East County Sports

Patriots gain split behind Steele’s five RBI


East County Sports staff report

LAS VEGAS (4-20-2019) – The Christian Patriots won a jackpot of sorts at the Las Vegas Spring Jamboree softball tournament.

With the shadow of a loss looming, Devyn Krystek reached base on an error to allow the game-tying run to score with two outs. Kate Manes then knocked in Audrey Shebloski for her fourth run of the game in nipping Calexico, 11-10, in a time-limit shortened, 5-inning contest that featured 29 total hits.

The Patriots (3-12) later completed pool play with a 9-0 setback to powerful Winslow (Ariz.).

Calexico and Christian each posted multiple-runs in each of the first three innings. But when Manes, the Patriots pitcher, bounced back to post a pair of shutout innings, her teammates rallied with the bats.

Leading the comeback was cleanup hitter Mallory Steele, the center fielder, who collected five RBI on 3-for-4 hitting. Steele and Shebloski both collected a home run and a double, as the center of the Christian lineup — including third baseman Cali Rookey — went 10-for-12 with eight RBI and nine runs scored.

Down 5-0 prior to their first at-bat, the Patriots got closer on Steele’s 3-run h, bringing home both Rookey and Shebloski. An inning later, Shebloski went to center with her homer, also scoring Rookey to trim the deficit to 8-5.

Calexico held a 10-6 lead thanks to consecutive doubles by Shanelle Gascon and Andrea Pineda, However, but Christian answered with three runs in the third, aided by consecutive doubles by Shebloski and Steele.

WINSLOW (Ariz.) 9, CHRISTIAN 0: In game one, who knew the softball program at Winslow was an Arizona state small-school power?

This season one of their best pitchers is Justine Butterfield who fired five innings of 1-hit ball to stop the Patriots. “Butter,” who registered eight strikeouts, was followed by reliever Mykenzie Flores, who struck out four over a pair of no-hit innings.

Luckily, there wasn’t any no-hit drama; Devyn Krystek slapped a two-out, line single to center field in the 4th.

“I think there was a lot of nerves going into the game yesterday because it was a lot of the girls first time playing out of state,” Krystek said. “This season hasn’t been the best probably because we are a young team and not everyone on the team plays year-round.”

The Lady Bulldogs (17-9) are coached by Kelli Fifelski, a former NCAA Division II all-regional player for Hillsdale College (Mich.), who is known to some San Diego coaches as a former assistant coach at Yuma (Ariz.) High.

Winslow is currently fifth in the Arizona 3A conference rankings.

MOUNTAIN EMPIRE 11, JULIAN 1: at Campo, the RedHawks ran their season-long unbeaten streak to eight by downing the Eagles in a Manzanita League contest Friday (Apr. 19).

The victory keeps the RedHawks (8-0 overall, 4-0 league) with a half-game of idle Calipatria (5-0 league). The teams meet Tuesday afternoon in the Imperial Valley.

Julian fell to 6-4 (3-2 league).

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