Login to Claremont COURIER

Girls softball fights to the end in 10-9 opener loss

Claremont girls softball lost their season opener against Glendora, 10-9, on Monday, but it was not for lack of effort.

In fact, it was a marathon of a game lasting just under two hours, with 42 plate appearances for Claremont and 43 for Glendora. Both teams fielded two pitchers.

The Tartans started off the busy day with six runs in the first two innings and looked like they would walk away with the win, but CHS fought their way back.

Down 7-4 in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Pack’s breakout moment came when lead off hitter junior Lani Moreno singled, followed by a ground ball double from senior Kalena Jimenez that took a funny bounce over the shortstop.

Third up, senior Katie Kempton was hit by a pitch and the bases were loaded with no outs. Just when it looked like the Pack was about to blow the game open, the Tartans got a force-out at home, which gave them some breathing room. Still, Claremont rallied as junior Katie Stanford got a clean two RBI single, advancing Kempton, who later scored on a wild pitch to tie the game at seven.

In the fifth, sophomore Maddie Gurgain tripled and then scored on a single from Moreno, who tagged on a sacrifice fly to give Claremont a one-run lead.

The Pack got a solid performance on the mound from freshman Kaitlin Entrap, who had to be moved up from JV because two of Claremont’s pitchers are injured. Even though she allowed eight runs, she also had several strikeouts and a slight lead when Coach Vincent Hernandez brought in senior Kelly O’Toole to pitch the last inning.

Unfortunately for O’Toole, Glendora’s big hitter Clareese Santiago was the first batter, and the Tartan catcher hit one out of the park on the first pitch. O’Toole then walked Taylor Tetone, who stole second and was able to score the game-winning run on a two-out single from Annabelle Reyes.

Claremont definitely has some skill on their 2017 squad, particularly in hitting and fielding. The Pack’s outfielders pulled in one great catch after another including a diving catch by center fielder Stanford. The girls were also very good at executing simple plays, which can make all the difference in close games.

On Wednesday, the Pack pulled off a stunning 6-4 victory over South Hills in West Covina. Huskies senior Natalie Lugo took a 3-0 shutout into the top of the seventh when Claremont scored four runs for the lead. South Hills came back with one run in the bottom of the seventh and the game went into extra innings where the Pack got two runs for the win.

“It was a good game. It looks good for the beginning of the season coming back like that against Glendora, which is a good team,” said Coach Hernandez following Monday’s game.

“We have always had trouble with our bats, and this year they really came around. Our defense was strong and it is only going to get stronger as we had a couple of starters out today,” he said.

Claremont is now 2-3 overall and 1-1 in league with a home conference game against Bonita on Friday.

 

Fantastic CHS girls soccer season ends in OT

The South Torrance Spartans just seem to have Claremont’s number.

The Wolfpack pretty much defeated all comers this year, even in the post-season, but they lost twice to the Spartans, and both times it was in a championship game.

On Saturday the two teams squared off in the CIF Southern California Regional Division Three Championship game, which played out much like the Southern Section championship game, with South claiming the win in overtime. Tied at one goal after regulation, the Spartans knocked one in during the first overtime period and claimed victory under the golden goal rule.

Claremont defeated two highly-ranked teams—La Jolla, 1-0, and Our Lady of the Peace, 3-2—on their way to the championship game. Even with the loss, Claremont maintains a fourth-place ranking in CIF Division Three and a 25-4-2 record.

Furthermore, next year looks to be another strong one for Claremont as the Pack’s star forward Sophie Jones will only be a junior and several other key players, including Janelle Gutierrez, Savanna Beans, Kyra Tisopulos and Hope Hyland will be returning. Also both goalkeepers, Hollyn Carlton and Allison Bifone, will be back with even more experience.

 

Baseball

Claremont won its Palomares League opening game, 3-0, in Glendora on Friday. Junior Andrew Beauvais got the win, pitching six scoreless innings, with senior Matt Hohn closing. Beauvais gave up five hits, struck out six and walked two.

Claremont got a total of nine hits with Kyle Scalmanini, Wyatt Coates and Jake Gentry each getting two. One of Scalmanini’s hits was a double. Jake Holcroft scored two runs and Scalmanini had one.

The Pack narrowly lost a tournament game against Carter, 3-2, at home. CHS led for most of the game but a big sixth inning from Carter sealed the Pack’s fate. Claremont is now 4-4 overall and 1-0 in league. They will face South Hills on today in West Covina.

Boys Volleyball

Boys volleyball has a winning tradition here in Claremont, but they have had a rough couple of years recently. That may be changing as the boys have a solid start to the new season, including a 3-1 victory over Citrus Valley on Monday at home.

The Blackhawks took the first set 25-22, but seemed to fall apart after that as the Pack took the next three sets 25-15, 25-12 and 25-6.

Claremont is now 4-5 overall and 1-1 in Pacific League.

The boys took on rival Damien in La Verne Thursday after press time.

Webb Scores

Webb Schools baseball defeated Avalon, 12-1, on Tuesday.

Webb’s Spencer Stewart had two hits in three at-bats with four RBIs. Eric Evans had one hit for three at-bats and two RBIs. Webb is now 4-1 and will play Friday at Providence.

Vivian Webb softball had an excellent day at the Fullerton Tournament. Under new head coach Ron Smith, the Gauls took down Fullerton, 6-3, and Carter, 9-1. Webb is 5-0 and plays at San Juan Hills on Friday.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com