East County Sports

Hot Highlanders win sixth straight game

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP SOFTBALL

Helix 8, Academy of Our Lady of Peace – 4 (Slugger Madness Tournament)

By Tyler Gribble
Special to EastCountySports.com

LA MESA – Helix pitcher SOPHIA RAMUNO fanned sixteen batters and all nine members of the starting lineup contributed en route to the Highlanders’ sixth straight victory.

The Pilots struck quickly in the first, with a leadoff walk and a pair of singles immediately loading the bases. However, Ramuno and the Helix defense worked through the dangerous situation, with the only run-scoring via a passed ball.

In the bottom of the first, the Highlanders quickly struck back, with center fielder ANGEL RIGGINS (3 1B, 3 RBI) lining a single into the right-center gap, and advancing to third on a fielding error. Third baseman NICOLE HERNANDEZ (BB, RBI, SB) followed with a walk, and after a strikeout, catcher ISABELLA BORDINE (1B, RBI) scored Riggins with a nicely executed squeeze bunt. With Hernandez on third, second baseman MAGGIE JENKINS (RBI) laid down another bunt for the team’s second consecutive squeeze play.

After one inning of play, Helix held the 2-1 lead.

In the top of the second, Ramuno made short work of the Pilots’ hitters, striking out the side.

In the bottom of the inning, Helix looked to widen its lead.

First baseman JOLENE GILES (2 1B, R, RBI) singled but was retired by a fielder’s choice off the bat of Ramuno. Left fielder ASHTON ISBELL (1B, 2 BB, 2 R) followed with a walk and Riggins loaded the bases with her second single of the day. Hernandez then lifted a fly ball to right, scoring courtesy runner VICTORIA VIDRIO on the sacrifice fly.

Facing a 3-1 deficit after 2 innings, the top of the Pilots was looking to do some damage, and indeed they did.

A pair of singles came before a 3-run shot over the right-center wall, putting OLP ahead, 4-3.

However, Helix’s bats were up to the challenge, as right fielder KORI JONILONIS (2B, BB, R) doubled over the left fielder’s head, Giles singled, and Ramuno delivered a sacrifice fly, scoring JONILONIS and tying the game at 4-all. Isbell followed with a single, and Riggins followed her with another single in the right-center gap, driving in two and putting Helix on top.

After giving up three runs in the third, Ramuno finally settled in, allowing just one base hit and four total baserunners through the final four innings of the game.

“Our hitters stepped up,” Ramuno said. “Angel batted fantastically and Kori and Jo were right there with her.”

She finished the complete-game victory with sixteen strikeouts, having allowed seven hits and three earned runs across seven innings.

“My pitching isn’t where it needs to be in my mind,” Ramuno said. “I always trust my defense, and even though we didn’t play as well as we usually do defensively, we made up for it with some stellar plays.”

Helix added an insurance run in the fourth, thanks to singles by AMBER YOUNG (1B, BB, R), Bordine, and a sacrifice fly from Giles. They scored one more in the fifth when Isbell crossed the plate thanks to a fielder’s choice off of the bat of Riggins.

Helix is now 7-1 overall.

MISSION BAY 6, VALHALLA 2 – The Lady Norsemen lost to the Bucs after Mission Bay scored all of its runs in the top of the seventh inning.

Valhalla had scored twice in the third.

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