East County Sports

D-1: Balanced attack propels Cougars



By Adam Paul

BRAWLEY (5-19-22) – Both teams were fierce but a pair of home runs by the Steele Canyon Cougars would help propel them to a 3-1 victory over the Brawley Wildcats on Thursday in CIF Division I playoff action..

With the game being down in the Imperial Valley the game would be played under the lights and even still at game time the temperature was near the mid-eighties according to the weather channel. Despite the temperature, the Cougars would strike first as they would take an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

Isabella Smith would hit a fly ball that was misplayed that would allow Jazmin Williams who led off the inning with a double to race around from second and score.

Steele Canyon would extend their lead in the top of the second inning when Kamea Suenarine would belt a leadoff solo home run over the center-field fence to make it 2-0.

Cougars ace Emma Shellstrom would pretty much completely shut down the Wildcats offense as she only allowed four hits on the evening.

One of the only threats by the Wildcats would come in the bottom of the fourth inning as Tamara Carranza led off the inning with a double to center field. However, Shellstrom would retire the next three batters in a row including striking out the last batter of the inning to squelch the threat.

Offensively the Cougars would add another run to bolster their lead in the top of the fifth inning as Abbey Curran with one out smashed her fourth home run of the season over the left-field fence for a 3-0 lead.

Shellstrom would run into a little trouble in the bottom of the sixth inning as Brawley would finally put a run on the board thanks to Carranza who hit a solo home run of her own.

The one run would be all Shellstrom would give up as she only allowed four hits over the entire seven innings that would see her fan eight Wildcats on the night in the victory.

With the victory, the Cougars will now take on top-seeded Mater Dei Catholic on Saturday morning down in Chula Vista.


Mater Dei Catholic 8, Santana 2
CHULA VISTA  – Early runs scored by the top-seeded Mater Dei Catholic Crusaders would lead them to victory over the visiting Santana Sultans on Thursday afternoon.

Santana coming off their thrilling victory in the play-in game against Patrick Henry the other day unfortunately couldn’t get the offense going early on.

The Crusaders would take advantage early and put up a four-spot starting with an RBI triple by Ayanna Shaw which was followed by Michelle Cervantes knocking her in to make it 2-0. The big blow would come courtesy of Analesse Garcia who crushed a two-run shot over the left-field fence would extend the lead to 4-0.

Santana though would threaten in the top of the second inning as Taylinn Warren led off with a base hit followed by another base hit by Kaitlyn Ours. Unfortunately, Garcia who also was pitching would get out of the inning as she would get a double play followed by a ground out.

Later in the top of the fourth inning trailing by a score of 5-0 the Sultans would finally get on the board as Warren would ground out but in the process, Sara Spry would come home to make it 5-1.

After Mater Dei would score another pair of runs the Sultans would push across another run in the top of the sixth inning thanks to Warren who drove in Haley Oceguera with a triple to center field to make it 7-2.

The Sultans on the day had nine hits including both Kassidy Harper and Hailey Phillips going 2-4

With the loss, the Ninth-seeded Santana Sultans will make the long trek down to the Valley to take on the Brawley Wildcats on Saturday morning in the challengers bracket. These teams are no strangers to one another as they have played a handful of times over the past six seasons including in the 2018 semi-finals which saw Brawley knock out the then defending CIF Champions Santana who won the 2017 Division II crown.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *