Posted on 16 May 2013 by La Habra Journal
By Christie Garcia
La Habra Journal
Lady Highlanders celebrate after Taylor Pierce’s two-run home run against Arcadia.
The Lady Highlanders celebrate after Taylor Pierce’s two-run home run against Arcadia.[/caption]The Lady Highlanders softball team won their first CIF game with a 5-1 victory against the Arcadia Apaches.
The win advances La Habra in the CIF playoffs and adds another win to their 11-game winning streak.
The Highlanders (21-8, 9-1) started off strong by taking an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Nikki Butler got to first with a hit to center field and was brought home on Taylor Pierce’s two-run home run.
“Taylor’s home run was a big boost,” said La Habra head coach Frank McCarroll. “She’s been kind of struggling at the bat so it’s nice to see her getting nice hits.”
The Highlanders added another run to their lead in the bottom of the third inning. Freshman Frankie Mendoza, the first batter of the inning, hit a solo home run on the first pitch.
“Our hitting is our x-factor right now,” Mendoza said. “If we just keep that going, we’re pretty good. We’re a solid team all around.”
The Apaches (18-7,11-4) were not able to get on the board until the sixth inning. The second batter of the inning brought in a solo home run, which made for a 3-1 game. La Habra Pitcher Vanessa Ciocatto was able to retire the next
The Highlanders answered back in the bottom of the sixth inning. Amanda Akles started the inning with a hit down the left field line for a lead-off double. Hope Moreno grounded into a fielder’s choice but allowed Akles to advance to third. Jazmyn Moreno then hit a single to shallow right field which scored Akles, and brought the game to 4-1.
The next batter, Butler, walked, which moves Jazmyn Moreno up to second. Pierce then hit a ground ball to third base and caused the Apaches to get Moreno out at third.
Vanessa Ciocatto pitches for the highlanders. Ciocatto pitched a complete game striking out five and walking one against Arcadia.
What was supposed to be an easy double play turned out to be trouble for the Apaches after the first baseman was unable to catch the ball thrown to her to make the out on Pierce.
The ball seems to have gotten away from the first baseman which allowed Butler time to run from second to home. The ball was then ruled to be thrown out of play which only allowed Butler to advance one base, bringing her back to third.
Alisha Esqueda then reached first on an error, allowing Butler to score, giving the Highlanders the final 5-1 lead.
Ciocatto pitched a complete game with five strikeouts and giving up only one walk.
“Our strength all year has been our pitching and our defense,” McCarroll said. “Our hitting has been sporadic. We had some nice hitting today, though.”
The Highlanders move on to their second-round CIF playoff game next week.
“They’re really good so we have to make sure we don’t beat ourselves,” McCarroll said. “We always have to make sure that we play good defense. Some timely hitting would be nice too.”
However, McCarroll says that the best advice he has is to just “go play and have fun” and that they should all keep in mind that “whatever happens, happens.”
La Habra will travel to Downey High School this Tuesday at 3:15 p.m.