East County Sports

Vaqs, Eagles pull out GHL opening wins

2022 EAST COUNTY PREP SOFTBALL

By Adam Paul

Opening day of Grossmont Hills League play is typically one filled with a lot of excitement and sometimes surprises and this year wasn’t any different as there were multiple one-run victories that included late rallies and a pitching duel.

El Capitan 6, Santana 5

LAKESIDE (3-31-22) – With the score all tied up at 4-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning Vaqueros hitter Peyton Wells (1-3, R, 2 RBI, HR) on a 2-1 count belted a two-run home run to center field to give the El Capitan a lead they wouldn’t relinquish on Thursday afternoon.

Early on the visiting Sultans would start the scoring in the top of the second inning when Kassidy Harper led off with a double that was followed by a base hit by Jordyn Beatty that advanced Harper to third base. The next batter Kaitlyn Ours would ground into a double play but Harper would come into score to make it 1-0.

Santana would later add another run in the top of the fourth inning thanks to a base hit by Ours that allowed Beatty to come around from second and score to make it 2-0.

Despite trailing by a pair of runs the Vaqueros knew they could make the runs up as their offense was quite capable of doing so. The momentum shifted a little as Hailey Mulligan (1-3, R, 2B) led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a double to right field, she would later come into score on a Brooke Horn (RBI) ground out which cut the deficit 2-1.

However, the Sultans would take back the momentum starting with a one-out double by Beatty that plated Madison Jordan, Ours followed with a ground ball out that scored Beatty who had advanced to third on a wild pitch to extend the lead 4-1.

The Vaqueros knew they had to get something going and they did as Ava Gall led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a base hit, Horn would follow with a walk as would Maddie Taylor (1-2, R) to load the bases.

With one out Aubrey Thorne (1-3, R, 3 RBI, 2B) came up and hit a ball to center field for a double that would bring home Addi Leone (RUN) who came in to run for Gall and Reese Danczak (RUN) who came into run for Horn and Taylor. With all three coming into score the game was now all tied at 4-4 which set up the heroics of Wells.

Santana would make one more push in the top of the seventh inning as McKenna Miller led off with a triple, she would later come into score when Samantha Sullivan hit a sacrifice fly to right field which made it 6-5, Jordan followed with a walk which advanced Aurelia Dawson to second but Horn would pick off Dawson at second base to end the game.

Also contributing to the Vaqueros was Alyssa Fierro who went 3-for-4 and stole a pair of bases.

Gracie Johnston took the loss for the Sultans. She allowed three runs over her one-third of an inning of work on two hits. Starting for the Sultans was Ashtyn Niemic who allowed six hits and three runs over five and two-thirds innings while striking out three.

For the Vaqueros, Horn picked up the victory as she went the full seven innings in which she five runs on eight hits while striking out three.

With the win, the Vaqueros have now won six games in a row and improve to 10-4, 1-0 while the Sultans fall to 7-7, 0-1.


Granite Hills 6, Steele Canyon 5

RANCHO SAN DIEGO (3-31-22) – A pair of runs scored by the visiting Granite Hills Eagles in the top of the seventh procure the come from behind victory over Steele Canyon on Thursday afternoon.

Starting the scoring for the Eagles was Breanna Diaz (2-4, 2 RBI) who in the top of the first inning would drive in Chantelle Gonzalez (RUN) to make it 1-0.

Steele Canyon would threaten in the bottom half of the inning when with two outs Allyson Haessly (1-3, 2B) doubled to center field advancing Abby Curran (3-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B) to third base which was followed by a base hit to short by Janea Wilson (2-4) to load the bases. Unfortunately, Madison Villaescuas who had some into run for Haessly would be called out due to offensive interference to end the inning.

Granite still leading 1-0 in the top of the third inning would extend their lead when leadoff hitter Sofia Mujica (3-4, R, RBI, HR) would belt her San Diego leading ninth home run of the season over the center-field fence to make it 2-0, the next batter Kailey Sandoval (2-2, 3R, 3B) walked and a couple of batters later Diaz would single to center field but the ball was misplayed which allowed Sandoval to come around and score and give the Eagles a 3-0 lead.

The Cougars would grab some momentum in the bottom of the fourth inning when Isabella Azevedo (1-3, R) who walked with one out would score on a passed ball, and Curran drove in Hailey Trujillo (3-4, 2R) to pull within 3-2.

Now only trailing by a run and Curran on base up came Jazmin Williams (2-4, R, 2 RBI, HR) who on a 1-1 count would blast a two-run home run to right field which would give the Cougars their first lead of the game 4-3.

However, the Eagles would come right back in the top of the fifth inning as Sandoval led off the inning with a triple, Audrey Smale (1-4, RBI) followed by reaching on an error to put runners at the corners, she would be caught stealing and Diaz followed by popping out in foul territory but Sandoval would take the risk and it would pay off as she tagged up and raced home safely to tie the game at 4-4.

Later in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Cougars again would retake the lead when Curran with one out roped a double to center that allowed Trujillo to come around and score making it 5-4.

But the Eagles had one more opportunity and it started on an interesting call with Kaleigh Baugher reaching on catcher’s interference, #5 came into pinch run for Baugher, the next batter Mujica singled and Sandoval was hit by a pitch to load the bases.

The next batter Smale would tie the game up with an RBI single to leftfield which was followed by Diaz hitting a ball to second base that was misplayed allowing Sandoval who saw this to race home for the go-ahead score.

Baugher would come into the game and take over the pitching duties for the Eagles to try and finish things out.

Things didn’t start off well as Kamea Seunarine (1-2) led off with a base hit but would get better as with one out Azevedo would ground to short where Sandoval threw to second to get the out to bring the Eagles within one out of victory. The next batter Trujillo would single but Baugher would retire the following batter to end the game.

Cougars pitcher Emma Shellstrom took the loss as she allowed six runs on nine hits over seven innings while walking one and striking out four.

On the other side for the Eagles, Baugher got the win in relief as she allowed only three hits and struck out one in her one and two-thirds of an inning of work. Starting pitcher Chloe Knepp allowed five runs on eleven hits while walking three and striking out four over five and a third inning of work.

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