with a sacrifice bunt, but when the Central catcher misplayed the ball, Krystek scored.

“Devyn stayed Hot all game at the plate,” Christian High head coach George Gentry said. “Her and Kate were great at the plate.”

Dawnelle Mcleod intentionally grounded out to the right side to bring home Manes with the third run.

The Spartans had a chance to force extra inning after their first two batters in the 7th singled and doubled to both reach scoring position, but Patriots pitcher Mallory Steele escaped the jam by coaxing consecutive pop outs to Shebloski at shortstop, then a soft grounder to Manes at first base to wrap-up the victory.

“(The) girls played good and didn’t get down at all,” Gentry said. “Senior pitcher Mallory had a rough few innings but held strong in the 7th.”

Krystek and Steele recorded three hits each among Christian’s 11 base hits.

“The team has been working hard and this win was a total team effort,” Krystek said. “We have a lot of new players this year, and everyone played amazing defense and contributed at the plate. We are really starting to gel as a team.

Krystek’s hits included a double and a triple,

“I was feeling very relaxed and seeing the ball very well,” Krystek said. “Fortunately I got some good pitches to hit and was able to drive them into the gaps. I was a little disappointed that during my last at-bat, they gave me four wide ones. All in all, it felt great to get out first win of the season, hopefully, we can build upon this and keep the momentum going.”

Steele had a triple to contribute to the surge.

“It feels great to pull out that win,” Steele said. “It brought confidence back in the team. My mindset was to never give up and trust in my defense all throughout the game. My pitches were working inside and outside but mostly inside. I am very proud of my team to pull out this first win and I cannot wait for the rest of the season and what comes our way.

“I love working with Devyn. She is an awesome catcher and is confident in me and I am confident in her. We push each other to do our best.”

Shebloski batted 2-for-4 with two RBI and a pair of runs scored, while Manes went 2-for-3 with an RBI double and two runs scored.

For the Spartans (2-2), shortstop Jessica Acosta, right fielder Alyssa Gonzalez and pitcher Karmina Becerra, the top three hitters in the Central batting order, all had two hits.

“It’s always hardest to get that first win, Gentry said. “Hope to keep it up tomorrow (at home against La Jolla in a Varsity Classic game).

CALVARY CHRISTIAN (Chula Vista) 17, BORREGO SPRINGS 0: At Mt San Miguel Community Park, the visiting Royal Knights (1-1) blanked the Rams (0-1) in the host’s season opener.

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