Victory comes at good time for El Modena


El Modena entered its rematch against nemesis Canyon with its back against the wall and its playoff future in serious jeopardy.

The Vanguards (13-10, 4-4) got just what they needed, snapping a five-game losing streak against the Comanches (14-9, 6-2) with a 4-2 Century League victory Tuesday at El Modena High.

"There's no question about it, being 3-4 in league and having a rough start and getting beat up a little bit," El Modena coach Steve Harrington said, "there was no question we needed to come out and play. The kids prepared very hard for that team."

El Modena broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the fifth. Reece Vanderhoff doubled and eventually scored from third on pinch hitter Emma Lee's ground out to second. Victoria Zamora, who was 1 for 3 with a double and two runs, reached on an error and eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-2.

Maddy Neales started in the circle for the Vanguards and turned in a gutsy effort in 4-plus innings. She got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first and she pitched her way out of trouble when the Comanches got two runners on in the second.

She gave up an unearned run in the top of the fourth before making way for reliever Megan McCune after giving up a double to Hailey Hilburn in the top of the fifth. Jezz Portillo drove in courtesy runner Jennifer Rouly to tie it, 2-2.

Canyon had runners on second and third with one out in the top of the seventh after an error and a double by Taylor Swearingen. McCune struck out Portillo. Harrington called for McCune to intentionally walk Amy Eilefson, but McCune left one on the outside part of the plate. Eilefson drove it deep to right, but El Modena's Mikaela Viloria hauled it in at the warning track to preserve the victory.

In the Empire League:

Pacifica 5, Kennedy 3: Nicole DeWitt and Katya Duvall each had RBI doubles and Kaylee Carlson pitched a complete game with 10 strikeouts as the visiting Mariners (19-5, 6-1) avenged their lone league loss with a victory over the Fighting Irish (12-9, 5-3).

Yorba Linda 1, Western 0: Paige von Sprecken pitched a one-hitter with 18 strikeouts and she hit a solo homer in the bottom of the second to lift the Mustangs (18-2, 7-1) over the visiting Pioneers (7-13, 2-6).

In the South Coast League:

El Toro 9, San Clemente 8: Taylor Rabkin doubled and scored on Lauren Hammond's walk-off single in the bottom of the eighth as the Chargers (12-12, 3-1) outslugged the visiting Tritons (5-10, 1-3) in a wild slugfest that featured 27 hits. Hammond went 2 for 4 with a triple and three RBI and Caitlin Harman went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI to lead El Toro.

Dana Hills 6, Tesoro 5: Freshman Sammy Williams drove in two runs with a walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Dolphins (6-12, 2-2) over the visiting Titans (10-7-1, 0-4).

In the Sea View League:

Trabuco Hills 6, Capistrano Valley 4: Cassidy Gustafson went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBI and she pitched a complete game with eight strikeouts and Meghan Mondragon-Araneta went 3 for 4 with two doubles and two RBI as the visiting Mustangs (14-9, 3-1) beat the Cougars (13-10, 3-1) to move into a tie for first place in league.

In the Sunset League:

Marina 7, Fountain Valley 0: Tera Blanco went 2 for 4 with a home run and she pitched a two-hitter with 10 strikeouts and Sydney McCollum went 3 for 4 to lead the visiting Vikings (20-2, 5-0) past the Barons (10-11, 1-4).

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