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KYUSUNG GONG, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Pacifica's Marissa Mendez drives the ball for a two-run double during an Empire League game at Cypress on Tuesday.

Pacifica dominates Cypress in Empire showdown

STAFF WRITER

There are still nine league games left to be played, but if Tuesday afternoon was any indication of what’s to come, Pacifica is likely to capture the Empire League crown for a seventh consecutive season.

The fifth-ranked Mariners jumped out to a five-run lead in the first inning, and sophomore pitcher Hannah Boos silenced the Cypress bats as Pacifica overwhelmed the sixth-ranked Centurions, 12-2, in the league opener for both teams at Cypress High.

“I feel like we kind of made a statement, which was pretty cool,” senior Faith Canfield said. “But it doesn’t stop here. We have to keep it going.”

Entering Tuesday’s contest, Pacifica (11-4, 1-0) had compiled a 33-3 record against its league foes dating back to this batch of seniors’ freshman campaign. Two of those losses, however, including one last year, had come at the hands of Cypress (15-5, 0-1).

The Mariners stormed out of the gate in the first, taking the lead six pitches into the game. Canfield ripped a double down the left-field line to lead things off, and Dejah Mulipola drove her in three pitches later with a single to center.

After Hannah Martinez added a single and Irieanna Naea drew a walk to load the bases, Pacifica received RBI singles from Alison Seng, Jaymee Campbell and a two-run double from Marissa Mendez to grab a 5-0 advantage.

Cypress cut the lead to 5-2 in the second on Ashley Ross’ two-run home run, but it was the only runs Boos would allow. The sophomore right-hander surrendered just three hits in five innings, consistently getting ground ball outs against a talented Centurions lineup.

“It’s really nice when your pitcher goes out and is ready to attack,” added Canfield, who finished 2 for 4 at the plate with three runs.

Mulipola (3 for 4) walloped a two-run homer to left field in the fourth, giving her three RBI on the day.

Pacifica piled on five additional runs in the fifth after a costly pair of Cypress errors. The game ended after five innings because of the Mariners’ 10-run lead.

“We haven’t played anyone easy, so these girls are ready,” Pacifica coach Mark Campbell said. “I’m happy with my team. I know a lot of people are looking to write us off after last year, and that’s great. I’m really happy with where we’re at.”

In the Trinity League:

Santa Margarita 3, No. 9 Mater Dei 1: Paige Vargas allowed only one earned run over seven innings and Alex Heinen went 2 for 3 with a solo shot to lead the Eagles (14-5, 1-0) past the visiting Monarchs. Mater Dei (13-7, 1-1) has lost four in a row.

No. 2 Orange Lutheran 12, JSerra 0: Sophomore ace Maddy Dwyer struck out 13 and the Lancers (19-1, 1-0) totaled 16 hits.

In the Freeway League:

Fullerton 4, Troy 2: Amanda Flores scored a run and drove in another as part of a four-run sixth inning that propelled the Indians (16-4, 1-0) to a come-from-behind victory over the Warriors (13-5, 0-1). Flores also scattered six hits over seven innings in the circle.

In nonleague games:

No. 3 Canyon 10, Foothill 0: Jennifer Rouly was 3 for 3 with three RBI, Jillian Jenkin added a solo home run and Hailey Hilburn put together a tremendous all-around performance for the Comanches (13-5).

Brea Olinda 12, El Modena 6: The Wildcats used a seven-run fifth inning to knock off the Vanguards.

Contact the writer: kconnolly@ocregister.com


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