East County Sports

CIF Softball Playoffs: Vaqueros double-up Eagles in elimination game


By Adam Paul


El Capitan 6, Granite Hills 3

LAKESIDE – Playing an opponent twice in league play and beating them both times is a feat in its own right, but to beat them a third time is quite the achievement. Well, the El Capitan Vaqueros were up to the task as they doubled up the Granite Hills Eagles 6-3 in an elimination game on Thursday (May 18).

El Capitan got on the board first, thanks to Alanna Christieans, who roped a double to left field to bring home Ciara Bernardini. Aubrey Thorne then hit a sacrifice fly to right field which allowed Addison Leone to tag up from third and score to make it 2-0.

The Granite Hills Eagles would answer with a run in the top of the second inning when Kamryn Flath drove in Makenna Hines to pull within 2-1.

Needing insurance runs, the Vaqueros would add some when freshman Quinnley Morehouse doubled in Kylee Frazier. With two outs Leone drove in Morehouse.

Staked to a 4-1 lead, Vaqueros starter Shelby Vars would be put in a jam in the third inning, thanks to Peyton Wells leading off with a double to left field. Makayla Tileia followed by singling to left field, which advanced Wells to third. Kaleigh Baugher hit into a fielder’s choice, but everyone would be safe.

Facing a bases-loaded situation, Vars would strike out Kailey Sandoval, get Hines to line out, and strike out Jenna Heynal to end the threat and the inning.

Offensively, the Vaqueros were not done, as Christiaens led off the bottom half of the third inning by taking the 2-2 count and belting it over the left field wall for a solo home run. Later in the inning, Frazier would knock in Thorne on a sacrifice fly to give them a 6-1 lead.

Granite Hills mounted a small rally in the fourth inning, when Audrey Smale led off, doubling to left field; she would come around and score when Sofia Mujica hit a ball that was misplayed by the right fielder to make it 6-2. A couple of batters later with two outs, Tileia drove in Marilynn Lewis, who had come in to run on a base hit to left field, which cut the Vaqueros lead in half to 6-3.

They would again threaten in the fifth inning with two outs, starting with Heynal singling, Smale singling and Flath singling to load the bases.

Facing a two-out bases-loaded situation, with slugger Sofia Mujica coming to bat, it was time for Vaqueros coach Joe Cota to make a change, bringing in Mackenna Burton.

Burton would face a 3-2 count to Mujica, and on the very next offering would get her to swing and miss for the strikeout, and again get out of a jam to end the inning.

For the rest of the way, Burton would pretty much retire the Eagles, including three straight ground ball outs to end the game.

Baugher for the Eagles took the loss, going three innings in which she allowed six runs on nine hits. Wells came in and finished things off, tossing three innings, giving up two hits and striking out one.

Vars for the Vaqueros was credited with the victory, as she allowed three runs on ten hits over four and two-third innings, while striking out three. Burton came in and picked up the save as she threw two and a third innings, allowing zero hits while striking out two.

Granite Hills is officially eliminated from the playoffs and finished their season with an overall record of 15-10.

El Capitan, the #3 seed, will advance to Saturday (May 20) for a third round elimination game against #6 Torrey Pines, who beat El Capitan 3-1 in the first round. The Falcons lost their second-round game against #2 Rancho Bernardo 5-0. Saturday’s game is scheduled for an 11 AM start time out in Lakeside.

The Vaqueros improve with the win to 24-4 overall.


Leave a Reply

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