Duvall makes big difference for Los Alamitos
It was the kind of game that ate away at Katya Duvall a season ago.
Sidelined with an ACL injury her entire junior campaign, the Los Alamitos right-hander was forced to watch the Griffins’ Sunset League battles from the dugout, handing out high-fives rather than dealing strikeouts.
On Thursday afternoon against the defending league champs, the senior ace showed just how much of a difference she makes when in top form.
Duvall pitched a shutout against Huntington Beach and the fourth-ranked Griffins jumped atop the Sunset League standings with a 3-0 win over the No. 8 Oilers at Los Alamitos High.
“It feels amazing,” Duvall said. “Words can’t describe how happy I am to get a second chance to do what I love.”
Los Alamitos (16-6, 2-0) grabbed the lead in the first inning when Jenna Kean reached base on an infield single. Cami Sellers moved Kean over to third on a deep single to right-center field, putting runners on the corners with one out.
Caitlin Ladd’s sacrifice fly to the center field warning track brought in the first run, which was all Duvall proved to need. An additional pair of Los Alamitos runs came across in the fourth, giving Duvall a 3-0 cushion.
The future Ohio State hurler struck out six and scattered seven hits over seven innings.
After having a runner on second base in the first inning, the Oilers (12-6, 1-1) never had anyone in scoring position again until the sixth when they had runners on second and third with two down. Duvall worked herself out of the jam, forcing Ivy Davis to foul out down the third base line.
“We knew what we had in store today facing Huntington Beach,” Griffins coach Rob Weil said. “That’s a quality team that has some great hitters and great pitchers. But we were prepared.
“(Katya) is a kid that leads by example, and I think she’s on a mission because she got cheated out of last year with the injury. She’s worked real hard to get back to form.”
In a nonleague game:
Yorba Linda 4, Brea Olinda 3: Senior Jordan Townsend hit a pair of solo home runs early and the Mustangs (10-4) scored two additional runs in the sixth inning to sneak past the Wildcats (11-9). Townsend finished 3 for 3, while Meredith Meadows and Ciara Stapp also finished with multiple hits for Yorba Linda.
Hailey Jensen’s two-run homer briefly put Brea up, 3-2, in the fifth.
In the Freeway League:
La Habra 5, Fullerton 2: Highlanders sophomore Janelle Rodriguez tossed four perfect innings of relief, struck out eight and drove in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth inning for La Habra (13-6, 2-0), which shares first place in league with Sunny Hills.
Alisha Esqueda added a two-run home run the sixth for the Highlanders.
In the Sunset League:
Edison 15, Fountain Valley 0: Junior Kiana Pancino tossed a no-hitter and Kayla Neff blasted two home runs for the Chargers (9-10, 1-1).
In the Trinity League:
Santa Margarita 7, Rosary 4: The Eagles (15-5, 2-0) rallied from a 4-1 to deficit to beat the Royals in a critical league game. Caroline Figueroa went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI for Santa Margarita. Alex Heinen, Megan McClure and Devan Sperry also had multiple hits for the Eagles.
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