East County Sports

COUGAR CLASSIC: Valhalla has top local finish


East County Sports staff report

ESCONDIDO (3-12-2019) – The final rounds of the annual Cougar Classic were not good ones for East County softball clubs. After several were eliminated Saturday, four of the five remaining local schools failed to get through Monday’s (Mar. 11) semifinals.

The lone winner in the early games, Valhalla, then fell in its division championship to La Costa Canyon, which earlier defeated Steele Canyon.

In the Platinum (championship) Division, Carlsbad nipped Patrick Henry in the semifinals, while Mater Dei Catholic nipped Bonita Vista, 4-3, in the Battle for South Bay.

Ultimately, the Platinum championship contest saw Mater Dei Catholic outlast Carlsbad, 6-5 in 3 international tiebreaker innings.

The tournament MVP was Crusaders pitcher Lesi Sosa, a senior headed to UCLA.

Division Finals

LA COSTA CANYON 4, VALHALLA 2:  Norsemen cleanup hitter Kelly Olson slugged a 2-run homer in the 5th inning to cut into a 3-0 deficit, but the senior’s blast was the team’s only hit of the game as the Mavericks captured the Silver Division crown of the Coug Classic.

Olson, the third baseman, capped a two-out rally after Valhalla catcher Samantha Green was hit by a pitch. It was the lone mistakes by Mavericks pitcher Angelina Russo, who struck out 7 batters.

LCC opened the score with three runs in the 3rd, as both leadoff batters walked to start the rally. An error let the first run come home, followed by an RBI single by pinch hitter Alyssa Cortinas (2-for-3), who then scored on an RBI double by Desiree Dufek.

Valhalla (4-4) committed three errors, but Green did nail a Mavs runner attempting to steal second base.

Division Semifinals

CARLSBAD 2, PATRICK HENRY 1: Patriots sophomore Dezianna Patmon launched a leadoff homer in the 5th (and final) inning, but  Lancers retired the next three batters to claim this battle of unbeaten teams in the Platinum (championship) Division of the Cougar Classic.

Patmon, the catcher, went deep to center field. Teammate Lauren Nett, the third baseman, recorded the other pair of hits for the Patriots.

Carlsbad starting pitcher Maele Hensch came out after 3 1/3 innings while throwing a 2-hit shutout. However, Alanna Nelson-Thiede entered the circle to gain the save despite allowing Patmon’s long ball.

For Carlsbad, (5-0-1), leadoff batter Zoe Nolte batted 2-for-2, scoring in the 1st after the first three Lancers walked, with Nolte coming home on a wild pitch.

In the 3rd, Samantha Foley flared a ball which just eluded the Pats shortstop for an RBI single for a 2-0 lead.

VALHALLA 10, OTAY RANCH 2:  The Norsemen were stuck in the Cougar Classic’s “Pool of Death” during the prelims, matched-up with powerful Patrick Henry and Eastlake. Now playing some lower-ranked competition in the Bronze Division, they’re showing how good they really are by posting their second straight cakewalk victory Monday (Mar. 11) after mauling the Mustangs.

Otay Ranch scored first, but the Norsemen countered with 10 consecutive runs, half coming in the 4th to mount a 6-1 cushion.

Jade Hill and Delaney Stettler, the first two batters on the Valhalla lineup card, each went 2-for-3, as did Maryn Jordan to trigger the offense. For the contest, the Norsemen collected 10 hits in only four trips to the plate as the game was called early due to the tournament time limit.

Stettler overcame her team’s slow start on defense — three errors over the first four batters to produce an unearned run — to toss a 2-hitter. She struck out only one, instead, coaxing an array of ground balls.

The Norsemen defense also turned things around with an inning-ending double play in the 4th. Third baseman Samantha Green snared a line drive, firing the ball to first baseman Bailey Munch to double-off the runner for Otay Ranch (2-3).

For Valhalla (4-3), Jordan, Yanely Gonzalez and Hill each registered RBI singles in the 5-run rally in the 3rd.

EASTLAKE 2, GRANITE HILLS 0: The Titans became the first of four opponents to score against Eagles pitcher Staci Chambers. They scored on a pair of bases-loaded walks in the 6th (and final) inning to win the Gold Division semifinal of the Cougar Classic.

Chambers was summoned in emergency relief to start the 2nd inning. Over her first four frames, she allowed just one hit. But in the 6th, Eastlake loaded the bases on a lead walk and a pair of singles.

Then with two out, Titans batters Bella Brock and Areli Nava each took close 3-2 pitched for walks, forcing in the lone runs of the ballgame.

Meanwhile, Eastlake pitcher Rylee Alfaro tossed a 4-hit shutout. She struck out 2, but her only walk was to Chambers to open the bottom of the 6th. But with the next three Eagles batters representing the potential tying runs, Aldaro escaped on a pair of fly balls and a grounder to third base.

For Eastlake (4-1), Sharlize Palacios batted 2-for-3. Granite Hills fell to 4-2 overall.

Eastlake went on to capture the division, nipping San Pasqual, 2-1.

SCRIPPS RANCH 10, GROSSMONT 7: Foothillers slugger Samaria Roope belted a g-ahead home run to leadoff the 3rd inning, but the Falcons answered with five runs in the 5th to outlast the Hillers Monday’s (Mar. 11) Silver Division semifinals of the Cougar Classic.

Roope fouled off a pair of 2-2 pitches before depositing the ball over the left-field fence for a 4-3 lead. However, Scripps Ranch parlayed three doubles to rally back.  Early on, Sarah Nakahara homered for the Falcons.

For Grossmont (2-3), senior third baseman Katilina Contreras batted 2-for-4 on a pair of doubles. She also added two RBI, a pair of runs scored and stole a base. First baseman Jordan Brown also doubled.

Following Roope’s homer, Scripps Ranch (4-2) answered with two runs to take the lead, but the Hillers got three in the 4th, two on a Contreras double before the Falcons’ big inning.

LA COSTA CANYON 5, STEELE CANYON 2: The Mavericks tallied all of their runs before the Cougars mounted a late charge in the 6th to take this Cougar Classic elimination game at Kit Carson Park. It was Steele Canyon’s second tournament setback to LCC over a 3-day span.

Senior catcher Desiree Dufek, the cleanup hitter, batted 3-for-3 including a solo homer. She also scored three times. r in the 2nd opened the scoring, then the Mavs added three runs in the 4th.

Emma Fiedorowicz and Emma Szymanowski also collected two hits each for La Costa Canyon (3-3).

Steele Canyon (2-3) avoid the shutout bid by Angelina Russo in the 5th. Following a pair of walks, Bianca Morales sent an RBI single to left, scoring

Tayler Thomas. Amanda Whipple followed with a ground ball to allow J.J. Venzor to come home.


SD-SOUTHWEST 14, MONTE VISTA 2: At Spring Valley, in a contest twice postponed due to rain or wet grounds, the visiting Raiders doubled-up the Monarchs 2-2()in Monday’s (Mar.11) non-league affair. An 8-run rally in the 7th inning broke open a still-within-reach contest.

For Monte Vista (2-2), Mia Owens registered a double, while Meeah Matanane also had a hit as Raiders pitcher Jesskari Rodriguez tossed a 3-hitter for Southwest (4-1). She registered 10 strikeouts.

On Tuesday, Monte Vista will host Bayfront Charter School of Chula Vista. The Sharks finished third in the CIF Division  V section championships last season, and are coached by former Christian High and University of San Diego standout Mary Grabowski, the 2011 East County Player of the Year as a junior, and 2012 CIF Player of the Year.

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