Wolfpack softball edges Ayala for win
The Claremont High School varsity softball team won their Palomares League opening game over Ayala, 4-3, on Wednesday in Chino Hills.
The Pack came out swinging, getting on the board first when freshman Lani Moreno hit a double, and then scored on a single by pitcher senior Roe Keirns. Unfortunately, in what would become a harbinger for the rest of the game, the girls left two stranded on base with an easy pop up.
Ayala also had a good first inning getting two runs and the lead they would hold for most of the game. Keirns walked senior Kennedy Clark who took second on a sacrifice and then scored when Taylor Rowland got a long fly ball to drop in center field. Next up, junior Jessica Trujillo doubled to right and Rowland easily got the second run. With two down but two on base, the Pack got a break when pitcher Katelyn Williams flew out to right.
Claremont nearly put the game away in the third inning when the first three batters got on base with no outs. However, nerves got the better of the next two batters who both hit easy pop ups, followed by a ground out and the Pack left all three on base.
Ayala looked to be in command in the fourth when Clark singled and senior Joselyn Keller scored from second to make it 3-1. However, Claremont was able to minimize the damage with good fielding.
Claremont tied it in the fifth with some good hitting and some good luck. Claremont got two runners on after Moreno singled to right and Keirns walked. Senior Brittany Attaway then hit an infield grounder, scoring Moreno when Ayala dropped the ball at home. Senior Nadine Ordonez, who was pitch running for Keirns, got the second run by tagging from third on a long fly ball.
The game stayed tied until the seventh and final inning. Senior Chloe Amarilla singled up the middle and then advanced on a bunt from junior Taylor Alarcon. However, in a base running mistake, Amarilla got caught in a pickle between second and third, but had a stroke of luck when Ayala dropped the ball. Freshman Katie Stanford hit a solid ground ball and then narrowly beat the throw to first, scoring Amarilla for the go ahead run.
Keirns earned the win, pitching all seven innings and giving up five runs. Also key on defense was junior Taylor Alarcon who made several key stops at second base including one in the seventh that likely prevented Ayala from tying the game.
With the win the Pack advanced their record to 1-0 in league and 8-3 overall. Next up the girls face Diamond Bar on Friday.