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Hull lifts Capistrano Valley
IRVINE – Capistrano Valley softball coach Marc Kendrick commended his Cougars before Saturday’s Alan Dugard Woodbridge Classic championship game for coming together at precisely the right time.
With South Coast League play set to begin next week, the lift of capturing a title at the competitive tournament, he said, would do wonders for Capistrano Valley’s confidence.
Propelled by a strong outing from starting pitcher Delaney Hull and some timely hitting, Capistrano Valley blanked M.L. King of Riverside, 3-0, to capture the Gold Division final at Bill Barber Park.
Hull tossed a complete game, five-hitter, striking out four and walking one.
The sophomore used an overpowering fastball to keep the Wolves at bay, working out of multiple jams.
She escaped the bottom of the second unscathed after runners reached second and third with no outs. Hull coaxed a pair of pop outs before forcing Alyssa Saldana to ground out. King, which defeated La Serna of Whittier, 4-1, in eight innings in an earlier semifinal, left runners in scoring position in both the third and the fourth.
“Delaney did an amazing job,” Kendrick said. “She earned the MVP of the tournament ... This is a great win for our program and a great steppingstone.”
The Cougars, who have won their past eight games, had plenty of scoring chances at the plate.
After Amanda Gjertsen left a runner stranded in scoring position in the first, the Loyola Marymount-bound junior helped Capistrano Valley break through in the top of the third.
With two outs, the Cougars’ Jasmine Sievers reached on an error by King’s catcher, putting runners at the corners. Ally Dickman then drew an intentional walk to load the bases, and Gjertsen laced a 1-1 fastball past the Wolves third baseman into left field. The timely hit pushed the Cougars’ lead to 2-0.
The Cougars also benefited from King’s shaky defense. The Wolves committed three errors in the game.
In the Alan Dugard Woodbridge Classic semifinals:
Capistrano Valley 6, El Modena 3: The Cougars battled back from an early 2-0 deficit and scattered 11 hits to oust the Vanguards (11-5).
Lauren Diuco smacked an RBI single in the top of the third, and Capo Valley added three more runs in the fourth, powered by a pair of run-scoring singles from Hayley Hensley and McKenna Boyle, to grab the lead for good.
El Modena’s Molly Sturdivant, a San Diego State-bound senior, had an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth to trim the Cougars advantage to 4-3, but Capistrano Valley tacked on two runs in the seventh to secure the victory.