Pitching dominates as CHS softball loses opener
Former major league pitcher Warren Spahn once said that “Hitting is timing and pitching is upsetting timing.” And that is exactly what Bonita junior Destinee Lopez did to Claremont at home on Wednesday, as the Bearcats blanked the Pack 3-0 in the Palomares League opener.
Lopez pitched the entire game, striking out 14, with many batters frozen watching the umpire punch them out for strike three. Her stuff was so good, many batters were also flummoxed swinging at pitches out of the strike zone.
This was not the Claremont team that had been burning up the competition so far this year, and it was “a wake-up call,” according to Coach Vincent Hernandez.
To be fair, Claremont played well and they were able to hit Lopez’s pitches on occasion, but the Pack left way too many runners stranded, including in the sixth inning when lead-off batter Kalena Jimenez hit a double. But in a perfect synopsis of the overall game, Lopez struck out the next three batters.
With one out and the bases loaded in the fourth inning, Claremont showed some serious moxie in getting out of a very tight spot. Bonita’s Megan Jones hit a hard ground ball directly at pitcher Alexis Jimenez, who shot the ball back to the plate for the force-out, then catcher Cady Giles completed the double play with the throw to first.
The game was scoreless until the fifth inning when lead-off hitter Morgan Dunville singled. Sensing trouble, Coach Hernandez replaced Jimenez with Kelly O’Toole. The next player up, Leticia Morales, executed a flawless bunt, gaining first for herself while advancing Dunville to third. In a distraction play, Morales tried to steal second, drawing the throw from the catcher, allowing Dunville to easily score. Adding insult to injury, Morales was safe at second.
Bonita scored again in the sixth inning when Jones hit a double, scoring Lopez from first. And the Bearcats put the icing on the cake in the seventh when Morales scored from third on a sacrifice ground ball by Lauren Flores.
“She got how many strike-outs, maybe 15? And that hasn’t happened to us before, so hats off to her, she pitched a good game,” Coach Hernandez said. “But our girls didn’t adjust to the outside pitch. The umpire was calling them outside, but you have to deal with that.”
“That was a good wake-up call for my girls,” he said. “It is not going to get any easier in this league, they all have good pitchers. We have to work on our bats.”
“If she gets ahead early it helps her,” Bonita coach Darren Baumunk said of Lopez, the team’s top pitcher.
“We had a lot of hard hits. One inning, we hit the ball too hard and they got a double play,” said Coach Baumunk. “But we got some timely hitting when we needed it. Bunting was good, as was execution on our short game, which helped us out.”
The Pack is now 12-3 overall and 0-1 in league. The Bearcats are now 8-7 overall.
Claremont High had a rough day, taking on South Hills at home in a game that was rescheduled because of rain. The Huskies came out swinging with two runs in the first inning and didn’t look back as they won easily, 8-1.
Sophomore Jake Holcroft got the Pack’s only run and a hit. Junior Jake Gentry had three hits and one RBI.
Sophomore Andrew Beauvais pitched four innings, giving up four hits and four runs while striking out two. Two relievers, Cory Smith and Merrick Hummer, gave up an additional four hits and four runs.
The Pack also lost to Bonita on Wednesday at home, 10-3.
Leading the Pack’s offense were Junior Matt Hohn who had a RBI double and Cole Prentice who had two hits and one run. The other two runs came from Jake Holcroft and Wyatt Coates.
Tyler Jaques pitched three innings, giving up six hits and nine runs while walking three and striking out two. Relievers Cameron Chavarria and Merrick Hummer each pitched two innings.
Claremont lost their home conference match to Glendale 3-1 on Wednesday. After losing the first set 24-23, the Pack bounced back and took the second, 25-16. However, Glendale easily won the next two sets, 25-16 and 25-18. The boys are now 3-16 overall and 0-7 in league.
Both the boys and the girls did very well in the league meet with Diamond Bar on Tuesday in Claremont.
Duy Tran Sampson won both the 100-meter and 200-meter events, with Ira Clark taking third in the 100 and second in the 200.
The boys swept the distance races beginning with the 800-meter race, with Ryan Renken leading the way followed by Tom Engelbert and Tab Backman. Next up came the 1600-meter race with Backman in first, Engelbert second and Anthony LaMar third. Followed by the 3200-meter event with Owen Bishop, Sergio Espinoza and Felix Lawson.
Engelbert, Caleb Roybal, Max McGuire and Tran Sampson won the 4-400 relay. Cleider Gomez won the 110-meter hurdles.
Another sweep came in the discus where Noah Garcia, Stephen Reyes and Emmanuel Limbe took the top three spots.
Bryan Brown won the triple jump.
The girls swept the 400-meter event, with Kylie Robinson taking first followed by Kyla Morris and Amanda Bixler.
Annie Boos won the 800-meter event, with teammate Frances O’Leary taking third. The girls then swept the 1600-meter event with Sarah Ayala claiming victory, O’Leary nabbing second and Annette Hermelin taking third. Sydney Hwang topped the 3200-meter race with Tess Rounds second and Jacquelyn Heckers in third.
Callie Morken came in first in the 100-meter hurdles followed by Alexa Tisopulos. Alyssia Cantrell won the 300-meter hurdles with Olivia Thomas in second.
Cantrell, Robinson, Tisopulos and Natalia Lopez won the 4x100 relay.
Abby Holt won the high jump and the long jump while coming in second in the pole vault. Second and third in the high jump were Lyling Irwin and Larissa Cursaro. Morken won the pole vault and Lyndi Caudle placed third. Kyla Morris took third in the long jump, Irwin won the triple jump and Natalie Nguyen took third.
The Pack is red-hot beating Ayala 18-0 on Tuesday to remain undefeated. The boys will face Bonita next.