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O.C. all-stars win streak snappedy by Inland Empire

STAFF WRITER

CHINO HILLS – Dylinn Stancil felt a bit responsible for the Inland Empire softball all-star team falling into a first-inning hole Wednesday evening.

Stancil, a senior third baseman from Great Oak of Temecula, atoned for the miscue during he fifth when she launched a two-run home run to break a 4-4 tie and help the Inland Empire to a 7-4 victory over Orange County.

Stancil’s home run, combined with some great pitching performances, helped the Inland Empire snap Orange County's four-game win streak. Orange County still holds a 6-5-2 advantage.

“I let that pop up drop in the first inning, and next pitch was a homer,” said Stancil, who is headed to Ole Miss. “The threw me a change-up outside on the first pitch. I figure the next one was going to be inside. That's exactly what happened, and I was able to turn on it pretty well.”

Orange County grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Dejah Mulipola of Pacifica hit a two-run homer to left, and Mission Viejo's Allison Harvey singled home Dana Hills’ Sam Williams with two outs.

The Inland Empire bounced back in the second inning against Mater Dei's Gabby Sandoval. Valley View's Stephanie Soriano hit a triple into the gap to drive in two runs, and she later scored on a ground out by Hannah Howell of Santiago of Corona.

“I was just looking for a good pitch to drive,” Soriano said.

Grand Terrace's Melanie Olmos shook off a rough first inning, and she retired the side in order in the second and third inning. Olmos, Kacie Gresenz (Santiago), Briana Wheeler (Etiwanda) and Autumn Storms (Great Oak) did not allow an earned run following the first inning.

Wheeler retired all six batters she faced. Her teammate from Etiwanda, first baseman Megan Stevens, singled in each of her two appearances.

“It's a good feeling being a part of the team that ended O.C.’s win streak,” Stevens said. ”It’s an interesting game. You’re used to playing against all of these girls, and now they’re your teammates. I think we did a good job coming together and sharing that goal of bringing the pride for the IE.”

Riverside King’s MacKenzie Mitchiner capped the Inland Empire scoring in the sixth, slapping a triple to score Moreno Valley’s Karolina Flores.

Storms took the ball in the eighth and ninth and secured the win.

“It felt good to put this uniform on again, especially with how the last game ended,” said Storms, referring to Great Oak’s 8-0 loss in the Division 1 quarterfinal to eventual champ Mater Dei. “I love this uniform, so at least I can say we were able to win the last time I wore it.”

Contact the writer: ejohnson@pe.com


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