East County Sports

Cougars rally late in CIF softball regional

CIF-Southern California Regional
Division 1 – Quarterfinals


ECS staff report

RANCHO SAN DIEGO – In a division dominated by San Diego Section schools, three local softball ballclubs, including the Steele Canyon Cougars, advanced to the semifinals following victories in Tuesday’s (May 28) opening round of the CIF Southern California regional.

The second-seeded Cougars (23-8-1 overall) advanced by breakig a late deadlock with two runs in the fifth inning, downing Cerrito-Valley Christian, 3-1.

Thus, Steele Canyon will entertain No. 3 Imperial in Thursday’s Final Four contest. The Tigers advanced by posting the one-sided triumph of the four contests, whipping J.W. North of Riverside, 7-0.

The Tigers (28-3-1) enters on a 9-game win streak, also taking 21 of their last 22 ballgames. Among their losses was a 8-1 bombing by El Capitan in the season opener.

Meanwhile in the upper bracket, top-seeded Otay Ranch, the CIFSDS champion i the division, barely survived by nipping Liberty of southwest Riverside County, taking a 5-4 decision over the Bison.

Otay Ranch will entertain Bakersfield Christian — a 3-2 winner over Monache — as the four top seeds all moved on.

Game stuff

Level at 1-1, Steele Canyon snapped the pitchers’ duel when Kamea Seunarine and Isabella Azevedo drove in runs, bringing home Dannika Lakin and Kayala Hopkins.

For Lakin, a sophomore, the run helped cap a stellar 3-for-3 outig at the late.

That was enough for winning pitcher Marina Gonzalez, who struck out seven batters without a walk against the Defenders.