East County Sports

Highlanders have Fiesta in first

2019 EAST COUNTY PREP BASEBALL

Helix 11 – Escondido 3 (5 inn. – Falcon Fiesta Tournament pool play)

By Tyler Gribble

Special to EastCountySports.com

ESCONDIDO – Coming into Saturday’s contest, Highlander head coach Darren Emery urged his team to keep their spirit and energy levels high – after with how the previous two days went for his team (an extra innings loss to Hilltop on Thursday and a grueling nearly 3-hour game against Torrey Pines on Friday night that saw a 6-6 score in the 6th inning turn to a 14-6 loss in the 7th) it would be understandable for the players to arrive at Escondido’s softball stadium with nothing but frustration and self-pity.

However, the Highlanders channeled whatever feelings they may have had into an offensive explosion in the top of the first, scoring 8 runs and bringing 12 batters to the plate.

“We’ve installed a new philosophy on how we approach the game and the girls are starting to catch on,” Emery said. “I’m excited to see where this team goes moving forward.”

The action began when Avery Perez (2-3, 2B, 2 R) lifted a fly ball to the left-center fence for a leadoff double.

Erin Brown (1-4, R, 2 RBI) hit a sharp ground ball to first that was misplayed, allowing her to reach safely.

Nicole Hernandez (2-4, 2 1B, 2 RBI) lined a hit into right-center that drove in both runners ahead of her.

Sophia Ramuno (2-3, 2B, R) followed her with a ground-rule double that bounced over the left-center field fence, and Isabella Bordine (1-2, BB) battled her way to a walk to load the bases.

“I just needed to make sure that I was keeping my weight balanced and not lunging at the ball,” Ramuno said. “I was looking for inside pitches. I was disappointed because it almost went over the fence.”

Starting pitcher Kasey Castro (2-3, 3B, 3 RBI), on the 8th pitch of her at-bat, drilled a ball down the 3rd base line for a bases-clearing triple.

“Our team bounced back extremely well after two tough losses,” Castro said. “As a pitcher, knowing that you have some cushion makes it easier to pitch. So really my team greatly helped me do as well as I did today. My screwball was my go-to pitch when I needed a strike, as well as a weak grounder.”

Amber Young (1-3, RBI, R) followed her effort with a run-scoring single.

Jolene Giles (2-3, 2 RBI) rolled a ground ball to second, bringing home Young, who had advanced to 3rd via a pair of passed balls during Giles’ at-bat. 

After a strikeout, Perez returned to the plate for her second at-bat of the inning, where she popped a fly-ball into center that dropped between fielders.

After Perez stole second, Brown hit a hard ground ball into center that allowed Perez to score the 8th run of the half-inning.

Castro (5 IP, 1 K, 0 ER) got the pitching start for the Scotties.

After an inauspicious first inning (3 runs allowed, all resulting from one error) Castro settled in and allowed just 3 baserunners the rest of the way, en route to a 5 inning complete game victory.

The Highlanders’ victory brings their record to 7-7 as they begin league play on Monday, with a road contest scheduled against the Mount Miguel Matadors.

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