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Cowboys finally getting serious

Posted: April 4, 2008 10:31 a.m.
Updated: June 5, 2008 5:02 a.m.

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Canyon head softball coach Mike Rego decided his team needed to change how it warmed up after going 0-2 in the first pair Foothill League games.

"We cut out all the goofing around and all the non-softball talk," Rego said.

That seemed to do the trick.

The Cowboys used 15 hits to defeat Golden Valley 14-1 on Thursday in a game that was called after five innings due to mercy rule.

"They were lacking focus and the will to win and we turned it around today," Rego said.

Canyon (4-12, 1-2) started out early, scoring four runs on five hits in the first inning off of Grizzlies starting pitcher Kristen Uthe. Uthe ended up pitching just two innings and was replaced by Cassie Herrera.

The most damaging blow came from cleanup hitter Danielle Sullivan, who ripped a bases-loaded double to left field with the bases loaded, bringing in three runs. Sullivan also hit a two-run single in the following inning, giving her five RBIs in two at-bats.

"Getting this win was really big for our team," Sullivan said. "It pumped us up and got us back into it."

In the past two games, Canyon (10-8, 0-3) was outscored by a combined 21-0 to Valencia and Hart, two of top teams in the league.

"That's a tough opening," Rego said. "I'm glad the girls believed in themselves. We have a great team."

The Cowboys broke open the game with an eight-run fifth inning which was helped along by two Golden Valley errors.

Brittany Williams of Canyon belted a three-run double in the frame as the Cowboys sent 12 hitters to the plate.

"I have nothing negative to say about my pitching," said Golden Valley head coach Courtney Carr. "They did a great job. The defense behind them didn't support them."

Carr said it was an uncharacteristically tough day defensively with three errors, but the team struggled at the plate, too.

Canyon starting pitcher Ashley Johnson went the distance and gave up just five hits. The Grizzlies only run of the game came in the third inning. Brianna Melero was hit by a pitch with one out and took second on a single by Branndi Melero. Brianna Melero took third on a fielder's choice and during the next at bat, slid in head first under the tag to score on a passed ball. It made the score 6-1.

Branndi Melero had the best day at the plate for the Grizzlies, going 3-3 with three singles.

Johnson finished her day in the circle with six strikeouts and walked just one batter.

"She did a great job keeping the ball down," Rego said about his starting pitcher. " Their first five hitters are really good. She did a good job mixing up pitches."

While the Cowboys got into the win column on Thursday, Golden Valley is still looking for its first league win of the season.

"I didn't recognize my team on the field today," Carr said. "We had a lot of mistakes on routine plays."


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