East County Sports

Sultans, Cougars make playoff move

Steele Canyon following its victory on Tuesday over Mt. Carmel




East County Sports staff report

SANTEE (5-15-2019) – For Santana

High senior pitcher Madison Mendez,

this was not the way to traditionally

toss a shutout.

Mendez, an all-East County performer,

allowed nine hits and walked a pair of

batters, yet stranded 10 baserunners

while the Sultans defense turned a

double play, gaining a 5-0 verdict over

visiting Olympian in Wednesday’s (May

14) CIF Division I play-in contest.

Mendez stranded three runners in the

2nd and 7th innings, tossing her fourth

(and second consecutive) shutout of the

season. She struck out five Eagles


Meanwhile, the double play came in the

second, immediately after the Sultans

secured a quick 2-0 lead.

Following an Olympian single, third

baseman Lakaila Aquiningoc-David

fielded a grounder to start a

traditional around-the-horn twin-

killing. Aquiningoc-David fired the

ball to second baseman Ashley Madrigal,

who went to first baseman Shelby


Holmquist, a senior, also singled in

the first two runs. Following a leadoff

walk to Brianna Jerig, Mendez doubled

to deep center field to put two runners

in scoring position.

Mendez and Nicole Penton March also

registered RBI singles, as the Sultans

tallied their five runs on just six

hits. Mendez and Holmquist struck for

two hits each.

Santana (14-10 overall), the No. 8

seed, moves on to Wednesday’s first

round at top-seeded Scripps Ranch.

Olympian (9-19) received two hits each

from sophomore Bella Hurtado, and

freshman Itzell De Los Rios and Katie



Rancho Peñasquitos, Cougars first

baseman Audrey Bagge tied the all-time

school record for home runs in a season

with her 10th, while Jessica “J.J.”

Venzor also homered to power the Women

of Steele past the Sundevils in CIF

Division I action on Wednesday (May



For Mt. Carmel, they were eliminated by

a Grossmont Conference opponent for the

third straight season, but this time at


Even at 3-all, Steele Canyon tallied

twice in the 5th inning, then Bagge

extended a streak of five unanswered

runs with a 3-run shot in the sixth.


Her clout to left field also brought

home Marley Rimoldi (lead single; sac

bunt to second by Grace Richter) and

Venzor (walk).


Venzor’s homer capped a two-out rally

in the second. Already leading 1-0,

Danielle Directo walked, then Venzor

took the ball out to center field for

her 8th of the season.

The school mark of 10 was originally

set by Molly Hutchison, the co-East County Player of the Year and all-CIF selection, in 2013.


Hutchison went to North Carolina State,

where she was an all-Atlantic Coast

Conference player as a junior in 2016,

where she also was a USA Softball’s National

Collegiate Player of the Week.

Richter gained the pitching win, despite one poor inning by the Cougars, which allowed a pair of unearned runs to score to knot the contest in the fourth.

However, Steele Canyon immediately responded to re-grab the advantage with a pair of runs in the fifth.

The Veznor-Bagge tandem again teamed for the lead on a leadoff walk and an RBI double. Then with two out, Amanda Whipple collected a clutch RBI single on a hard ground ball up the middle.

For the contest, Bagge drove in four runs on 3-for-4 hitting, Venzor tied a school playoff record by scoring four times after batting 2-for-2 with two walks and a pair of RBI for 9th-seeded Steele Canyon (14-15).

On Wednesday, the Cougars travel to meet second-seeded San Marcos.

Mt. Carmel (16-12), the No. 8 seed, saw junior shortstop Ally Troche, the team captain, collect half of the team’s six hits. She fell a home run short of hitting for the cycle.

The Sundevils were previously ousted from the playoffs by Santana (2018) and Grossmont (2017).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *