East County Sports

Scotties continue historic season, advance into semis

PHOTO COURTESY OF HELIX ATHLETICS

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP SOFTBALL

 

By Adam Paul

LA MESA – The Helix Highlanders are moving into unchartered territory that hasn’t been accomplished in a very long time.

For the first time in a very long time, the Helix Highlanders advanced to the semi-finals of the CIF Division II softball playoffs with a win for a third time on the season over league foe and rival Steele Canyon, this time by a 7-2 count.

The last time the Highlanders made it this far in the playoffs was back in 1976 when the President of the United States was former Michigan Wolverine star Gerald Ford. Helix who was coached at the time by Denise Parker would make it all the way to the Class 2A Championship game where they would fall to Hilltop who was coached by Janet Balsley and led by Debbie King who would be named CIFSDS Coaches Divisional Player of The Year by a score of 3-2

The Highlanders will have a chance to rest as they wait for their opponent as the other game of the day between Del Norte and Hilltop was moved to Monday (June 14). The winner of this game will take on Steele Canyon on Tuesday with the winner of that game playing on Thursday against Helix in the semi-finals on Thursday (June 17) at 3:30 PM.

Steele Canyon would score the game’s first run in the top of the second inning when Kamea Seunanne scored on a passed ball to make it 1-0.

However, the momentum would be short-lived as the Highlanders came right back and pushed across a pair of runs on a base hit by Jio Nuanez that brought home both Amber Young and Danika Munoz to give them a 2-1 lead. They would later add another run when Jolene Giles drove in Ashton Isbelle to make it 3-1.

The Cougars really threatened to break things open in the top of the third inning with one out as Mariah Mata and Janea Wilson drew consecutive walks which were followed by a base hit by Breanna Lakin. With the bases loaded and still only one out the Cougars only managed to get one run out of it thanks to a fly ball out by Seunanne that allowed Mata to tag up and race home to make it 3-2.

Both teams went back and forth until the bottom of the fifth inning when Angel Riggins led off with a base hit, the next batter Giles also singled and Bella Bordine would drive in both Riggins and Giles on a hard-hit ball to right field which would give the Highlanders a pair of insurance runs and a 5-2 lead. The Highlanders would add another run when Bordine was able to race home on a passed ball to make it 6-2 and a couple of batters later Munoz drove in Maggie Jenkins to round out the scoring.

Steele Canyon the rest of the way would only get a base hit by Seunanne in the top of the sixth inning and a base hit by Jazmin Williams in the top of the seventh inning.

Taking the loss for the Cougars, Davina Moya gave up seven runs over six innings while walking two and striking out two.

On the other side for the Highlanders, Nuanez picked up the win going three innings in which she gave up two runs on two hits while walking four and striking out four, Kamryn Evans who was called up from the junior varsity squad came in and tossed four innings in relief in which she allowed only two hits while striking out one on the day.

“I was nervous to take the pitcher’s circle but I was fully embraced and supported by my teammates,” Evans said. “I knew that I had to throw strikes and the defense would have my back. I felt proud and confident after getting three outs in the fourth inning. It was a remarkable feeling to be competitive at the next level. It was uplifting. I am excited for the future and plan to keep working hard.”

With the loss, the Steele Canyon Cougars fall to 17-11 on the season.

Helix with the win improves their record-breaking overall record to 25-4.

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