East County Sports

Norse move to semi; Eagles, Sultans out

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP SOFTBALL

 

By Adam Paul

ESCONDIDO Four runs combined scored over the third and fourth innings along with the early run scored was all the seventh-seeded Valhalla Norsemen (15-12) needed as they were able to pull off the big road victory over third seed Escondido Charter White Tigers (12-2) by a score of 5-3 on Thursday (June 10) in CIF Division III winners bracket action.

Valhalla would start off on the right foot as Maryn Jordan (3-4, 3 R, 2B) hit a one-out double to left field which was followed by Andrea Gonzalez (2-4, 2 R) singling to left field. A couple of batters later with two outs Cadyn Ruffer (3-4, 3 RBI, 2B, 2 SB) would knock in Jordan on a base hit to center field to make it 1-0.

The Norsemen again would strike with two outs in the top of the third inning when Aubrielle McKee (RBI) with the bases loaded would draw a walk to score Jordan which made it 2-0, the next batter Emily Van Der Zalm (RBI) would also draw the bases-loaded walk which allowed Gonzalez to trot home and add to the lead 3-0.

The White Tigers would finally get on the board when they would lead off the bottom of the inning with a home run to pull within 3-1.

But the White Tiger’s momentum was short-lived as Valhalla behind Cadyn Ruffer’s two-run double would take a 5-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning.

Later in the bottom of the fifth inning, the White Tigers would push across another pair of runs on an RBI single and an RBI double to make it 5-3.

However, that would be the closest they would get as Valhalla behind McKayla Fish and the defense was able to shut down the White Tigers offense and close things out for the win.

Fish picked up the win as she went the full seven innings in which she allowed three runs on six hits while fanning six on the day.

Valhalla will now advance to next weeks semi-finals to be played at the higher seed on Thursday (June 17) but they will have to wait to see who their opponent will be as the other second-round contest which was an elimination game between the El Camino Wildcats and the Serra Conquistadors was moved to Tuesday (June 15) and the third round elimination contest will be played the following day Wednesday (June 16).

The win by Valhalla also puts them the furthest into the playoffs since 2014 when a Carlee Wallace-led squad made it to the CIF Division II Championship where they lost 3-0 to Mater Dei Catholic.

 

San Pasqual 4, Granite Hills 1

ESCONDIDO With the score knotted at 1-1 the San Pasqual Golden Eagles took advantage of an error by the Granite Hills Eagles and scored the go-ahead run as they would push across another pair of runs over the last couple of innings to claim the victory in the second round Elimination portion of the CIF Division I playoffs on Thursday (June 10).

Granite Hills would get off to a good start in the top of the first inning as Sofia Mujica led off with a base hit which was followed by a base hit by Kayla Fox. However, the Golden Eagles would get out of the inning as they would retire the next three batters.

Another good start by Granite Hills in the top of the second inning as Jenna Haynal led off with a base hit and Gianna Casillas followed by walking. A couple of batters later San Pasqual would turn a 6-2-5 double play to end the inning.

San Pasqual would break the scoreless game in the bottom of the third inning when they would take advantage of a passed ball to score the game’s first run and lead 1-0.

Granite Hills would tie the game in the top of the fourth inning when Casillas drove in Chantel Gonzales. The next batter Makenna Hines would load the bases with a base hit but unfortunately, the Eagles couldn’t capitalize as Kiki Sandoval hit into a fielders’ choice in which Haynal was thrown out at the plate and the next batter would be retired.

With the score tied at 1-1 the Golden Eagles would get a one-out-double who would come into score on an error by Granite Hills.

Now trailing 2-1 the Eagles pushed to get something in the top of the fifth inning when Breanna Diaz singled with one out and Chloe Knepp drew a walk. Once again though Granite Hills just couldn’t get the timely hit as the next two batters would be retired to end the threat.

The Golden Eagles would extend their lead even further over the next two innings thanks to a solo homer in the bottom of the fifth inning and a base hit in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Unfortunately, the only runner the Eagles were able to get on in the top of the seventh was Diaz who singled to center field before the next two batters would both fly out to end the game.

With the loss, the Granite Hills Eagles are officially eliminated from the playoffs while San Pasqual will take on top-seeded Torrey Pines who lost a heartbreaking late 6-5 decision to the four seed Rancho Bernardo Broncos.

 

Ramona 11, Santana 2

SANTEE The seventh seed Ramona Bulldogs pushed across four early runs and cruised to a convincing victory over the host three seed Santana Sultans in CIF Division I second-round challenger bracket action on Thursday (June 10).

Ramona would strike first in the top of the first inning as they scored a run Grace McNally knocked in a run on a groundball out to make it 1-0, a couple of batters later Heather Sabin knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.

In the top of the second inning, the Bulldogs would take advantage of a two-out error by the Sultans which led to an RBI double by Kethry Schreiber and also an RBI single by McNally to give them a 4-0 lead.

Moving to the top of the fourth inning the Bulldogs with one out would add another run when Breanna Lutz belted a solo homer over the center-field fence to make it 5-0 which prompted a pitching change by the Sultans.

Santana would threaten in the bottom of the fifth inning with two outs when Taylin Warren singled and would steal second base and Sammi Sullivan would be hit by a pitch. Unfortunately, both would be stranded as the next batter would be retired to end the inning.

Another pair of runs for the Bulldogs in the top of the sixth inning would extend their lead to 7-0.

They would round out their scoring in the top of the seventh inning.

With the Bulldogs leading 11-0 the Sultans in the bottom of the seventh inning would score a pair of runs when Kaitlyn Ours hit a ball that was misplayed allowing both Warren and Madison Jordan to come in and score to make it 11-2. Those would be the only runs scored by the Sultans as Rutkoff retired the next batter to end the game.

For the Sultans, Joey Barkhimer took the loss as she only lasted 3.1 innings in which she gave up five runs on five hits while walking three and striking out four, Ashtyn Niemiec came in and tossed 2.2 innings of relief in which she gave up 2 runs on 2 hits while walking 2 and striking out 2 and finally Gilliane Johnston went an inning of relief in which she gave up four runs on three hits while walking three.

Mackenzie Rutkoff for Ramona picked up the win as she only allowed 2 runs on six hits while walking 2 and striking out 6 over 7 innings of work.

On the day offensively for the Sultans, Haley Oceguera, Kylee Ruiz, Kassidy Harper, and Ours all had a hit apiece.

With the loss, the Sultans are officially eliminated from the playoffs and finish the season 20-10 while Ramona who improves to 12-18-1 advances to take on sixth seeded Brawley who lost 6-2 to second-seeded San Marcos. Their third-round game will take place on Monday (June 14) at 3:30 PM.

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