Sultans rally, take down No. 2 RBV

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP SOFTBALL

 

By Adam Paul

SANTEE – A pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning was all the 10th-ranked Santana Sultans (12-4) needed and held up as they rallied to stun the No. 2 Rancho Buena Vista Longhorns (13-2) on Tuesday (Apr. 27) afternoon.

The Longhorns came into East County riding a 12-game winning streak and averaging over five runs a ballgame to hold the second slot in the latest media poll and early on looked like they were going to leave with a victory.

Early on in the top of the first inning with two outs, Angelina Cruz of the Longhorns would blast a solo home run over the center-field fence for a 1-0 lead.

However, the early lead would be matched as Kassidy Harper (2-3, RBI, 2B) roped an RBI double to center field scoring Sammi Sullivan (2-3, R, 2 RBI, SB, 2B) from second base to tie the game at 1-1.

Both teams would trade runs in their respective halves of the second inning. The Sultans run came on a Sullivan sacrifice fly that brought Hailey Oceguera (2 R) home.

With the score tied at 2-2 in the top of the third inning, the Longhorns would take advantage of a fielding error by the Sultans with two outs and retake the lead 3-2.

After both teams traded innings with no runs the Sultans in the bottom of the fourth inning got rolling with a pair of walks to Oceguera and Jordyn Beatty (1-2, R, SB) to start off.

With a pair of walks given up, the Longhorns made a pitching change and brought in Savannah Coyle to try and shut things down. Well, the Sultans were not having any of that as Sullivan lined a single to bring home Oceguera to tie the score at 3-3. On the base hit Beatty who was at first base would advance all the way to third base.

Still only one out and Beatty at third base the Sultans needed something and in quite the gamble Beatty raced home on a stolen base attempt and was successful which gave Santana its first lead of the game 4-3.

Joey Barkhimer who got the starting nod would face some trouble in the top of the sixth inning as the Longhorns would put runners on first and third with only one out. But the Sultans on the very next play would get out of the inning as they were able to turn a double play to end the inning and the threat.

Another threat in the top of the seventh inning by RBV with one out but again Barkhimer was able to stop the threat with a pair of ground ball outs to end the game.

Picking up the seven-inning complete-game win was Barkhimer and in doing so she only allowed three runs on three hits while walking two and striking out two on the day.

It was the first victory for the Sultans over a team ranked in the top five since 2017 when they defeated a Ramona squad who also came into Santee ranked No. 2 by the score of 2-1.

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