East County Sports

Highlanders beat El Paso team with three HRs; Lions edge Frogs


By Tyler Gribble

Special to EastCountySports.com

LA JOLLA (3-23-2019) – The high school softball season starts a full month earlier in Texas, which left Helix High with just six games under their belt this season while visiting El Paso-Jefferson has already competed in 22.

But, come on, these are Southern California softball players we’re talking about.

After a rainout on Thursday nixed Helix’s first scheduled Duds by Dudes pool play game, the Highlanders returned to the turf at La Jolla High School to take on the Silver Foxes on Friday.

Helix pitching dominated the day, as Zoe Kuhlken and Kasey Castro held Jefferson to just three baserunners, with 10 of their 15 outs administered via strikeout in a 10-0, five-inning win.

Jefferson senior Jessica Hernandez and sophomore Shayla Rey had the only hits for the Silver Foxes.

Offensively, Helix fired on all cylinders, with seven of the starting nine getting hits.

In the bottom of the 1st, Avery Perez (2 R, 2 SB) led off the game with a single slapped through the 5-6 hole, and then stole second base.

Erin Brown (2-3, 2 R) followed with a bunt single, and Sophia Ramuno (2-2, 3B, 3 RBI) got the scoring started with a deep fly ball to center, allowing Perez to score on the sacrifice fly.

Nicole Hernandez (R, RBI) battled her way to a full-count walk, and Camryn Jonilonis (run) dropped a perfectly placed single over the first baseman, scoring Brown.

In the 2nd inning, the Highlander bats really came alive.

Leading off, Kuhlken (2-2) delivered a fly ball over the right-center fence – a solo home run, the first home run of the Highlanders’ season.

Freshman Kori Jonilonis followed in kind, with the first home run of her high school career.

“I felt great,” Jonilonis said. “I didn’t know for sure but I was hoping it (was a home run. I think it was a fastball outside.”

Later on in the same inning, sophomore Isabella Bordine, with runners on second and third, crushed her first home run of the season – Helix’s third of the inning.

“It felt good to do some damage especially when I’ve been having some trouble,” Bordine said. “But I’m just going to continue to work on getting in more runs for my team and base hits and the home runs will come. Just going to take it one game at a time and try and get better each season.”

Helix had an easy time recording a second straight shutout after jumping on Jefferson (13-10) early.

Helix and Jefferson will both continue in Duds by Dudes Tournament play on Saturday.

LIBERTY CHARTER 3, GUAJOME PARK 1: At Lemon Grove, Lions pitcher Katie Peet shook off the effects of an early unearned run, tossing 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball to fricassee the Frogs in Friday’s (Mar. 22) fish-fry.

Peet allowed just four hits with three strikeouts, allowing Liberty Charter (3-3) to reach the .500 plateau and end a 2-game losing skid. Most of the outs came on a series of 11 ground outs.

The Lions immediately answered with a run in the 1st, then went ahead to stay with a pair of runs in the 3rd.

While it only took Guajome Park two batters to score, the Lions did better.

Leadoff batter Faith Via put the ball down the third-base line. The senior shortstop beat the throw for a scratch single, but when the ball sailed past the first baseman, Via was able to “via” her way around the diamond to score and knot the contest.

In the 3rd, Via repeated her recipe. After Lions No. 9 batter Gisselle Gonzalez, the right fielder, reached on a dropped third strike (wild pitch), around bunted the ball toward third base. Again she beat the throw, again the ball was misplayed, as with both runners moving into scoring position.
Peet then aided her cause with a sacrifice fly to right field for an RBI, but when the ball was dropped Via followed Gonzalez home.

For Liberty Charter, third baseman  Lily Schallock and first baseman Aliyah Arroyo also registered base hits.

Guajome Park (1-4) saw its senior pitcher Kaleigh Hill tossed a 4-hitter with 9 strikeouts, but suffered the loss based on three unearned runs.

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