Canyon's Hilburn shows her toughness
ANAHEIM - It seemed unlikely that Hailey Hilburn would trot out to the pitching circle this week at the Michelle Carew Classic.
A bad case of the flu had sent Canyon’s senior ace to the hospital twice in the last week, but it wasn’t enough to keep her from playing in one of the premiere softball showcases on the West Coast.
In a second-round game Thursday, Hilburn took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and the Comanches staved off a late comeback effort from Sheldon of Sacramento, securing a 6-4 win at Peralta Park.
Canyon (11-3) will play Vista Murrieta at 1 p.m. today at Peralta in the quarterfinals.
“She came out and said she was ready (on Wednesday),” Comanches coach Dan Hay said of Hilburn. “She was pale most of the day and still gutted out a win, hit a home run and had a triple (in a win over Kennedy).
“Today, color was back in her face, and she threw very well. You can tell she’s starting to get her strength back.”
The Utah-commit retired 10 consecutive Huskies from the first through fourth innings. The Comanches jumped out to a 6-0 lead during that stretch behind a solo homer from senior Rachel DeHart and Paulina Anasis’ two-run laser shot.
“The first five innings we came out and played very, very good softball,” Hay added. “I felt we almost let it get away from us that last inning.”
After scoring an unearned run in the fifth inning, Sheldon (7-3) tacked on three more in the top half of the sixth, tightening the game to 6-4.
With Canyon up in the bottom of the sixth, the umpire ended the contest as it had exceeded the tournament’s one-hour, 45-minute time limit.
Also in the Carew Classic:
No. 7 Cypress 4, Centennial of Bakersfield 0: The Centurions (13-2) earned a spot in the quarterfinals with a five-hit shutout from senior Ashley Ross at Peralta Park.
Cypress topped Corona, 7-2, in a first-round game earlier in the day.
The Centurions will play No. 1 Mission Viejo today at 3:15 p.m. at Peralta Park.
Ross had a stretch of 12 consecutive shutout innings during the two games.
After going 0-4 in the Carew Classic last season, Cypress is one of eight teams remaining in the championship bracket.
Valencia of Valencia 5, No. 5 Pacifica 4: Nicole Joseph hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat the Mariners (7-4) at Peralta Park.
Mariners catcher Dejah Mulipola hit a pair of home runs, including a solo bomb over the left field fence in the top of the seventh to tie the score, 4-4.
Pacifica had three runners thrown out at the plate.
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