Copeland gives Esperanza control of league race
Esperanza sophomore Hayley Copeland had one of those special pitching performances going against Century League-rival Canyon on Thursday at Esperanza High.
The kind one does not dare speak of during a game for fear of jinxing it.
"My teammates jinxed it," Copeland joked. "They kept saying, 'Oh, you're throwing a perfect game.' Thanks for telling me. You jinxed me."
Copeland settled for a one-hitter with nine strikeouts to help the Aztecs avenge their lone league loss with a 6-1 victory over the Comanches to take sole possession of first place in league.
"It was tough," Copeland said. "It was good to throw against their tough hitters because their whole team is tough. That's what I really need to throw against, and I love tough competition. It's just fun."
Copeland, who had incredible movement on her pitches, had a perfect game going until she hit back-to-back batters with one out in the top of the sixth. She lost the no-hitter moments later when Brianna Betschel blooped a single over the second baseman to drive in Canyon's lone run.
Canyon committed three errors in the bottom of the first and the Aztecs made the Comanches pay by putting three runs on the scoreboard.
Loyola Marymount-bound Stephanie Maciel walked with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth and San Jose State-bound Colette Riggs added a two-run single to make it 6-0.
No. 3 Esperanza (21-6, 10-1) clinched at least a share of the league title with its eighth consecutive victory. The Aztecs close out the regular season at No. 8 El Modena on Thursday. No. 7 Canyon (15-8, 8-2) plays host to El Modena on Tuesday.
"I think coming off this game we won't have a problem," Copeland said of facing the Vanguards. "We did really well against them last time and if we can keep playing like we've been playing we'll be league champions."
In the Empire League:
No. 1 Pacifica 7, Western 2: Oklahoma State-bound Erika Campbell went 2 for 3 with a double and an RBI, Illinois-bound Ruby Rivera hit a two-run homer and Kaylee Carlson allowed two hits and struck out nine to help the host Mariners (25-1, 10-0) clinch their fourth consecutive league championship.
Yorba Linda 10, Valencia 0: Amanda Dirks went 2 for 3 with a double and a home run as the visiting Mustangs (14-7, 7-3) defeated the Tigers (5-15, 0-8).
In the Freeway League:
La Habra 10, Sonora 1: Cami Jacob went 4 for 5 with a double, Alessandra Flores homered and Michigan State-bound Shanin Thomas went 2 for 4 with a double as the Highlanders (18-8, 7-1) beat the visiting Raiders (5-17, 1-7).
Fullerton 7, Buena Park 2: Amanda Flores hit a solo homer to power the Indians (12-14, 5-3) past the visiting Coyotes (3-18, 0-8).
Sunny Hills 5, Troy 2: Madison Cruse went 3 for 4 with a run and two RBIs and Holly Harkins went 3 for 4 with a run and an RBI as the visiting Lancers (12-9, 6-2) beat the Warriors (14-11, 5-3) to remain a game behind first-place La Habra. Troy is tied with Fullerton for third place.
In the Sea View League:
Capistrano Valley 11, Aliso Niguel 2: Courtney Slye went 2 for 3 with a homer, Michelle Aaronson went 2 for 4 with a homer and three RBIs and South Alabama-bound Chloe Rathburn went 2 for 3 with two runs and an RBI as the visiting Cougars (12-15, 3-4) upset the Wolverines (19-7, 4-2).
Dana Hills 2, San Clemente 1: The Dolphins (8-16, 5-3) scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to knock off the visiting Tritons (13-14, 5-2). Shannon McCasland went 4 for 4 with a run and an RBI for San Clemente.
In the Pacific Coast league:
Beckman 7, University 0: Emma Willenborg went 3 for 4, Lindsay Carpenter went 3 for 4 with two doubles, Alyssa Hudler went 2 for 4 with two runs and an RBI and Kira Griswold pitched a two-hitter for the visiting Patriots (12-8, 5-2).
Woodbridge 12, Crona del Mar 0: Nebraska-bound Danica Bishop went 2 for 3 with a double, a home run and four RBIs and Aryn Guzman pitched a three-hitter with 10 strikeouts for the visiting Warriors (15-11, 7-1).
In the Garden Grove League:
Santiago 11, Los Amigos 1: Jennifer Acosta went 4 for 4 with a double and a home run and Sierra Espinoza went 3 for 4 with a homer to lift the Cavaliers (3-12, 2-6) over the visiting Lobos (6-15, 2-6).
La Quinta 12, Bolsa Grande 0: Krissy Brewer went 2 for 2 with a triple and four RBIs and she pitched a one-hitter to lead the visiting Aztecs (10-10, 5-3) clinched a playoff berth for the sixth straight year.