Lady Highlanders crush Coyotes on Senior Day

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

By Miguel Pola. La Habra coach Steve Harrington talks with the players during an earlier game this season. The Lady Highlanders crushed Buena Park 27-0 Thursday.

The seniors on the La Habra softball team ended their final home game with an exclamatory 27-0 victory over Buena Park on Thursday afternoon.

“It’s kinda sad because it goes by so fast, they tell you that it goes by fast but now we’re here on Senior Day and it’s just mind blowing,” senior centerfielder Kira Cauley said. “It was good to take in knowing that every last pitch counts because this will be the last time we take the field together and being in the box knowing that every at bat could be the last.”

Cauley got the offensive outburst going with a leadoff double and came around to score to put La Habra up 1-0 after one inning.

Senior starting pitcher Hannah Johnson was dominant in the circle, retiring nine straight Coyote batters through three innings.

With a 4-0 lead heading to the bottom half of the third, La Habra’s offense exploded for a 13-run inning.

Senior Alyssa Palacios hit a homerun to deep center field to open the inning. The Lady Highlanders proceeded to bat around with four doubles and a second home run off the bat of another senior, Alexis Riley in the inning.

Johnson shut the Coyotes down again in the fourth and finished the game with a no-hitter intact, albeit through four innings of work. After his team posted another 10 runs in the fourth, La Habra coach Steve Harrington opted to get his other pitchers some work in the fifth.

“It’s meant a lot to me playing for La Habra, being a Highlander and playing with the team the last four years was a great experience.” Johnson said. “I’m going to miss how we were such a bonded team and everybody got along.”

With the score looking more like a one-sided football game at 27-0, the umpires called the game before La Habra could bat in the fifth.

Sophomore outfielder Frankie Valencia went 5-5 with three doubles and a triple and finished a home run shy of the cycle. In her final at bat, Valencia scorched a line drive down the left field line that landed five feet shy of the fence and bounced over for a ground rule double.

La Habra(7-1) is tied atop the Freeway League with Sunny Hills(7-1), whom they lost to a week ago. Wednesday at Sunny Hills the two teams will meetup one more time to decide who will be crowned league champs.

“They got us a good time, but the tell tale story will be what happens next [Wednesday] when we play them again,” Harrington said. “I firmly believe our kids are very well prepared for it, they want to do really well.”

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.