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Freshman Bloom helps Edison pass important test

STAFF WRITER

Academics always come first, and with AP exams taking place at Edison High on Tuesday afternoon, the Chargers softball team was facing a must-win situation with two of its top players – Kiana Pancino and Riley Wester – hitting the books.

Thrust into the pitching circle, freshman Jenna Bloom had quite the test of her own against red-hot Marina.

By acing the challenge, Bloom kept alive the Chargers’ playoff chances.

Bloom tossed a six-hitter and shut out the Vikings from the second inning on in Edison’s crucial 4-2 Sunset League win at Marina High.

With the victory, the Chargers (13-11, 3-4) moved within a game of the Vikings (10-14, 4-3) for the third-place slot in the standings. With just three league games remaining and only three guaranteed playoff spots up for grabs, the win was a huge boost for Edison’s postseason hopes.

“The girls knew they just have to take it one game at a time,” Chargers coach Kim Ensey said. “Jenna was huge. She has the maturity of an upperclassmen, and she showed that today in the circle.

“She hates to lose. She shows a competitiveness all the time, and that’s what’s going to keep her successful the rest of this year and into her future.”

Bloom’s teammates helped by grabbing a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Junior left fielder Danielle Votendahl belted a two-run homer, and first baseman Allie Greenburg drove in another run with a sacrifice fly to right field.

The Vikings responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning as Shyla Thomas and Kayla-Nylene Pemasa each contributed an RBI single.

From the second inning on, though, Bloom scattered only three hits and retired eight batters in a row at one point.

Votendahl finished 2 for 4 and scored Edison’s fourth run in the fifth inning, and teammate Hannah Horton went 3 for 4 with a double and a pair of singles.

Also in the Sunset League:

No. 3 Los Alamitos 6, Fountain Valley 3: In her first start back since bruising her forearm in late March, junior pitcher Ryan Denhart struck out nine to lead the Griffins (20-2, 6-1) past the Barons (13-12, 3-4).

In the South Coast League:

Aliso Niguel 4, No. 2 Mission Viejo 3: The Wolverines (16-8, 2-4) jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, and handed the Diablos (19-4, 5-1) their first league loss since April 19, 2012. The loss snapped Mission Viejo’s 34-game league win streak.

In the Trinity League:

No. 10 Santa Margarita 6, No. 5 Mater Dei 5: Makenna Lutterloh homered, doubled and scored two runs as the Eagles (16-8, 4-2) pulled into a second-place tie with the Monarchs (21-5, 4-2). Sophomore pitcher Paige Vargas struck out seven and earned the victory, and Miranda Johnson had two hits.

In the Empire League:

No. 7 Pacifica 6, Kennedy 1: Hannah Martinez, Hannah Haro and Shelby Shultes each finished with multiple base hits for the Mariners (16-4, 7-0).

In nonleague play:

Yorba Linda 5, Foothill 0: Senior pitcher Ciara Stapp tossed a six-hit shutout, and the Mustangs used a five-run sixth inning to top the host Knights. Allison Castro drove in a pair of runs with a single in the fifth, and Sierra Bauerle’s had a two-run triple.

Contact the writer: kconnolly@ocregister.com


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