East County Sports

Falcons share title with Patriots, Dons

2019 EAST COUNTY PREP SOFTBALL

East County Sports staff report

 

SAN DIEGO (5-10-2019) – When it comes down to the bottom line, the top three ballclubs in the Western League all might feel a smidgen of disappointment, yet you may still call all three of them as champions after Patrick Henry, Scripps Ranch and Cathedral Catholic finished in a three-way dead-heat for the top spot following Thursday’s (May 9) action that saw Scripps Ranch stave a Patrick Henry rally to take a narrow 5-4 decision.


Talk about “what if?”

 

The three schools all split with each other — a 2-2 record each. However, all three finished with a league mark of 5-3, which means all three lost to one of the two programs lodged at the bottom of the standings. Fourth-place Clairemont defeated Scripps Ranch, while the only league wins for last-place University City were against Patrick Henry and Cathedral Catholic,


Now that’s a competitive league.


League and City Conference officials have until Friday to report to the CIF on which school will be designated as the League champion to receive an automatic home game.


Since Patrick Henry is situated near the top in Division II, there is no need for the Patriots to receive the berth. Likewise, Scripps Ranch entered the day at No. 4 in Division I, so even if the Falcons drop a position, they, too, will have a home game.


However, Cathedral Catholic is listed near the bottom of the 12-team Division I field. So the Dons should be the one receiving the coveted league champion designation and gain a home game against a higher-seeded opponent.


In the ballgame, Scripps Ranch mounted an early 4-0 with a pair of runs on the club’s first two trips to the plate. The lead was shaved to three on a solo homer by Jessica DeWitt in the third.


But with Scripps Ranch leading 5-1, the Pats made their big move in the 5th inning.


Third baseman Lauren Nett extended her hitting streak to 13 straight games by belting a 2-run triple to right field. The blast scored both Kaiah Altmeyer and Jessica DeWitt, as Nett is batting a sizzling, 468 (22-for-47) on her streak.


With the Falcons infield pulled in, a ground ball froze Nett at third, but Dezi Patman followed with an RBI double with two outs, trimming the deficit to a single run.


In the seventh with one out, the Patriots collected two singles, a walk and a hit batter which would normally produce the tying run. However, during the sequence, Falcons catcher Julia Folkl picked off a baserunner.


Scripps Ranch relief pitcher Juliana Lane then coaxed a game-ending popout for the save.


Patrick Henry (16-6 overall) saw Nett get two hits, with seven other collecting one knock each. DeWitt scored twice.


Scripps Ranch (16-11) received two hits from captain Sarah Nakahara, while Sophia Ippolito, the first relief pitcher, garnered the victory. Both are juniors

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