East County Sports

Gall’s perfect day fuels Vaqs to title

2022 EAST COUNTY PREP SOFTBALL

By Adam Paul

RANCHO SAN DIEGO —El Capitan’s Ava Gall batted a perfect 5-for-5 and drove in three runs  Tuesday (May 10), leading the Vaqueros to an easy 9-1 decision over host Steele Canyon. The triumph assured El Capitan at least a share of the Grossmont Hills League championship.

El Capitan (21-6, 8-1 GHL) on the day took advantage of eight errors committed by the Steele Canyon Cougars (15-11-1, 4-5 GHL) and also slashed twelve hits on the day.

The Vaqueros would score four runs in the top of the second inning off of a pair of errors that scored both Shelby Vars and Aubrey Thorne. Also, in the inning, Ava Gall would drive in both Jojo Christiaens and Peyton Wells to finish the scoring.

Leading 4-0 the Vaqueros would add another run in the top of the third inning when Wells would hit the ball to center field that was misplayed allowing Christiaens to score to make it 5-0.

Later in the top of the sixth inning and leading 7-0 the Vaqueros would score again on another error by the Cougars. With two outs and a couple of runners on base Wells would single but the ball was overthrown to first base allowing Thorne to come into score.

The Cougars would finally get on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning as Jazmin Williams led off with a double, she would later score on a fielders’ choice by Janea Wilson to make it 8-1.

However, the Vaqueros would add one more run in the top of the seventh inning when Gall crushed the offering by Emma Shellstrom far and deep over the right-field fence to give them a 9-1 lead.

“I just went up to the plate looking to swing as hard as I could and the pitch was high and outside and right when I hit it I knew it was gone,” said Gall about the home run after the game.

Vaqueros starter Brooke Horn who had a no-hitter thru five innings only allowed the one run on one hit in the sixth inning over seven innings of work while striking out four in the victory.

As it was Senior Day for the Cougars the starting nod went to Davina Moya who only lasted three and a third innings in which she allowed seven runs of which two were earned on five hits and struck out two, Shellstrom would come into the contest and finish up. On the day she went three and two-thirds innings in which she allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out three.

Christiaens drove in a pair of runs and scored a pair for the Vaqueros, Thorne also scored two runs on the day.

“Our game on Thursday against the Highlanders will be a battle as it was the first time we played them (The Vaqueros won 3-1 in eight innings) and it would be really cool to win the League title outright,” Gall said about their big game on Thursday to determine the championship.

The Vaqueros last won a league crown outright back in 2019 when they claimed the Valley League while Helix finished in second place that season. Both Helix and El Capitan aren’t strangers to one another when it comes to deciding league championships. In 2015 and 2016 both teams would claim Co-Championships of the Valley League as both teams would claim victories over each other on the last day of the regular season for those years respectively.


Santana 14, Grossmont 7 –
On Tuesday afternoon the Santana Sultans (12-13, 4-5 GHL) would score nine runs in the top of the seventh inning as they doubled up the Grossmont Foothillers (12-14, 1-8 GHL) in Grossmont Hills League action.

Both squads would combine for twenty-nine hits as the Sultans would pound out seventeen and the Hillers would have twelve.

Starting things off for the Sultans was Kassidy Harper who would belt a three-run home run in the top of the first inning. Both Samantha Sullivan and Hailey Phillips would score.

Harper would strike again for the Sultans in the top of the third inning. This time she would blast her second home run a solo shot over the left-field fence to make it 4-0. A couple of innings later in the top of the fifth inning Haley Oceguera would belt a solo home run over the left-field fence to give them a 5-0 lead.

Grossmont though would mount a small rally in the bottom of the inning all with two outs as Natalie Emery would reach on an error that would allow Ashley Beard who led off the inning with a double to score, Na’Khia Lee followed with a base hit that scored Jenna Ennis and Jade Daley would drive in Emery to cut the deficit to 5-3.

That would be the closest the Hillers would get as the Sultans would extend their lead to double digits in the top of the seventh inning.

Oceguera, Kaitlyn Ours, McKenna Miller, Avery Bark, Carissa Ruiz, and Sullivan all drove in runs in the big seventh inning for the Sultans.

Trailing 14-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning the Foothillers would push across four runs of their own starting with an RBI single by Lee, Daley would follow with an RBI double that scored Emery, and Katelynne Parent followed with an RBI single that plated Lee and a couple of batters later Beard would drive in Ennis on a sacrifice fly before Ashtyn Niemiec would finish things off.

Niemiec in the win went all seven innings in which she allowed seven runs on twelve hits while striking out six.

Caitlyn Potts for Grossmont took the loss as she went five innings in which she allowed nine runs on five hits while striking out four, Dezianna Miller came in and tossed two innings in which she allowed nine runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out one.

Grossmont Valley League

West Hills 20, El Cajon Valley 0 (5 inn.) – The Wolf Pack scored all twenty runs in the top of the first inning as they made short work in preparation for the showdown on Thursday against the Valhalla Norsemen.

Lily Youngdale a senior would get the win as she allowed zero runs and two hits over five innings that would see her strike out twelve on the day.

Both Youngdale a senior, and Emily Byrd a sophomore, finished with four RBI for the Pack. Each would also have a pair of hits while Byrd would score a pair of runs and Youngdale scored three runs on the day.

Marina Morales a junior, and Amaya Angeli a sophomore each would collect a perfect day at the plate as each went 3-for-3 and each would drive in a pair of runs for the Pack.

Alyssa Thornton, a junior would score three runs while Naomi Kai, Samiya Wright, and Jaci McKindley all scored a pair of runs each.

The Wolf Pack improved to 11-7 overall and 6-1 in the Grossmont Valley League standings.

With the update of the MaxPreps computer rankings earlier in the day, the Wolf Pack sit currently in the four spot which would give them a first-round bye in the CIF Division III playoffs.

The twenty runs scored in a single inning by the Wolf Pack put them in a tie for the second-most with Mountain Empire who accomplished the feat twice. The first time they accomplished the feat was in March of 1996 in a contest against Vincent Memorial and the other time was against Borrego Springs in May of 1998. The record for most runs scored in a single inning is 21 set by Holtville against Vincent Memorial in a contest from April 1995


Pacific League
Foothills Christian 5, Tri-City Christian 2 –
In Oceanside, the Foothills Christian Knights gained a share of the Pacific League lead after topping front-running Tri-City Christian, 5-2. Both teams are 10-1 heading into Thursday;s finales, but there are no guarantees for the Knights; the Eagles are the defending league champions.

Foothills Christian(15-51 overall, 10-1 league)  closes with a road game at third-place Maranatha Christian (11-3, 8-3 league), a traditional difficult opponent for the Knights, while Tri-City (14-4, 10-1 league) ) gets lowly Guajome Park.

Foothills freshman Reese Winchester scored twice for the Knights. Winchester also rifled in a RBI, while Carly Robbins and Janelle Klima also registered RBI hits.

The winning pitcher was freshman Emma Romeka, who did not allow an earned run in her complete-game, 6-hitter.


City League

Christian 15, La Jolla 1 (5 inn.) – An eight-run fourth inning by the Christian Patriots would lead to a shortened victory on Tuesday afternoon over the La Jolla Vikings in City League action.

Allyson Moody would lead all Patriots hitters as she had three hits on the day including a pair of doubles as she drove in three runs and scored twice.

Pitching-wise for the Patriots, Kate Manes would earn the victory as she only allowed three hits and one run while striking out five over four innings of work. Payton Grosset would come in and toss an inning in relief in which she struck out two.

Other contributors for the Patriots were Rachel Stephens who had a pair of hits and scored three runs and even stole three bases, Manes would help her cause at the plate as she drove in a run and scored twice, and stole two bases.

Kaitlyn Moody would also drive in three runs and scored once as she had a pair of hits on the day, Lucy Sherburne drove in a pair and scored twice for Christian.

The Patriots would pound out fourteen hits and tally eleven RBIs on the day.

With the win, the Patriots improve to 18-10 overall and 7-2 in City League and can do no worse than a second-place finish as Coronado dashed any hopes of a tie as they beat San Diego by a score or 10-2. In order for the tie to have occurred the Patriots would have needed San Diego to have won and then beat them on Thursday in the regular-season finale.

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