East County Sports

Highlanders blank Mauraders at Fiesta


By Tyler Gribble

Special to East County Sports

LA MESA – Helix’s pitching spun their second shutout in a row, with SOPHIA RAMUNO striking out eleven and scattering five hits across seven innings en route to an easy 7-0 Falcon Fiesta tournament victory.

Marauder center fielder THAO SCHERMERHORN led off the game with a walk and Ramuno responded with three strikeouts in a row to neutralize the early threat.

In the bottom of the first, Helix’s offense struck quickly. Center fielder ANGEL RIGGINS (2 BB, 2 R) walked and third baseman NICOLE HERNANDEZ (2 1B, 2 RBI) followed with a single to drive her in for the first run of the game.

The next batter, first baseman AMBER YOUNG (R) reached via a fielding error, and left fielder JOLENE GILES (2 1B, R) reached on an attempted squeeze bunt that saw Hernandez thrown out.

Catcher ISABELLA BORDINE (1B, BB, R) then drew a walk to load the bases, and right fielder KORI JONILONIS (3B, 3 RBI) followed with a bases-clearing triple, widening the score to 4-0 after one inning.

“It’s always a nice feeling knowing your pitcher can count on the offense to score runs,” Jonilonis said. “The pitch I got was perfectly outside where I was able to make good contact and drive the ball into right-center field.

Both offenses were dormant until the top of the fourth inning when Mira Mesa pitcher CALLIE CHRISTIAN (2 1B) grounded a single up the middle for the Marauders’ first base hit of the day. However, Ramuno stayed on her game and retired the next two batters in short order.

In the bottom of the fourth, Helix took advantage of some defensive miscues. Jonilonis reached via a dropped third strike and two outs later AUDREY KULL (1B, R) reached on an infield single.

With two outs, Riggins rolled a ball right under the shortstop into left field, and the following relay throw sailed wide of its target, allowing all of the runners to advance and scoring Jonilonis. During the next at-bat, Kull would score on a passed ball and Hernandez would follow with her second RBI single of the game, increasing Helix’s lead to 7-0.

The Marauders managed 4 hits across the last 3 innings of the game but none came around to score, and only one advanced as far as second base.

Ramuno ended the day with 11 strikeouts, 5 hits, and 1 walk allowed through seven innings.

“I was thrilled when (Jonilonis) came through,” Rauno said. “It gave us an opportunity to have some cushion. But our hitters were producing today and it was critical to our win.”

Helix returns to Slugger Madness Tournament play on Tuesday with a visit to the Morse Tigers.

“If we keep heading in this direction and just work on a few things, we will have a lot of success,” Jonilonis said.


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