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Prep softball: A world of difference

Canyon’s bats quiet in game two after earlier 11-0 rout

Posted: March 22, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 22, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Canyon’s Tiffany Dyson lays down a sacrifice bunt in the second inning against Knight High at Canyon on Wednesday.

After exploding for 11 runs in an 11-0 victory in the first game of a doubleheader with Pete Knight High School of Palmdale, the Canyon High softball team may have been hoping it saved some runs after a 4-2 loss the second game.

The Cowboys (7-3 overall) struggled early at the plate in the second game, as Knight pitcher Kaila Crandell recovered from a game one performance that saw the Cowboys score nine runs in two innings off the right-hander.

In game two, Crandell went seven innings, allowing six hits and two runs.

“She was off her game (in game one), but in her second game, she was on. She was trying to pitch outside and hit the corners and she was hitting them,” said Cowboys senior Hayley Bottino.

Canyon countered in the second game with freshman Paige Johnson, who got herself into early trouble by hitting the game’s leadoff batter, who eventually came around to score and give Knight an early lead.

The Hawks (7-2) tacked on two more in the third off Johnson, and an unearned run off Bottino in the sixth by turning toward a small-ball approach at the plate — something the Cowboys struggled with at times.

“We haven’t faced a team like them that’s played small ball (this season),” Bottino said.

Canyon, though, mounted a late rally, as Johnson and Tiffany Dyson notched sixth-inning RBIs to halve the deficit going into the final inning.

After Bottino set the Knights down in order, Crandell struck out consecutive Cowboys to start the bottom of the seventh.

But then she struggled with her control, walking three straight batters to load the bases with two outs before Lexi Lotito grounded out to end the threat.

That marked the ninth baserunner Canyon left on base in the game.

“The hardest thing in softball is to beat a team like that and then be up for the next game,” said Canyon head coach Dwain Whalen.

It was a marked difference from the first game, in which the Cowboys chased Crandell early and saw Bottino take the circle and earn the win by pitching a five-inning, complete-game shutout. She allowed two hits a walk and struck out three batters.

Johnson was 2-for-3 with a grand slam in the game, Lotito was 2-for-3 with a three-run home run and four RBIs and Julianna Carlos had a two-run double.

“We pulled up a little (after the first game),” Bottino said. “We relaxed a little too much. We pulled up just a little.”
And just a little was all it took for the Hawks to rebound.

Now, it’s Canyon’s turn to try and rebound, and it will get its chance on Saturday when it faces Foothill League foe West Ranch in non-league competition at the High Desert Classic on Saturday at 2 p.m.


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