East County Sports

Wolf Pack Rallies On Day Of Tight Games


By Adam Paul

EL CAJON (4/23/24) – In baseball, there is an old saying by the late legendary New York Yankees Hall of Famer Yogi Berra who famously said “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Tuesday afternoon the West Hills Wolf Pack took the saying literally as they were down to their final at-bat and rallied from a 7-5 deficit to push across six runs and come away with a 11-7 victory over the Grossmont Foothillers on the road to move into first place in the Grossmont Valley League.

Grossmont early on in the bottom of the second inning would take advantage of their various opportunities as they would lead 5-0. Contributing in the inning Heidi Villa (R, RBI) drew a walk, scoring a run, Saraya Roope (2-4, 2 R, 3, RBI) would drive in three runs and Jenna Ennis (1-3, RBI, 2B) doubled in a run to round things out.

West Hills would answer back in the top of the second inning thanks to Katy Spargo (3-3, R, 3 RBI, HR) who blasted a two-run shot for her sixth of the season to left field to make it 5-2.

A couple of innings later in the top of the fourth the Pack would really grab the momentum as they would behind a Kristina Deal (4-4, 3 R, 4 RBI, 2B, 2 SB, HR) two-run bomb to left field for her fifth of the season and a single by Faith Balestreri (2-5, RBI) that brought home Maddie Aylesbury (2-5, 2 R, SB, RBI) would tie the game up at 5-5.

Grossmont though would answer to retake the lead as Carleigh Wenck (1-4, 2 RBI, 2B) doubled to left field bringing in both Saraya Roope and Madison Busch (1-4, R) to give them the 7-5 lead.

Looking like they would go down for the count and down to their final outs the Wolf Pack would receive a momentum jolt when Samiya Wright (1-5, R, RBI, HR) belted a one-out solo home run and the third of the game for the Pack over the center field fence to pull them within 7-6. Still with one out West Hills was far from done as Ava Goodman (2-4, 2B) doubled, Lili Leija followed by reaching on an error to move Goodman to third base where she would be replaced by Raelyn Gagnon (RUN) as a courtesy runner. Also, Leija would be replaced by Addie Vela (RUN) as a courtesy runner.

West Hills would continue their momentum as Amaya Angeli (1-3, 2 R) walked to load the bases which was followed by Deal driving in both Gagnon and Vela to give the Pack their first lead of the game 8-7. They would tack on three more runs to extend the lead to four runs.

Goodman would finish out the bottom of the seventh and wrap things up by retiring the side.

She would pick up the complete game going all seven innings in which she allowed seven runs (two earned) on six hits while walking five and striking out five.

Roope on the other side for the Hillers was tagged with the hard-luck loss as she went the distance allowing eleven runs (nine earned) on fifteen hits while walking five and striking out three.

The win by West Hills moves their record to 12-8-1 overall and 4-0 in Grossmont Valley League play and sole possession of first place to finish out the first round of league play. Grossmont with the loss falls to 7-9-2 overall and 3-1 in league.



STEELE CANYON 3, El Capitan 2 – With runs hard to come by as both teams pitching was strong on the day the Steele Canyon Cougars would pull things out with two runs in the fifth inning and hold onto beat the visiting El Capitan Vaqueros Tuesday afternoon.

Senior Addison Leone (2-2, RBI) would put El Capitan on top in the second inning when she singled to left field with two outs allowing Aubrey Thorne (RUN) to race home for a 1-0 lead.

Steele Canyon would answer and tie the game in the bottom of the third inning as Marina Gonzalez (2-3, 2B, 2 RBI) who also was in the circle would help her own cause with an RBI single with two outs to score Kayala Hopkins (1-4, R).

Later in the fifth inning, the Cougars would break the tie when Gonzalez doubled in a run and Hailey Trujillo (2-3, 2B, RBI) drove in another run to make it 3-1.

El Capitan in the top of the seventh inning would make things interesting when Ciara Bernardini hit a ball that was misplayed allowing Alyssa Fierro (1-3, R) to score and pull them within 3-2 but that would be as close as they would get as Gonzalez retired the next batter to end the game.

Gonzalez who was given the starting nod for the Cougars picked up the win as she went the distance in which she allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits while walking one and striking out five in the win.

Shelby Vars started for the Vaqueros and was tagged with the loss as she allowed three runs on seven hits over six innings while walking two and striking out six.

For the Vaqueros, Alanna Christiaens had a hit as she doubled and Kameron McDaniel had the two other hits in the game.

The win by the Cougars keeps them in first place in the Grossmont Hills League as they finish out the first round of league and move to 5-0 and 14-4-1 overall while El Capitan falls to 1-4 in league and 8-10-4 overall.


HELIX 4, SANTANA 3 – Two sixth-inning runs by the Helix Highlanders allowed them to take a late lead as they would hold onto beat the Santana Sultans in a crucial Hills League contest Tuesday.

Helix would get on the board first in the top of the fourth inning thanks to Lilianna Benabdeljalil who hit a sacrifice fly that scored a run to give them a 1-0 lead. They would add another run in the top of the fifth inning when LaNiah Broom doubled in Lauren Farace to make it 2-0.

However, the Sultans would tie the game in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a miscue by Helix and an RBI single by McKenna Miller.

The Highlanders would break the tie in the sixth inning on a walk by Farace that scored a run and a hit by a pitch that gave them a two-run lead.

Santana would pull within a run with two outs but that would be the closest they would get as Sara Spry grounded out to end the game.

Farace would earn the victory in relief for the Highlanders as she allowed two hits and one run over two and two-thirds innings while striking out three and walking one. Katelyn Woodland who started would allow two runs on three hits over four and one-third innings while walking one and striking out two.

Taking the loss for the Sultans was Ashlyn Darrow who came into the game in relief and tossed two innings while allowing two runs on two hits. She also walked three and struck out four. Bella Zuckerman who started for the Sultans allowed five hits and two runs over five innings in which she walked three and struck out four.


GRANITE HILLS 6, VALHALLA 1 – Six runs scored over the middle innings made all the difference as the visiting Granite Hills Eagles came from behind to down the Valhalla Norsemen Tuesday.

Valhalla would open up the scoring in the first inning thanks to Preslee Fink (1-4, R, RBI, HR) who belted a solo home run to left field to give them a 1-0 lead.

The Eagles behind an RBI single by Audrey Smale (2-3, R, RBI) that brought home Olivia Cirar (RUN) would tie the game at 1-1 in the top of the third inning.

Granite Hills would end up breaking the tie in the fourth inning when Peyton Wells (2-3, R, RBI, HR) led off and blasted a solo home run to center field and later a ground ball out by Kamryn Flath (RBI) allowing Makenna Hines (R, RBI) to come home would extend the lead to 3-1.

They would add in the top of the fifth inning three more runs on two hits. Sofia Mujica (2-2, R, RBI, HR) would lead off and on a 2-2 pitch hammer it deep over the left field fence for a solo home run which was her Grossmont Conference-leading eighth of the season.

Mujica’s eighth home run of the season breaks the tie with her and Stefini Ma’ake of AOLP and ties McKenna Gieger of Patrick Henry for the lead in both the East County and all of San Diego.

Leading 4-1 the Eagles would add another run on a passed ball that allowed Kailey Sandoval to score and again when Smale came into score on a ground ball out by Hines.

Ashley Yeargin who drew the start for the Eagles would pick up the win as she allowed one run on four hits over four innings. Kaleigh Baugher would come in and toss three innings of relief in which she allowed no runs on two hits while walking two and striking out four.

Devyn Mack who started for Valhalla would take the loss. She would allow six runs on nine hits over seven innings in which she walked five and struck out six.

Other contributors for the Norsemen included Avery Voth who went 2-for-4.

Granite Hills with the win moves to 10-8 overall and 3-1 in league play while Valhalla falls to 3-18 overall and 2-3 in league.

GAME NOTES – Sofia Mujica with her home run in today’s game now has 55 career home runs which puts her within reach of the State career record of 60 held by Tannon Snow of Chino Hills who played from 2012-2015. Locally, Mujica still leads Stefini Ma’ake who has 49 career home runs.



Leave a Reply

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