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Foothill League softball: Canyon breaks through against Indians

Cowboys beat rivals for first time since 2002

Posted: April 13, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 13, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

The Canyon softball team didn’t just get a win in its Foothill League opener, it got a nine-year monkey off its back.

The Cowboys jumped out to an early lead and capitalized on Hart’s miscues to beat the Indians 8-5 on Tuesday at Newhall Park, topping their longtime rival for the first time since 2002.

The last time Canyon beat Hart was on April 11, 2002, when the Cowboys rallied for a 4-3 victory.

No such heroics were needed this time around.

“I don’t think people were expecting us to win,” said Canyon head coach Dwain Whalen. “I knew we could win if the girls came out and played like they wanted to play, like they were capable. It was up to them. I put the ball in their court, and they came out and they responded.”

The Cowboys (11-6, 1-0) opened up a 4-0 lead in the second inning off senior Jenny Wunderlich’s and freshman Tiffany Dyson’s two-run singles.

Hart (10-6, 0-1) cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the inning on RBI singles from Juli Strange and Elizabeth Henry.

But Canyon added two more runs in the sixth on Taylor Anderson’s sacrifice fly ball and Dyson’s RBI ground-rule double.

Cowboys pitcher Leanne Hill earned the win, but handed the ball over to reliever Danielle Sullivan after giving up a two-run home run to Indians sophomore Paxton Provost. Brenna Carlson hit into a fielder’s choice, but plated Erin Henry to make the score 6-5.

Provost finished 3-for-4, while teammates Janae Coleman and Tracy Chandless each finished 2-for-3.

“I think the team will bounce back,” said Indians head coach Steve Calendo, who was missing four starters with injuries. “The younger girls will grow. They have to grow fast because it’s not like a travel ball situation. This is what we have (in roster size). They are going to get better from it.”

Sullivan closed out the game, and hit a two-run home run over the left-field wall for the final runs of the game.

Hart’s Emili Escamilla took the loss, striking out six and giving up eight runs — only three earned — on eight hits over seven innings.

Valencia 4,  Golden Valley 0

Vikings shortstop Justine Sibthorp batted 3-for-3 with two runs scored, Bethany Kemp was 1-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, and Carly Mortensen struck out 11 in a three-hitter against the Grizzlies.

But the margin of victory was particularly notable given the fact that Valencia (15-1, 1-0) beat Golden Valley last year by scores of 12-1 and 19-2.

“They’ve improved, but we didn’t help ourselves out by not getting hits in important situations,” said Vikings head coach Donna Lee. “We respect everybody. There is a lot of parity this year in the Foothill League. You have to be ready. I told the girls, ‘No one is going to roll over for you.’”

The Vikings rode a three-run second inning in which Fundora hit into a bases-loaded fielder’s choice that scored Kristina Brackpool from third, before Kemp’s two-run double plated Sibthorp and Sarah Solano.

Kemp hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth to score Sibthorp to bring the game to its final score.

Shortstop Branndi Melero led off the game for Golden Valley (8-10, 0-1) with a double, and Sydney Herrera and Alyssa Rocha each singled.

Herrera only gave up four earned runs on nine hits and two walks.

“Everybody in the stands was saying this doesn’t look like Golden Valley,” said Grizzlies first-year head coach Hugo Castillo. “We had aggressive at-bats. Defensively, we are defensively sound now. They have progressed mechanically and progressed fundamentally.”

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