East County Sports

Cougars cling to victory; Foothillers post insurance runs



By Adam Paul

RANCHO SAN DIEGO – After jumping out to a big lead, the Steele Canyon Cougars (13-9, 5-1 GHL) were able to fend off a late comeback by Granite Hills (5-15-1, 1-5) and hold on to win 8-7 on Friday (May 21) in Grossmont Hills League action.

The Eagles were able to take an early 1-0 lead thanks to a Cougars miscue that allowed Brooke LaFalce (3 R) to score.


But that momentum was taken right back by the Cougars as Janea Wilson (2-3, R, 2 RBI) drove in Jazmin Williams (1-3, 2 R, 2B) and Breanna Lakin (1-3, R, 3 RBI, 2B) cleared the bases to make it 4-1. Scoring on the three-run double was Tayler Thomas (2-4, R), Iryana Oliver (R, RBI), and Wilson. They would add a fifth run a couple of batters later when Mariah Mata (1-3, RBI, 3B) hit a ground ball out that allowed Lakin to score.

A couple more runs in the bottom of the second for the Cougars courtesy of a ground ball out by Oliver to bring in Allyson Haessly (1-1, 2 R) and Wilson singling in Jazmin Williams to make it 7-1.

Granite pushed a run across in the top of the third inning when Paige Baird singled in LaFalce to make it 7-2.

An error by the Eagles in the bottom of the fourth inning allowed the Cougars to take an 8-2 lead.

Granite Hills was able to cut into the deficit with a base hit by Chloe Knepp (1-3, R, RBI) that scored LaFalce in the top of the fifth inning to make it 8-3.

Moving to the top of the sixth inning and still trailing 8-3 the Eagles knew they were running out of opportunities. With one out Kiki Sandoval (2-4, R) laced a base hit, the next batter Sofia Mujica (1-1, R, 2 RBI, HR) who has previously walked in all her previous at-bats on an 0-1 count took the offering and crushed it over the center-field fence for the two-run home-run to pull the Eagles within 8-5. The blast by Mujica was of historical significance as it was her fourteenth of the season which set a brand new single-season record for both the East County (although Carlee Wallace, then of small school Foothills Christian, hit 15 home runs in 2011) and the Grossmont Conference.

The Eagles after holding the Cougars in the bottom of the sixth inning would with one out start to rally in the top of the seventh inning as Knepp walked, Makenna Hines (2-4, R, 2B) followed with a double, and Jenna Haynal (RBI) followed with a sacrifice fly to center field that allowed Knepp to come in to score and make it 8-6. The next batter Kayla Fox (1-3, RBI) ripped a base hit to center field to bring home Hines to pull within 8-7.

Still with two outs the Eagles were in business and would continue as Kiki Sandoval singled, the next batter Mujica drew a walk. Unfortunately, both runners would be stranded as Emma Shellstrom would strike out the next batter to end the threat and preserve the win.

Grossmont 5, Valhalla 2
EL CAJON – A three-run sixth inning by the Grossmont Foothillers (7-12, 3-3 GHL) ended up being the difference in their victory over the Valhalla Norsemen (10-9, 3-3 GHL) on Friday (May 21).

The Hillers would threaten in the bottom of the first inning when Jade Daley (1-4, 2B) led off with a double, Alyssa Bolden (3-4) followed with a bunt single and Sunny Miller walked to load the bases. But they were not able to capitalize as Valhalla would retire the next three batters.

Moving to the top of the third and the game still scoreless the Foothillers were able to cash in when Katelynn Parent (1-3, 3 RBI) laced a two-run single scoring both Natalie Emery (3-4, R, RBI) and Kimmy Bond (1-3, R) to make it 2-0.

Grossmont would later extend their lead in the top of the sixth inning thanks to a leadoff home run by Lauren Becker (1-4, R, RBI, HR) to make it 3-0, later Emery would drive in Caitlyn Potts (RUN) and Parent would drive in Alison Murphy (1-2, R) on a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0.

Valhalla would finally get on the board in the bottom of the seventh inning when Naomi Villalva (1-4, R, RBI, 2B) doubled to right field allowing Abby Johnston (1-4, R) to score, the next batter Maryn Jordan (4-4, RBI, 2 2B) would rip another double this time to left field that brought home Villalva to make it 5-2. That would be all the Norsemen would get as Miller retired the next batter to end the game.

For the Norsemen, Villalva took the loss as she allowed five runs on eleven hits over seven innings of work while walking one and striking out one.

On the other side for the Foothillers, Miller got the victory as she went all seven innings in which she allowed two runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out two.


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