Capistrano Valley's Anel Gayton smiles as she returns to the dugout after scoring a run against Kennedy in Thursday's second round of the Michelle Carew Classic .

Capo Valley continues run in Carew Classic


ANAHEIM – When teams have success on never-before-seen stages, the conjecture that often follows is, “They don’t know any better.”

Capistrano Valley’s softball team is that team right now, and for the second straight day, the Cougars won via a comeback effort.

Amanda Gjertsen’s two-run triple in the bottom of the sixth propelled the Cougars past Kennedy, 5-4, Thursday night in the second round of the Carew Classic at Peralta Canyon Park.

“This is our first time getting asked to play in this tournament, so we’re all really excited that we got invited,” Gjertsen said. “It was nice to prove that we’re a good team this year. We’re ready to fight for the title.”

Capistrano Valley (10-4) will face Canyon del Oro of Tucson, Ariz., in the quarterfinals Friday at 1 p.m.

Kennedy Hira and McKenna Boyle each went 3 for 3 against Kennedy (5-8). Sarah Thieroff added two hits.

Gjertsen earned the win in relief. She pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits.

The bottom of the Cougars order, comprised of Boyle, Kyla Anderson and Thieroff, went 6 for 9.

“I think that it just shows the depth of our team one through nine,” Cougars coach Ashley Evans said. “They all contributed, and it was really awesome to see. The bottom of our lineup carried us this game.”

The Cougars extended their lead to 2-0 on an RBI single by Boyle in the second.

Kennedy fired back in the third, unleashing a four-run rally that knocked Cougars starter Delaney Hull out of the game. Madelyn Matsubara knocked in the first run with a one-out double. After Rachel Poirier singled to put runners at the corners, Skyler Mao homered to give the Irish a 4-2 lead.

A double by Thieroff made it 4-3 in the fourth. In the fifth, Hira appeared to have delivered the tying single, but Irish center fielder Kayla Fajardo threw out Hayley Hensley at the plate.

“In both games (in the tournament), we scored first and then we got behind,” Evans said. “This team is not afraid to grind it out for a full seven innings.”

Also in the Carew Classic:

No. 1 Los Alamitos 8, Vista Murrieta 4: The Griffins (14-1) scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead and advance to the quarterfinals.

No. 2 Mission Viejo 10, Lakewood 2: Camryn Ybarra, Terra McGowan and Bella Loya each provided run-scoring hits as the Diablos (12-2) set up a showdown with Los Alamitos in the quarterfinals Friday at 3 p.m.

No. 5 Orange Lutheran 10, Mater Dei of Chula Vista 1: The Lancers (15-3) scored all ten of their runs in the first inning. Sarah Taylor, Lauren Espalin and Noelle Hee delivered run-scoring doubles to spark the rally. Maddy Dwyer struck out seven. Orange Lutheran faces Amador Valley of Pleasanton in the quarterfinals Friday at 1 p.m.

California of Whittier 6, No. 8 Rosary 5: Mady Christensen had a two-run homer, and Andrea Hester went 3 for 3 to knock in two more runs for the Royals (13-3-1).

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