East County Sports

Cougars match, then slide past Hillers



By Adam Paul

/RANCHO SAN DIEGO – A late snatch of the lead by the Steele Canyon Cougars courtesy of Kayala Hopkins (2-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B) who dealt what would be the game-winning blow with her two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning led to a 7-6 victory over the Grossmont Foothillers on Tuesday (Mar. 19).

Steele Canyon would get on the board first with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning courtesy of Marina Gonzalez (1-4, RBI) who singled, and a fielder’s choice by Lauren Becker (2-3, R, RBI, 3B).

Eliana Vasquez (2-4, RBI, 2B) would help Grossmont back into the game with her two-run double in the top of the third inning.

However, the Cougars would once again regain the lead in the bottom half when Bailey Evans (2-3, RBI) singled and Gonzalez hit into a double play.

Trailing 4-2 the Foothillers would strike in the fourth inning when Nakhia Lee (2-3, R) scored on a passed ball, and with two outs Madison Busch (1-3, RBI, 2B) doubled in Jordan Leon (1-2, R, 3 RBI, 2B) to tie the game at 4-4.

Leon’s double in the top of the fifth inning would bring home two runs to break the tie and give the Foothillers a 6-4 lead.

Steele Canyon in the bottom of the fifth inning rallied when Becker tripled in a run and Hopkins doubled in a pair of runs.

Gonzalez got the starting nod for the Cougars. The starter allowed four runs on five hits over four innings while walking three and striking out none. Saraya Roope who came into the contest in relief would take the loss. On the day she allowed three runs on five hits over two innings of work.

Grossmont with the loss falls 4-4-1 and will next take on Carlsbad on Wednesday while Steele Canyon moves to 6-3-1 and will next play on Thursday against Holtville.


Christian 18, Morse 4 (5 inn.) – Tuesday afternoon was a good day at home for the Christian Patriots as they continued their offensive prowess in the convincing victory over the Morse Tigers in non-league play.

Ashley Wood was a big reason for the offensive output of the Patriots. The junior would go on to drive in 6 runs including a three-run blast in the fourth inning.

Wood wasn’t alone as Kaitlyn Moody had a perfect day at the plate going 3-for-3 including blasting a three-run bomb in the fourth inning.

Jordyn Krystek (2-3, R), Kayleigh Martin (2-3, R), and Keels Carrizosa (1-3, 3 R) all drove in a pair of runs in the contest.

Other contributors included Sammy Baca who scored twice and drove in a run and had three hits and Tyler Krystek who scored twice and had a hit.

Christian racked up 17 hits.

Ava Barrios who has been pretty untouchable of late picked up the win as she allowed one hit and no runs over three innings of work while walking one and striking out six.


Mater Dei Catholic 4, Granite Hills 2 – Four runs scored in the top of the seventh inning by the Mater Dei Catholic Crusaders doom the Granite Hills Eagles Tuesday to claim the Mater Dei Invitational contest.

Granite Hills early on grabbed the momentum in the top of the first when UCLA-bound senior Sofia Mujica blasted her third home run of the season to center-field to make it 1-0. Mujica’s blast to center field was also her 50th career home run.

Neither team’s pitching was giving an inch to either team’s offense and it wouldn’t be until the bottom of the sixth inning that another run would score.

The Eagles thought they had a nice insurance run in the sixth inning when Kamryn Flath drove in Olivia Cirar to make it 2-0.

However, the Crusaders would have other ideas as Bella Harris would drive in a run and Gianna Flores would give the crushing blow with a three-run blast to round out the scoring.

Granite Hills fall to 4-4 with the loss and the #2 Mater Dei Catholic Crusaders move to 10-1 on the season.


Clairemont 6, Santana 3 – The Santana Sultans couldn’t come back after surrendering five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Clairemont Chieftains doubled them up to claim the non-league victory Tuesday.

Trailing 1-0 in the top of the fourth inning the Sultans would take advantage of an error by Clairemont when Ashlyn hit a ball that was misplayed allowing Sara Spry to score.

Clairemont though would break the game wide open in the bottom of the fifth inning as they pushed across five runs on four hits that included a Alexis Benjamin two-run double.

Santana tried to rally as Faith Francisco drove in McKenna Miller and Bryleigh Britza drove in Vanessa Ryan on a tag up after the sacrifice fly-out.

Santana falls to 6-5 on the season with the loss.


Rancho Buena Vista 11, West Hills 4 – The RBV Longhorns on Tuesday tallied 13 hits which led to 11 runs as they claimed a convincing win over the West Hills Wolf Pack.

Trailing 7-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning the Wolf Pack tried to mount a furious rally and were able to cut into the Longhorn lead.

Kristina Deal who went 2-for-3 belted a three-run home run over the center field fence and Katy Spargo followed with a solo shot to right field to pull within 7-4.

Spargo finished 1-for-2 at the plate. Ava Goodman was the only other Wolf Pack hitter to tally a hit in the contest.

West Hills falls to 4-5-1 overall.


Del Norte 8, Valhalla 2 – Seven runs scored over the first two innings by the Nighthawks was more than enough as they stymied the Valhalla Norsemen to only four hits and a pair of runs on Tuesday.

Del Norte who came into the contest as the top team in the county according to the latest Union Tribune Softball top 10 poll jumped out right away on a pair of doubles in the first inning to take a 4-0 lead.

They would add to their lead in the second inning on a three-run home run to lead 7-0.

Valhalla would score in the bottom of the second inning with two outs thanks to Emma Sloan who drove in Natalia Marco. They would later in the bottom of the sixth inning score again as Devyn Mack drove in Preslee Fink.

With the loss, the Norsemen fall to 1-8 on the season.