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Canyon’s return is quick

Cowboys’ first playoff since 2002 ends in wild card

Posted: May 19, 2009 10:07 p.m.
Updated: May 20, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
The Canyon softball team hadn’t been to the CIF-Southern Section playoffs since 2002.

Unfortunately for the Cowboys, that inexperience hurt them in their return Tuesday.

Orange Lutheran scored seven runs in the first inning and Lancers pitcher Jackie Guy had 15 strikeouts in a 9-3 win over Canyon during the wild-card round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs at Canyon High School.

The Cowboys (15-14) didn’t help themselves by committing three errors in the first, leading to four unearned runs.

“I think they were nervous,” said Canyon head coach Mike Rego. “Hopefully they’ll take this as a learning experience.”

Orange Lutheran’s McKenzie Kane and Jenna Stark hit back-to-back singles in the first before Nikki Chapman reached on an error to load the bases. Savannah King knocked in two runs with a single, and Chapman scored on another error that allowed Madison Osias to reach safely.

Osias later scored on an RBI double by Ashley Noone, and Brittany Boesel hit a three-run homer with Noone and Heather Hall on base to give the Lancers (19-11) a 7-0 lead.

“Sometimes we seem to have one bad inning, and today we started with it and that’s not a good thing,” said Canyon first baseman McKenna Smith.

Canyon went to work in the bottom of the inning, as Jenny Wunderlich singled to lead off and later scored on an RBI single by Danielle Sullivan. Hayley Bottino then stepped up and singled home Courtney Ziese, who had drawn a walk earlier.

Guy settled down after the first and continued to throw strikes, and the Cowboys struggled to put together consistent offense.

“She’s a power pitcher,” said Orange Lutheran head coach Steve Miklos. “She definitely throws hard. She’s been the ace of our staff.”

The Lancers added to their lead in the fifth when Osias led off with a solo home run. Canyon countered in the bottom of the frame when Ciana Rego led off with a walk and wound up scoring on a sacrifice fly by Sullivan, cutting the deficit to 8-3.

Orange Lutheran added its final run in the seventh when Noone singled and Boesel doubled home courtesy runner Stacy Williams in the next at-bat.

Boesel was 2-for-4 with four RBIs to pace Orange Lutheran, and Kane went 3-for-4.

Bottino took the loss in the circle for Canyon, but after she allowed seven hits in the first inning, the freshman hurler gave up five the rest of the way.

Sullivan was 1-for-2 with two RBIs to lead Canyon, while Smith was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk and Ziese was 0-for-2 with two walks.

Wunderlich, Bottino, Brittany Williams and Taylor Anderson each recorded a hit for the Cowboys, who return most of their team next season.

By finishing with a winning record and ending the playoff drought, Rego hopes his team has started something.

“Hopefully people around the Foothill League and Southern Section won’t think of Canyon as a doormat anymore,” he said. “We’ve got kids that believe what we’re teaching.”

jgulino@the-signal.com

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