Canyon's Madison Marshall hits a line drive against Vista Murrieta during a Carew Classic quarterfinal. Canyon won, 5-1, to reach the semis for the first time since 2001.

Canyon takes fundamental approach to win


ANAHEIM – The barrels of their bats found great comfort on their shoulders, and as a result, the “we love free bases” chants from the Canyon dugout served as a constant background tune for Vista Murrieta’s pitchers.

Broncos hurler Yvonne Siordia had her problems finding the strike zone Friday afternoon, and on a number of occasions, she couldn’t quite locate her catcher’s mitt.

Canyon scored three runs on three wild pitches in the second inning, which proved to be plenty of cushion for senior ace Hailey Hilburn in a 5-1 win over Vista Murrieta in the quarterfinals of the Michelle Carew Classic at Peralta Park.

Canyon (11-3) advanced to the tournament’s semifinals for the first time since 2001. The Comanches will play Poway (13-3) at 1 p.m. today with a berth in the 7:30 p.m. final on the line.

“This was one of those games where fundamentals and manufacturing runs was what really won it,” Comanches coach Dan Hay said. “There was nothing pretty about the game. A lot of sacrifice bunts, stealing bases, wild pitches and sacrifice flies. But that’s what you’ve got to do sometimes.

“If you don’t play the game the way it’s supposed to be played, that could’ve been a 1-1 or a 2-1 game.”

After a scoreless first inning, Hilburn led off the top of the second with a stand-up double to deep left field. With Taryn Young and Madison Marshall drawing walks to load the bases, Canyon got on the scoreboard first when Siordia threw her first wild pitch of the inning, scoring pinch runner Cheyenne Cederoth from third.

Four Comanches walked in the second inning, and two more runs came across after two more pitches found the backstop, putting Canyon ahead, 3-0.

Hilburn impressed in the circle for the third consecutive day, scattering four hits and striking out nine over seven innings. She retired the side in order in four innings, and struck out the side in the fifth with runners on first and second base.

“She’s getting stronger every single day,” Hay added of Hilburn, who is still recovering from the flu. “Her energy level is getting better and better every day.”

Senior Brianna Betschel drove in Canyon’s other runs in the fourth and sixth innings. In total, the Comanches drew eight walks and tallied seven hits.

Hilburn went 2 for 3, while Paulina Anasis went 2 for 4.

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