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The Hornet

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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Lady Lancers get past La Habra to top league

LA HABRA—Freeway League powerhouses La Habra and Sunny Hills were both on dominant undefeated league runs coming into Tuesday’s matchup, but by the end of their first matchup of the season the Lady Lancers gained an edge over the Lady Highlanders with an 16-4 six inning win to take sole possession of first place.

Though the game was out of close contention in its final innings, pitching and defense dictated the first few innings.

The Lady Highlanders were led by Hannah Johnson in the circle who forced a third out groundout without runners on second and third base early on and didn’t allow a hit in the second inning.

Mariah Ramirez got the start in the circle for the Lady Lancers and only allowed only three hits through three innings to prevent La Habra from getting their offense going early.

As the game entered the third inning it looked to be a low scoring pitcher’s duel in the making, but the Lady Lancers (14-6, 5-0) changed the course of the game.

Throughout the Freeway League season Ramirez has been a top contributor in the circle but also at the plate, Tuesday’s game was no exception. The Junior drove in the first runs of the match of league unbeatens with a double to make it 2-0.

Sunny Hills wasn’t done and added two more runs in the inning, including an RBI double by Gisele Acuna.

The Lady Highlanders (15-7, 4-1) weren’t able to immediately respond to going down until the bottom of the fourth inning.

La Habra looked to be on the verge of tying the game when an two-run base hit by Savannah Tourville cut Sunny Hills lead in half, and when later in the inning they loaded the bases with only one out.

A combined pitching and defensive effort got Sunny Hills out of the inning with their lead intact.

With the bases loaded Lauren Huerta, who relieved Ramirez in the middle of the inning, stayed steady under pressure and struck out a batter and moments later Senior catcher Molly Grumbo threw out a runner on a steal attempt to end the inning.

Down by two is as close as the Lady Highlanders would get for the rest of the day.

The Lady Lancers loaded the bases in the top of the fifth and in addition to knocking in a few, they took advantage of La Habra errors to extend their lead.

After a bases loaded walk by pitcher Elena Valenzuela, who relieved Johnson in the fourth inning, to make it 7-2 Grumbo stepped up to the plate for Sunny Hills.

The senior hit a hard line drive right to an La Habra outfielder. What looked to be a third out catch turned into three runs for the Lady Lancers when the outfielder failed to cleanly control it.

On the very next at bat La Habra’s defensive woes continued when a Ramirez hit was dropped by an outfielder yet again to make it 11-2.

“Those things just start to mountain up and it get [to] a point and time in a game when you just can’t, you’re doing nothing right.,” said La Habra manager Steve Harrington

The Lady Highlanders got two runs off Huerta in the bottom of the fifth inning, but the senior forced back-to-back groundouts to end the inning with the Lady Lancers up 11-4.

“If our pitching holds up it’s hard for them to overcome that,” Sunny Hills manager Arthur Jarman said about the pitching efforts on the day.

In the sixth inning Sunny Hills topped off their big game at the plate with five more runs including an RBI sacrifice fly by Grumbo and RBI double by Ramirez.

“They made some mistakes that hurt em alot but we were hitting the ball really well,” Jarman said about the game

After more than an inning of rest from pitching, Ramirez came back into the circle in the bottom of the sixth inning and closed out the game for the Lady Lancers early via the mercy rule.

In addition to taking sole control of first place and remaining undefeated in league play, the Lady Lancers brought the Lady Highlanders 14-game Freeway League winning streak to an end.

“We did not have the right mindset with which to compete,” Harrington said about the loss and added that it served as a “reality check.”

“Everythings clicking right now,” Jarman said.

The Lady Lancers visit Fullerton on Friday in their next Freeway League game. The Lady Highlanders take on city rivals Sonora at Sonora on Friday.