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Highlanders wear down Warriors in Freeway League opener

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Highlanders wear down Warriors in Freeway League opener

Posted on 07 October 2016 by La Habra Journal

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

 

FULLERTON— Behind a efficient ground attack, La Habra began Freeway League play with a 24-10 victory over Troy on Friday night at Fullerton stadium.

Photo by Miguel Pola  La Habra quarterback Zack Fogel sprints toward the sidelines in the third quarter to gain a first down.

Photo by Miguel Pola
La Habra quarterback Zack Fogel sprints toward the sidelines in the third quarter to gain a first down.

The Highlanders opened the game just with a picture perfect 70-yard drive, capped by a Zach Fogel touchdown run from the 6-yard-line.

“I noticed that they were really chasing our athletes, so I told coach that I could find a lane and he gave me some chances.”

Eli Anderson had three runs of over 9 yards on the drive. Fogel connected with Prince Ross for 28 yards on the lone pass he attempted to set up the score.

“It’s a big confidence booster when you are getting eight or nine yards on first down carries,” Fogel said. “The coaches put together a great scheme, I give all the credit to the coaches and the offensive line tonight.”

The Warriors ground game appeared to be working on all cylinders as well the first couple offensive series against the stout Highlander defense, but both drives stalled out after costly penalties.

Troy managed to salvage a 28-yard field goal though, to make it 7-3 heading into the second quarter.

The Highlanders ran into similar fate on both second quarter possessions, taking it all the way down inside the 1-yard-line, before a false start on third-down forced a chip shot field goal.

Photo by Miguel Pola  La Habra Senior Eli Anderson scoots around the outside for a 12-yard gain.

Photo by Miguel Pola
La Habra Senior Eli Anderson scoots around the outside for a 12-yard gain. Anderson finished the night with 82 yards.

The Highlanders would get the ball right back after Derick Corso intercepted Josiah Norwood’s pass and returned it 33 yards to the Highlander 49-yard-line.

A couple penalties late in the ensuing drive caused La Habra to turn the ball over on downs and put up another score before the end of the half.

The Highlanders began second half with Madison Wheeler helming the pistol, but went nowhere and wound up giving Warriors great field position at the Highlander 49.

The Warriors capitalized a few plays later with a 24-yard touchdown pass from Norwood to Mikale Hill to bring them even 10-10.

La Habra responded on next series and pulled away for good.

Wheeler and Jakobah Fuamatu took turns carrying the ball inside, moving the drive all the way down inside the 10. Fogel finished the drive by connecting with Ross on a slant for a 9-yard touchdown.

The Highlanders added another score on a 2-yard run by Wheeler in the fourth quarter. Wheeler set up his touchdown when he took a fake punt 11 yards for a first down to keep the drive alive.

The Highlander defense locked down Troy’s offense the rest of the way to secure the two-score victory.

Corso had a standout defensive performance for the second consecutive game. He finished with an interception and batted down four more passes.

“[Corso] is one of the best at playing the ball in the air, he has a knack for it,” Head Coach Frank Mazzotta said.

Photo by Miguel Pola

Photo by Miguel Pola

“Preparation during the week really gives you confidence when you come out here, so you just have to be confident and know what you are doing, that’s really what it is,” Corso said.

La Habra pounded the ball inside with four different ball carriers, totaling 230 yards on the ground. Anderson dominated the first half carries and finished with 82 yards.

Mazzotta turned to Fuamatu and Wheeler to close out the game. Fuamatu didn’t have a carry in the first half, but finished with 54 yards. Most of which came in the final quarter. Wheeler finished with 51 yards and a touchdown.

The Warriors ran the ball well in stretches, but were unable to finish several drives due to penalties and a sporadic passing game. Norwood led the rushing attack for Troy with 54 yards. Skyler Taylor had 41 yards on the ground.

“We are inching our way into being a good football team, but we are not there yet,” Mazzotta said.

The Highlanders will look to make it three straight against cross town rival Sonora (0-6) at home next Friday.

 

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Raiders battle Warriors to win on the road

Posted on 18 January 2015 by La Habra Journal

By Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

In a physical battle between the Raiders and Warriors, Christian Rhodes’ 23 points pushes the Raiders to a 72-69 victory.

Sonora's Christian Rhodes' 23 points helped lead the Raiders past Troy Friday.

Sonora’s Christian Rhodes’ 23 points helped lead the Raiders past Troy Friday.

“I am so beat up. I’m so beat up, I was taking shots all game long, Rhodes said, “but it feels good, that we came out with a victory.”

The Warriors (11-8, 1-1) were led by Jason Choi, who scored 29 points, leading all scorers on the night.

While the Raiders (15-3, 2-0) maintained a narrow lead the entire game, it was their lackluster defense which allowed Choi and the Warriors to hang around.

“I found out tonight we can’t play defense, not even a little bit. Not even a little bit, they’re barely interested in guarding, all we try to do is score. Worst defense I’ve seen in 25 years,” head coach Mike Murphy said.

Choi scored 10 points in the first quarter but was scoreless in the second and had 15 points after three quarters.

But after Sonora stretched their lead to 10 points, heading into the fourth, Troy began to surge.

“We not only couldn’t guard them, they scored in four seconds. We didn’t even resist a little bit. There was no resistance there tonight. We were awful, we were horrible,” Murphy said.

Choi went to work, en route to 12 fourth quarter points from the foul line and inside the paint.Sonora basketball vs Troy January 16, 2015

But Christian Rhodes also was in the midst of a fine night.

“Christian Rhodes was fantastic, he was fantastic, he played really well,” Murphy said.

Rhodes however was taking a beating in the process.

“I’m gonna go home and nap,” Rhodes said about his postgame plans.

After Rhodes drew contact on a fastbreak, Troy was called for a technical foul.

Rhodes was three for four from the foul line before the fourth quarter, but knocked down seven of eight in the fourth alone.

Murphy added four points in the paint, but the rest of the Raiders 14 fourth quarter points came on free throws.

During the third quarter, with just a four point lead coming out of halftime, coach Murphy let Kevin Marlow and Jason McClung start the quarter, instead of Ashaad Womack and Josh Rodriguez.

Rodriguez struggled with foul trouble the entire game, and Murphy preferred Marlow’s defensive effort.Sonora basketball vs Troy January 16, 2015

“Marlow played really big, those are the only two guys, we just can’t guard,” Murphy said about Marlow and Rhodes, “that’s all we’re gonna talk about for the next couple weeks.”

“We have such a deep team, one player goes down, the next one will step up and that’s what happened today,” Rhodes said.

When Murphy put his starters back, it seemed like a different team.

“If you don’t play with effort you don’t have  a chance,” Murphy said.

Womack looked inspired, hedging on screens, providing good help defense and looking for rebounds.

“He played a lot harder in the second half,” Murphy said about Womack.

With the change in intensity, the Raiders were able to get out on the break, creating open shots for their guards.

In addition to his defense, Marlow knocked down two three-pointers for six of his nine points.Sonora basketball vs Troy January 16, 2015

“It was amazing, if he doesn’t have those threes, we don’t win this game,” Rhodes said. “he’s got a lot of promise in the future, and we’re really lucky to have him,”

Christian Rhodes added two threes as well, and Steven Murphy continued his activity down low with 19 points in the game.

“Steven Murphy has been playing better every game, he’s getting better and better,” Murphy said.

Matt Mickle scored 14 points but only three came in the second half.

The Raiders and Warriors were separated by 2 points after the first quarter.

Josh Rodriguez scored his only five points in the first quarter.

Ben Rico had nine of his 10 points in the first half.

The Raiders will head to Fullerton on Wednesday January 21 for their next game.

Sonora basketball vs Troy January 16, 2015

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Lady Highlanders find late spark, down Troy to set up city showdown

Posted on 08 May 2014 by La Habra Journal

La Habra's Racquel Manzo drove home the game-tying run with a double in the top of the seventh inning as La Habra went on to defeat Troy 4-2 on the road, Thursday afternoon.

La Habra’s Racquel Manzo drove home the game-tying run with a double in the top of the seventh inning as La Habra went on to defeat Troy 4-2 on the road, Thursday afternoon.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

Going into the final inning of a critical Freeway League game, the La Habra softball team was in danger of suffering the same fate it did in Tuesday’s loss to Sunny Hills.

The Lady Highlanders put up one run in six innings, but stranded seven baserunners as Troy took a 2-1 lead heading into the seventh inning.

But La Habra wasn’t going to be denied and responded with five hits, plating three runs to steal a 4-2 victory from Troy and vault itself back into a four-team tie for first place in the Freeway League.

The Lady Highlanders will host fellow first-place Sonora on Tuesday afternoon.

“At the last minute, we came together as a team and all of a sudden we just burst like a bomb,” said Racquel Manzo, who drove in the game-tying run with a double. “We just showed what we could do on the field as a team, together.”

With one out and pinch-runner Kira Cauley on first base after a single by Anela Lopez, Manzo brought home Cauley with a line drive double to right-center field to tie the game.

Amanda Akles followed with an RBI-double to the exact same location to score Manzo and give the Lady Highlanders the lead. Nikki Butler plated pinch-runner Tatyana Peko to stretch the lead to two runs.

“They hit the ball where we told them,” said Frank McCarroll, La Habra head coach. “All game long, we wanted them to hit the ball either middle or opposite field, it took them three at-bats, but it finally got done…. We needed a spark, we needed something that will get us back on track. Hopefully this is it.”

Relief pitcher Janelle Rodriguez struck out two of the three batters she faced in the bottom half of the seventh inning to preserve the victory.

The big seventh inning made up for the Lady Highlanders’ inability to score runs early on. In each of the first three innings, La Habra stranded two baserunners.

Troy (14-10, 4-4) didn’t fare much better, stranding seven baserunners in the first three innings before both starting pitchers settled down in the fourth inning.

“We left 10 runners on base against Sunny Hills and we had 12 hits against [Troy] the last time we played them, so we’ve been doing this a lot lately,” McCarroll said. “We haven’t put hits together and we haven’t had productive outs. I don’t think we’ve completely gelled as a team yet, I’m hoping we figure it out before playoffs.”

La Habra (16-10, 5-3) struck first in the fifth inning with a run-scoring single by Hope Moreno, which brought Cauley home from third base.

However, Lady Warriors’ starting pitcher Miranda Trinidad helped her own cause with a solo home run to deep center field. After an error allowed another runner to reach base, McCarroll called on Rodriguez to relieve starter Taylor Pierce after five-and-one-thirds innings.

“We’ve had the tandem going and they’re both on a short leash,” McCarroll said. “Taylor did a decent job, but she started leaving the ball up and when she does that, she’s hittable, whereas Janelle does a good job keeping the ball down. She kept us in the game and gave us a chance.”

A crucial two-out RBI infield single by Troy’s Cori Okada put the Lady Warriors up 2-1.

However, La Habra’s big bats at the top of the order were too much for Trinidad and the Lady Warriors as the Lady Highlanders evened up the season series at 1-1.

“We got our runners in late, thankfully,” Manzo said. “We just played like a team and we feel like we’re progressing with every game. I’m really happy about that.”

The Lady Highlanders will host city rival Sonora with a shot at a possible Freeway League title on the line. Both teams are tied atop the standings with Sunny Hills and Fullerton after the Lady Lancers defeated Fullerton to create the jam, Tuesday afternoon.

In addition, La Habra still has another motivating factor.

“We just want to go in and give it everything we’ve got,” Manzo said. “We’re going to play it for Steve [Aanderud].”

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Highlanders swept by Troy as offensive woes continue

Posted on 05 May 2014 by La Habra Journal

La Habra's Chris Nuanes pitched three shutout innings before Troy scored three runs on him in the fourth inning, leading to a 3-1 loss on the road, Monday afternoon.

La Habra’s Chris Nuanes pitched three shutout innings before Troy scored three runs on him in the fourth inning, leading to a 3-1 loss on the road, Monday afternoon.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

From an offensive standpoint, the La Habra baseball team has nearly executed its gameplan to completion over the past week with the exception of one aspect: scoring runs.

In a make-up game due to poor air quality last Wednesday, the Highlanders took advantage of an erratic performance by Troy starting pitcher Evan Frobisher in order to get on base and used sacrifice bunts to move runners into scoring position.

However, La Habra couldn’t come up with key base hits to bring runs home, stranding 10 runners in a 3-1 loss to Troy, Monday afternoon at Troy High.

“We did a very good job at getting them on and getting them over, we just failed at getting them in,” said John Sothern, La Habra head coach. “Sometimes you have a guy that squares a ball up and just hits it to somebody, I can live with that. We had guys in full counts reaching for balls out of the zone and putting it in play with a pop up or weak ground ball when it could have been ball four.”

La Habra’s lone run in the first inning was the product of a sacrifice fly ball off the bat of Michael Borg with the bases loaded, scoring Andrew Gallegos from third base.

The Highlanders (11-12, 5-6) loaded the bases with one out in the second inning and again with no outs in the fourth inning. On both occasions, La Habra came up empty-handed.

“The last two games were must-win games for us, so getting the execution was huge,” Sothern said. “We did a great job of making [Frobisher] labor, we did a lot to force him to rush to the plate and get him out of his rhythm, but if we don’t jump on a guy who is in that situation, we give them the momentum.”

For three innings, starting pitcher Chris Nuanes controlled Troy’s bats, limiting the Warriors to just two hits.

However, in the fourth inning, after La Habra’s failed attempt with the bases loaded, Troy (10-11, 7-4) rode the momentum to the tune of three runs on five singles.

Singles by Jonathan Banuelos and Michael Lozano, along with a walk to Kris Amparo, loaded the bases for the Warriors with no outs.

Pinch-hitter Brett Boller and catcher Ryan Park collected RBI-singles, while another came home when Matthieu Bouchard grounded into a double play.

“In the top half of the inning, [La Habra] kept getting guys on base and it’s a momentum changer when you have situations like that and you can’t score,” said Dave Shirota, Troy head coach. “In the dugout, we felt like we were going to score a couple runs and pull this one out. It was another good game, both teams played defense and pitched well, we just got some timely hits and that was the difference.”

La Habra stranded four base runners in two innings against Troy reliever Kevin Deming, including two runners at third base.

Lozano pitched a perfect seventh inning to secure the season sweep for the Warriors. Frobisher earned the win, pitching four innings and allowing one run on four hits while striking out two batters and walking three.

The win also puts Troy two games ahead of La Habra and Fullerton for second place and keeps the Warriors alive for a share of the league title with Sonora.

“We know Fullerton is looming and we know they’re a good team, like La Habra,” Shirota said. “Every team poses a problem for us and I believe we pose a problem for everyone. It’s great to see our guys pulling out close games. We’re a young team and La Habra’s a young team, so we look at this and think there will be plenty of close games in the next couple years. We didn’t think we’d sweep this year, so our guys are excited.”

The Highlanders were aided by two sharp relief innings by Carlos Lomeli, who allowed just two base runners, one of which was picked off in a double play.

Kyle Schuh led the way offensively with two of the Highlanders’ three bunt singles on the afternoon. Jake Tourville reached third base twice after a walk and a hit-by-pitch.

Nuanes took the loss, pitching three-and-two-thirds innings and giving up three runs on seven hits while striking out four batters.

The Highlanders, in the midst of a three-game week, will now set their sights on Sonora, starting with a home game, Wednesday afternoon.

“In terms of us playing, I felt we played fairly well from a defensive perspective,” Sothern said. “From an offensive perspective, I don’t care how many hits we get, because it doesn’t always equate to runs. We need to be able to score and we’ve hit a rough patch with that. Ultimately, it comes down to our guys doing whatever it takes and if they don’t, this is the result we’ll see the vast majority of the time.”

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La Habra can’t overcome early trouble, falls to Troy

Posted on 05 May 2014 by La Habra Journal

La Habra's Robert Leffler (shown against Los Altos) escaped early trouble and threw a complete game, but the Highlanders were shutout by Troy's Brett Boller in a 3-0 loss, Friday afternoon at home.

La Habra’s Robert Leffler (shown against Los Altos) escaped early trouble and threw a complete game, but the Highlanders were shutout by Troy’s Brett Boller in a 3-0 loss, Friday afternoon at home.

by Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

La Habra baseball’s starting pitcher Robert Leffler pitched a complete game, but was outdueled by Troy pitcher Brett Boller in a 3-0 loss to the Warriors, Friday afternoon at La Habra High.

What separated the two starting pitchers was a strong start. Leffler fell into an early jam, which led to two runs in the first inning.

From there, Troy’s Boller kept the La Habra offense at bay, scattering five base hits in a complete game shutout.

A single, walk and a catcher’s interference had the Warriors in business early. They pushed across two runs before Leffler settled in.

“I thought he settled down after the first three hitters and did a good job putting the ball in play,” said John Sothern, La Habra head coach.

Leffler appeared to be a completely different pitcher from then on with a one-two-three second inning and finished his day with six innings of one run baseball.

“He was competitive, 80 pitches in seven innings, for the most part he pitched like our No. 1 pitcher today,” Sothern said.

With the loss, the Highlanders fall to 5-5 in league play and 0-2 against Troy.

The Highlanders will visit Troy on Monday in a make-up game after Wednesday’s game was cancelled due to poor air quality.

The Highlanders struggled to string together hits off of Boller who utilized a curveball and good location of his pitches.

“It’s a matter of not making adjustments,” Sothern said. “Their pitcher’s not throwing hard, and instead of us just letting the ball travel and using the entire field, we’re seeing these pitches that are hittable, or maybe just out of the zone, and trying to do too much with it. When you try and do that, you’re not going to get the results you want.”

The Highlanders did begin to find success in the fifth inning. Kyle Schuh laid down a bunt-single with one out in the inning.

Chris Nuanes followed Schuh with a double to the gap on a liner over the second baseman’s head.

The Warriors huddled at the mound before setting down the next two batters on a lineout and a flyout to escape without any further damage.

With two outs in the sixth inning, Brad Hoffrichter reached third base on a fly ball, which the Troy right fielder lost in the sunlight.

Jake Tourville came in to pinch hit but lined out to end the inning.

Again with one out, Schuh came up in the seventh inning and singled up the middle. Schuh showed great plate discipline reaching first base with two strikes.

“He’s had good at bats, he’s done good things he just doesn’t have the average to show for it but it was nice to see him today,” Sothern said. “He lays down that bunt, beats it out, then he ends up with the two strike single up the middle, something we preach all the time, so I was very happy to see that from him today.”

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Sonora battles back, earns season sweep of Troy with late charge

Posted on 01 May 2014 by La Habra Journal

Sonora's Chelsea Purcell provided quick defense and a big bat, going 2-for-4 with a three-run home run in the seventh inning as the Lady Raiders defeated Troy 9-4 on the road, Thursday.

Sonora’s Chelsea Purcell provided quick defense and a big bat, going 2-for-4 with a three-run home run in the seventh inning as the Lady Raiders defeated Troy 9-4 on the road, Thursday.

by Nathan Percy
La Habra Journal

After allowing a four-run second inning, the Sonora girls softball team wasn’t deterred, taking back the lead in the sixth inning and running away in the seventh for a decisive 9-4 victory over Troy, Thursday afternoon on the road.

With the win, coupled with Fullerton’s defeat of La Habra, the Lady Raiders now find themselves in a three-way tie for the Freeway League lead after a big week. Sonora defeated Sunny Hills on the road, 5-1 on Tuesday afternoon.

On Thursday, it was Chelsea Purcell and Audrey Castro providing the big hits for Sonora.

“Early on in the game, I was really anxious and [Troy pitcher Miranda Trinidad] kept throwing me low and away, so the plan was just to see the ball in all the way,” Purcell said. “My dad says it all the time, see the ball, hit the ball.”

Immediately following Troy’s four-run second inning, Castro brought the Lady Raiders back within one run with a two-run home run to deep right center field.

Despite missing an opportunity with the bases loaded in the fourth inning, Sonora’s bench came in to give the Lady Raiders the lead in the sixth inning.

Ashley Diaz hit a double to right center field, driving in Taylor Clark for the game-tying run. However, Diaz injured her right knee sliding into second base and Mena Aguilar-gaxiola, in a pinch-run situation, scored on a pinch-hit single by Emily Hauke to give Sonora a 5-4 lead.

“We’ve had some injuries, we had a new third baseman in today and it’s a testament to the depth that we have,” said Michelle Rodriguez, Sonora head coach. “We hadn’t started our nine until the start of league, so they’ve had experience. I think it’s the hardest thing to do to come off the bench and hit on a moment’s notice, but they came through.”

Purcell gave the Lady Raiders (12-9, 4-2) enough insurance in the top of the seventh inning with a three-run home run to left field. Madison Gimpl scored on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Christina Garcia before Casanas and the defense closed the door for the win.

After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, Troy (13-9, 3-3) responded with four runs in the second inning. Two runs scored on a sacrifice fly by Brianna Sanchez when a throw to third base went into the Lady Warriors’ dugout.

Two batters later, Ryann Ferguson hit a two-run home run to right-center field on the first pitch she saw from Casanas for a 4-1 lead.

“I felt like if we stayed aggressive [at the plate], which we were early on, we could get some positive things happening,” said Marlon Buttram, Troy head coach. “For whatever reason, we quit being aggressive and there’s not much you can do at that point except live with the results.”

However, after the inning, Rodriguez had a message for her team.

“We know we have to take it from teams, they’re not going to just give it to us,” Rodriguez said. “So after that inning, I told the girls ‘What part of showing up did you not understand?’ They took that one run and slapped us in the face with it, this was a battle and we fought.”

Casanas and the defense responded, allowing just three hits past the second inning. In the fourth inning, with runners on second and third base, Purcell threw home on a ground ball and Gimpl applied the tag to keep the score at 4-3.

Leandra Jew ended the threat by making a running catch in center field as Troy stranded a runner at third base.

Purcell also made a barehanded play to retire Hailey Danko to lead off the third inning, while Jew chased down five fly balls in center field.

“We really wanted to calm the defense and make the outs,” Purcell said of the team’s mindset after the second inning. “I think once we got off track, but we leveled our heads together and really came together as a team. Once we do that, we communicate really well and it’s a huge help.”

Troy will play Buena Park next Tuesday. Buttram believes that if the Lady Warriors defeat Buena Park, the team needs to win at least two of its final three to make it into the playoffs.

The road for Sonora doesn’t get any easier in the near future. The Lady Raiders will face another top team in Fullerton, Tuesday on the road.

“It’s rewarding for the girls to have a week like this,” Rodriguez said. “We’ve always known these girls to have talent, but now they’re showing a lot more composure. This is just a testament to what we did on Tuesday, it shows that we can do it and it shows the caliber of team that we are. This is what we’re going to expect from them, there’s an expectation now, instead of imagining what we could do as we did the last couple years.”

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Guadaramma’s single helps Raiders survive Troy in extras again

Posted on 17 April 2014 by La Habra Journal

Henry Bustamante (pictured against Murrieta Mesa) drove home the go-ahead run against Troy on Tuesday afternoon. The Raiders completed the sweep of Troy with a 1-0 win in eight innings, Thursday at home.

Henry Bustamante (pictured against Murrieta Mesa) drove home the go-ahead run against Troy on Tuesday afternoon. The Raiders completed the sweep of Troy with a 1-0 win in eight innings, Thursday at home.

by Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal

The Sonora baseball team continued its undefeated run through Freeway League play as it improved to 7-0 with a 1-0 victory in eight innings to complete a sweep of Troy, Thursday at home.

It was the Raiders’ second extra-inning victory over the Warriors this week. Sonora defeated Troy on the road 3-1 in eight innings on Tuesday afternoon.

The game was scoreless after seven innings, but the Raiders (12-6-1, 7-0) finally broke through in the bottom of the eighth inning. Gabe Armstrong led off the inning with a single and was replaced by pinch-runner Dillon Meyer.

Henry Bustamante laid a sacrifice bunt down the third-base line to move Meyer over to second base with one out. Maricio Guadaramma then came up and lined a shot into the right-center field gap that scored Meyer easily and gave the Raiders the walk-off win.

“My approach was just to hit something kind of hard to the right side,” Guadaramma said. “I just wanted to make sure that, if nothing else, I got Dillon over to third [base].”

Armstrong had two hits on the day, but his mark on the game was much more than just that. He also started the game and went the distance, giving up three singles and striking out seven batters.

“My arm felt good today,” Armstrong said. “I knew I had a lot of movement so I was just trying to hit my spots.”

Armstrong has been the teams’ ace for the preseason and the first part of league play.

“He came in and won the job,” said Sonora head coach Pat Tellers. “He has been great on the mound and at the plate. “

Troy also got a great pitching performance out of Brett Boller. He pitched seven-and-one-thirds innings for the Warriors and only gave up one run on five hits and struck out two batters.

“He came out and dominated us early,” Tellers said. “He did a great job mixing up his pitches and keeping us off balance.”

The Warriors (6-11, 3-4) threatened in the fourth inning but could not get the run home. With a runner on second base and one out, Tim Kim lined a base hit into center field but center fielder Justin Mellano came up throwing and threw Turner Acosta out at home.

The Raiders will look to improve to 8-0 when they travel to Fullerton next Wednesday.

“Our bats need to get going,” Tellers said. “If we do not, we will find ourselves in trouble in some tough games down the stretch.”

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Lady Raiders start league with key victory over Troy

Posted on 15 April 2014 by La Habra Journal

Sonora's Audrey Castro drives in the go-ahead run with this swing for a single in the sixth inning of Sonora's 4-1 league-opening win over Troy, Tuesday afternoon at home.

Sonora’s Audrey Castro drives in the go-ahead run with this swing for a single in the sixth inning of Sonora’s 4-1 league-opening win over Troy, Tuesday afternoon at home. Photos by Jay Seidel, La Habra Journal

by Daniel Hargis
La Habra Journal

In what was a fast-paced game, the Sonora High School softball team used tight defense and efficient offense to pick up a 4-1 victory against the visiting Troy Warriors in their Freeway League opener, Tuesday at Sonora.

Tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Lady Raiders (9-7, 1-0) offense came alive to score three runs to defeat the Lady Warriors, the same team that kept them from the CIF playoffs a year ago.

“This is a win we needed to have, especially with the two losses last week (to Savanna and La Serna),” Sonora head coach Michelle Rodriguez said. “Especially with a team like Troy. Troy is a team that always plays hard, and with their speed and pitching it forced us to show up today. We had offense when we needed it, I’m proud of the way we played.”

Senior third baseman Katie Amaral led off the sixth with a base hit before immediately stealing second, creating the looks for a productive inning.

Sonora outfielder Taylor Clark throws a ball back to the infield during the Lady Raiders 3-1 league win over Troy, Tuesday afternoon at home.

Sonora outfielder Taylor Clark throws a ball back to the infield during the Lady Raiders 3-1 league win over Troy, Tuesday afternoon at home.

Two batters later, senior first baseman Audrey Castro singled and advanced to second base on the attempted put out at home plate, but Lady Warriors catcher Kristen Randall could not hang on as Amaral scored the game-winning run.

A pop out began to wind the inning down with two outs, but freshman designated hitter Ashley Diaz doubled home Castro to take a 3-1 lead.

Another high pop up to right field was dropped and Diaz, hustling from second base on the two-out fly ball, safely scored for the final run of the afternoon.

“We weren’t worried at all, our offense needed to step up because Sam (Sonora’s pitcher) was doing her job, we knew we’d come back,” Castro said.

Both teams hardly gave up an inch to one another behind strong pitching and fundamental defense from start to finish.

Troy (10-7, 0-1) was held without a base runner once while Sonora endured the same offensive struggles three times.

In the innings in which runs were scored, they came with the help of a fielding error by the defense, or in the case of Sonora’s big sixth inning, the leadoff batter reaching base.

Sonora's Sam Casanas threw a complete game, giving up one run while striking out a pair during the Lady Raiders 3-1 win over Troy, Tuesday afternoon.

Sonora’s Sam Casanas threw a complete game, giving up one run while striking out a pair during the Lady Raiders 3-1 win over Troy, Tuesday afternoon.

Both pitchers forced batters into fly balls and ground balls that were clinically dealt with by the defense, helping Troy get out of a two-out jam in the fourth inning.

Sonora’s defense came away with the most impressive defensive play of the game in the top of the seventh inning. Lady Raiders’ sophomore shortstop Chelsea Purcell caught a line drive and doubled off Lady Warrior Alyssa Polentz at first base to suffocate any chance of a comeback.

“I think everyone wanted to get that first win,” Sonora sophomore pitcher Samantha Casanas said. “I love my defense behind me. It makes my job in the circle a lot easier.”

Casanas finished with a complete game and two strikeouts coupled with one walk on four hits and one earned run. Miranda Trinidad started for Troy, finishing with three strikeouts, zero walks and one earned run in four innings. Jessica Rathmell finished the game with two strikeouts, one walk, and one earned run in two innings.

Offensively, Castro had a team-high three hits and one run. Junior outfielder Taylor Clark, Diaz and Castro scored the other three runs.

Castro also drove in a pair of runs and outfielder Brandi Landino collected an RBI.

“We’re going to take this one game a time, it’s a huge win for us following last year not making CIF,” Rodriguez said. “Our goal is to go to CIF, get hot and go on a run.”

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Big inning allowed by Highlanders leads to first league loss

Posted on 05 April 2014 by La Habra Journal

La Habra shortstop Jonathan Hernandez makes a play in the infield during the Highlanders' 10-6 loss to Troy at home, Friday afternoon.

La Habra shortstop Jonathan Hernandez makes a play in the infield during the Highlanders’ 10-6 loss to Troy at home, Friday afternoon.

Story and photos by Erik Markus
La Habra Journal

After the La Habra baseball team captured the lead in the third inning, Troy stormed back with five runs holding on to a decisive 10-6 victory, Friday afternoon at La Habra High.

“We jump out and we get a lead, and we go right back and cough it up,” head coach John Sothern said.

The Highlanders struggled to string together hits, while the Warriors’ bats were active all game. The Warriors found success when they reached base early in the inning, while the Highlanders were only able to find production through plate discipline.

“I didn’t like anything all day long other than the (third) inning when we had good at bats,” Sothern said.

Down 5-2 in the third inning, with just one out, the Highlanders (7-6, 2-1) put their plate discipline in action. Austin Saad got the ball rolling by getting plunked on the leg, Michael Borg followed his lead by drawing a walk and Brad Hoffrichter loaded the bases with another walk.

Jake Tourville pinch-hit for Carlos Lomeli and knocked in the first run in the inning on an error by the third baseman.

With the bases still loaded and still just one out, the wheels had fallen off for starting pitcher Evan Frobisher. Two walks later and still no outs, the Highlanders had tied the score at five. Chris Nuanes hit a sacrifice fly to right to give his team the lead before heading back out to the mound.

Nuanes inherited two base runners when he came in to relieve Andrew Gallegos in the top of the third inning. With runners on first and second, Nuanes picked up back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the jam with only one run for the inning.

After the big inning for the Highlanders though, the Warriors (5-8, 2-1) were determined to regain the lead and take control of the game.

The fourth inning began with a throwing error from Jonathon Hernandez, as he rushed to throw out the speedy leadoff hitter Turner Acosta. Kris Amparo took a pitch square in the back and Tim Kim loaded the bases with a single. Though Nuanes was missing bats the inning prior, the Warriors adjusted to his pitches and broke the game open with 5 singles in six at bats.

“Defense was terrible today, pitching was terrible today, I mean it was just bad,” Sothern said.

With the score now 10-6, the Warriors cruised to the victory behind the arm of Brett Boller who kept the Highlanders’ bats quiet the rest of the afternoon.

La Habra's Austin Saad takes a swing at a pitch from Troy's Evan Frobisher during the Highlanders' 10-6 loss to Troy at home, Friday afternoon.

La Habra’s Austin Saad takes a swing at a pitch from Troy’s Evan Frobisher during the Highlanders’ 10-6 loss to Troy at home, Friday afternoon.

The Highlanders saw two quality innings from Tyler Holub in the fifth and sixth innings, but by then their biggest concerns were offensive.

“The biggest difference between his inning and the other innings was he came out in both innings and got the first batter out, he throws strikes get the first batter out they don’t get anything,” Sothern said.

With the loss, the Highlanders fall to 2-1 in Freeway league play, and will visit Sonora High school next Wednesday.

“The vast majority of the time we are going to do it right, today was one of those days where we didn’t do anything right,” Sothern said. “We obviously have to play a lot better than this. If we are going to play like this we are going to be terrible. If we figure it out, we’ll be fine.”

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Tellers nears career milestone as Sonora opens league with win over Troy

Posted on 20 March 2014 by La Habra Journal

Gabe Armstrong threw five innings of work, but did not factor into the decision as Sonora came from behind to beat Troy, 3-2 at Sonora, Wednesday afternoon.

Gabe Armstrong threw five innings of work, but did not factor into the decision as Sonora came from behind to beat Troy, 3-2 at Sonora, Wednesday afternoon.

by Jeremiah Girard
La Habra Journal

The Sonora baseball team opened up Freeway League play with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over Troy, Wednesday afternoon at Sonora High.

Junior Gabe Armstrong was given the start for the Raiders over JP Sarro, who has been in the starting rotation since last season as a sophomore.

“We went with Gabe because of the way he has pitched in preseason,” Sonora head coach Pat Tellers said. “JP has not quite been where we want him, so we are giving him some more time and plan on having him in the rotation down the stretch.”

Armstrong gave the Raiders five strong innings. He gave up two runs on five hits, two walks and struck out six batters. He did not have his best stuff early and both runs came in the third inning.

“I definitely think that I could have pitched better,” Armstrong said. “I put myself in some bad spots and elevated a few pitches. They got those two runs in the third but I feel that I settled down pretty well.”

Those two runs came on a bases-loaded single by sophomore Jonathan Banuelos. He saw a pitch from Anderson that was elevated in the zone and poked it into right field for two RBI.

The Raiders (4-4, 1-0) answered back with one in the fourth inning when Justin Mellano drove in Andrew Piraino with a single into right-center field.

Armstong was pulled after the fifth inning and replaced by Sarro, who dominated in his two innings pitched. In those innings, he only faced six batters and struck out five of them.

“I just wanted to go out and perform,” Sarro said. “I was a little wild early, but I settled down and I was hitting spots nicely.”

The Raiders won the game with a big sixth inning. They managed to load the bases. Mellano, who went 2-for-3 with two RBI, tied the game with a sacrifice fly,

The bases were loaded again after Henry Bustamante was intentionally walked.

Evan Sonny then earned a bases-loaded walk to drive in the eventual game-winning run.

Troy starting pitcher Evan Frobisher went five-plus innings and gave up three runs, only one earned, on five hits and four walks, while striking out four.

The win puts Tellers one win away from 400 in his 24-year career at Sonora.

The Raiders will try to help their coach reach the milestone Friday, against Fullerton at Sonora. Evan Sonny will take the mound.

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