East County Sports

ROUNDUP: Hillers, Sultans homer to win


East County Sports staff report

EL CAJON (20-2019) – Grossmont High head coach Jerry Lerud annually pieces together one of the toughest schedules of any softball team in San Diego County, which sometimes affects the bottom line in terms of victories.
However, the strategy is starting to pay off.

On Tuesday (Mar. 19), the Foothillers broke open a pitcher’s duel with two runs in the 4th inning, going on to defeat visiting San Pasqual, 5-1.

After San Pasqual’s Olivia Burroughs hit a leadoff home run in the 2nd, Grossmont pitcher Samaria Roope was dominating in the circle, not allowing a hit over the final 6 innings in spinning a 2-hitter. She struck out five, lifting the Hillers (5-4) over the .500 plateau in the ballclub’s third win in four starts — the loss was to top-ranked Mater Dei Catholic.

Level at 1-all, the decisive blow was registered by Rainee Foster. The right fielder made like actress Jodie Foster, making great “Contact” on a 3-2 pitch in belting a 2-run homer run to left. Jordan Brown (walk) also scored.

For Foster, she raised her slugging percentage to .867 with her second homer in as many games.

In the 6th, a Golden Eagles error extended the inning, as Halle Sweiss took advantage by whipping a 2-run double. The “Swiss Miss” connected on an 0-2 pitch.

SANTANA 16, SAN DIEGO 4: At Santee, in the Sultans’ first action in nearly two weeks, the bats were ready to erupt, as the hosts struck for 14 hits to put St. James in their place.

Nicole Penton March slugged a grand slam, while Madison Mendez also homered and smacked a walk-off, 3-run double to cap a 6-run outburst in the 6th inning to invoke the run rule.

Down 2-0, the comeback started on Mendez’ homer to left field to lead-off the 1st.  An inning later, Penton March’s bomb capped a 5-run rally to lift Santana to a 6-2 lead.

Mendez, a first baseman who bats at the top of the batting order, finished the day with 5 RBI on 3-for-4 hitting, scoring three times. Meanwhile, Emmelee Leggett also went 3-for-3 with 2 RBI and three tuns.

In addition for Santana (3-1), Penton March, Lakaila Aquiningoc-David and late-inning substitute Krysten Service each chipped in with two of the Sultans’ 14 hits.

For the Cavers (2-4), sophomore Mia Robinson registered a 2-run single in the 1st.

VALLEY CENTER 5, El CAPITAN 2: At Lakeside, both ballclubs scored twice in the 1stijnnjing, but Jaguars pitcher Katelyn Dunckel settled in and allowed just two hits he rest of the way in the victory.

Key plays to cap both halves of the 1st inning produced wild momentum swings.

After Valley Center scored twice without an out, El Cap escaped on a pop out, then Vaqueros third baseman Katy Hicks started an inning-ending double play.  Hicks’ throw went to first baseman Bailey Olaveson for a routine out, but Olaveson then attempted to backdoor the runner at second base, firing to shortstop Madison Rosalis for the surprise tag out.

Stirred by the unorthodox twin-killing, Olaveson also started a two-out rally with an infield single. Alexa Williams also singled, then Hicks walked to load the bases.

Brandy Taylor, the center fielder, followed with a game-tying, 2-run single.

However, Jags left fielder Cheyenne Prescott made a heads-up throw, not to the plate, but to third base, where Hicks was nailed attempting to take an extra base with the play in front of her.

Dunckel dominated the rest of the way, backed by single runs in the 3rd, 4th and 6th. She also batted 3-for-4 with 2 RBI

For Valley Center (2-2), Prescott batted 2-for-5, including a two-out, RBI singles to drive in the go-ahead run in the 3rd, giving the Jags a 2-game winning streak following an 0-2 start.,

El Capitan (3-4) saw Williams collect three of the team’s five base hits, including a double.

MT. CARMEL 17, VALHALLA 7:  At Rancho Peñasquitos, the host Sundevils trailed 4-0 ad 7-4 before exploding for 13 runs in the 4th inning, leaving the Norsemen to wonder what happened in Tuesday’s (Mar. 19) run-rule shortened non-league game.

The Sundevils sent 18 batters to the plate — they batted around twice — in the decisive frame, starting with a triple by Jonesa Hebreo. Two batters later, Mara Miranda and Ally Troche belted consecutive home runs to pull even

The next three batters reached to load the bases, then with one out, Mackenzie Cunningham lined a hard grounder to left field for a  2-run, go-ahead single.

Kylie Kates also drove in three runs.

Valhalla’s fast started included three runs in the 1st and 4th innings before the sky started to fall.

Maryn Jordan registered a 2-run single to cap the 1st.  An inning later, Jade Hill and Samantha Green (RBI) both smacked doubles for a 4-0 cushion.

Then in the 4th,  Hill and Green both walked and scored on a deep double to right field by Kelly Olson.

For Mt. Carmel (8-3), Troche, Riley Barger and Kylie Kates each posted two of the team’s 16 hits.

Valhalla (4-7), Bailey Munch batted 3-for-4 with a double, while both of Green’s hits went for doubles.

CORONADO 15, LIBERTY CHARTER 1: At Lemon Grove, the Wahines continued their winning ways as one of the CIF San Diego Section’s highest scoring teams after leveling the Lions.

The Islanders (8-0-1) have tallied 131 runs in 9 outings (14.6/game), including 51 in their last three games (17.0) since suffering the lone smudge on their record — a 7-7 deadlock with Francis Parker.

Anneliese Wong, a freshman, came up with one of the biggest RBI efforts in section history. She drove in 9 runs, thanks mostly to a pair of home runs to right field — a 3-run shot in the 2nd, then a grand slam in the 3rd to mount a 14-0 advantage.

For Coronado, sophomore outfield Shelby Linde also homered.

Liberty Charter (2-3) avoided the shutout when  Jayden Ortiz singled home Sarah Johnston with two outs in the 3rd.

TRI-CITY CHRISTIAN 11, FOOTHILLS CHRISTIAN 8:  At Oceanside, the Knights came all the way back from a 7-1 deficit, moving to within 9-8 before falling to the host Eagles in both teams’ Pacific League opener.

Knights first baseman Carly Robbins slugged a 2-run homer in the 5th, when Foothills Christian tallied four times to move within a run.

However, Tri-City survived leadoff singles by catcher Lacie Baty and shortstop Kaylee Guler to open the 6th and 7th, respectively, to post their first win of the season.

For Foothills Christian (2-1 overall, 0-1 Pacific), Baty, Guler and Carissa Wolford all recorded two hits to fuel a 10-hit attack.

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