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Strong showing still has CHS softball winless in league

Palomares League play is more than half over, but the Claremont girls softball team may be just getting started.

They have had a rough time so far, with a 0-6 league record. However, two of their key players, Makayla Romeo and Katie Stanford, have returned after being out all season with injuries.

With the Pack back at full strength, they gave visiting Glendora quite the scare on Tuesday, even if the Tartans did ultimately prevail, 4-2.

The first inning looked like it was more of the same for Claremont, when the Tartans’ lead off hitter Clareese Santiago scored the game’s first run. But the Pack came out hot as well, with Kyla Morris and Lani Moreno getting singles and gaining extra bases on two bad throws. Third up Bailey Grani hit a sacrifice ground ball, scoring Morris from third.

In the third inning Claremont took the lead when Sydney Diaz was ruled safe at first on an obstruction call. She then stole second and advanced to third on yet another bad throw. This prompted the Glendora coach to call from the dugout, “no more free bases.” But it was too late, as Moreno got another single, scoring Diaz.

Unfortunately for the Pack, all of the action was in Glendora’s column for the rest of the afternoon. Chloe Bahruth’s homer in the fourth tied the game and the Tartans regained the lead in the sixth when Kayla Arzate singled, scoring Virginia Nemeth who beat the tag at home. The game’s final run came in the seventh when Morgan Coleman got an RBI single.

Claremont scored a solid performance on the mound from Katlin Entrup, who did give up nine hits in seven innings but also struck out eight. She had a long afternoon facing 35 batters and throwing 123 pitches.

“Leaving a couple of people on base hurt us. We just need to capitalize on opportunities,” Coach Tawnee Adams said. “Defensively we had a couple of errors that pushed them over the hump. But it’s nothing we can’t fix, absolutely.”

The last time the teams met, in Glendora on March 16, the Tartans walked right over Claremont, winning 17-4.

“They started their second string pitcher at first because our first game didn’t go so well. And then they saw we came to play so they switched her out,” Coach Adams added,

On Wednesday, five Claremont softball seniors signed letters of intent during a short ceremony at the CHS library. With a little bit of pomp, the girls posed for pictures in front of a small crowd of well wishing friends and families. The five are: Grani, University of La Verne; Morris, Duke University; Moreno, Rider University; Stanford, Newman University and Jade King, Delaware State.

With the loss to Glendora, Claremont is now 5-9 overall. The girls had an away game against South Hills after press time on Thursday. “We are kind of fighting back but we keep working hard,” Coach Adams said.

 

Strong pitching gives CHS baseball big tournament win

Claremont varsity baseball won the Santa Ana Elks Tournament, getting three shutouts in four games. It is the Pack’s first tournament victory since Coach Ron La Chase took over the team in 2015.

The Elks Tourney started March 31 with Claremont defeating Nogales, 7-0, at Century High School in Santa Ana. Andrew Beauvais pitched 6.1 innings, giving up just one hit while striking out 12. Jack Noble finished the game by striking out two batters.

Jake Holcroft and Jonah Paez each collected two hits to lead the offense, Holcroft led the Wolfpack with two RBI’s. Nate Rodriguez, Luke Santia, Cory Smith, Matt Ramirez and Rylan Opatkiewicz each had a hit.

The second round was Monday, as Claremont beat Kennedy High School, 2-0, in La Palma. Noble gained the win, pitching a complete game shutout, and striking out eight while only giving up one hit and one walk. The Pack also played errorless defense.

Holcroft and Santia each had two hits, while Nolan Rodriguez, Marc Gonzalez, Smith and Ramirez each had one hit. Holcroft and Opatkiewicz each collected RBIs in the Wolfpack win.

In the third round on Tuesday, Claremont faced some tough competition, narrowly squeaking by Valley View, 5-4, at Century High. Smith got the start and allowed three runs over six and a third innings, striking out four and walking one. Freshman Steven Mara and Eric Rohrer pitched the remaining giving up zero earned runs. Paez and Opatkiewicz led the offense with each getting two hits and two RBIs. 

With the Wolfpack down 4-3 in the bottom of the eighth, Nate Rodriguez got hit by a pitch and Shane Wilson, who came in to pinch run, immediately stole second base. With two outs, Opatkiewicz singled to center field scoring Wilson and taking second base on the throw. Paez then singled to center field, scoring Opatkiewicz and giving the Wolfpack a walk-off win.

It was a pitcher’s duel for the finals on Wednesday, but Claremont still got the 1-0 victory over Northwood High School in Irvine.

Wilson singled and came around to score the only run of the game in the second inning. Holcroft drove in Wilson with an infield single. Gonzalez and Opatkiewicz also collected hits in the Wolfpack win.

Beauvais got the complete game shutout win, giving up four hits while striking out nine. With the tying run on third base and the winning run on second, Beauvais got the Northwood’s number-two hitter to fly out to center field.

Track and field

This past weekend, the girls 4x1600 meter relay team set a school record at the Arcadia Invitational. Sydney Hwang, Isatu N’Daiye, Tess Rounds and Kalinda Reynolds bettered the previous record, set last year, by over six seconds. Their 20:48 time currently ranks them the number-four girls 4x1600m team in the US. The Pack finished fourth overall in a strong invitational field that consisted of 21 teams, including the top three teams in the country.

Boys tennis

Claremont narrowly pulled out a win over Diamond Bar, 10-8, moving them to 4-0 in league play. Strong performances from number-one singles player senior Leyton Bohren and number-two singles player junior Jason Weisman, along with the number-one doubles team of junior Andrew Weisman and sophomore Ben Stapp, brought in nine of the 10 matches won. Junior Josh Rivera added a win at number-three singles to solidify the team’s victory. The Pack will finish out the first half of the season on the road against Glendora High School on Friday.

Boys volleyball

Claremont is off to a good start in Hacienda League play with a 2-1 record. On March 27, Claremont defeated Damien, 3-1, at home. The Pack took the first two sets, 25-16 and 25-21, but lost the third, 21-25. The boys rallied taking the fourth set, 25-14. On March 29, they got another win over West Covina, 3-0.

Claremont had their first league loss, 3-0, to Los Altos Tuesday at home. All three sets were very close—25-21, 26-24 and 26-24.

—Steven Felschundneff

steven@claremont-courier.com