Carlie Chaulsett-Utley was starting pitcher for Irvine in her game against Woodbridge on Thursday.

Irvine storms back to beat Woodbridge


He was able to laugh about it after the game, but when his team trailed by four runs early, there was no sense of amusement on the face of Irvine softball coach Tim Jacobs or anyone in his dugout.

“I was nervous,” he acknowledged after the game. “Our girls like to give me a little bit of gray hair. They always make it interesting, let’s put it that way.”

The Vaqueros dug themselves out of their hole rather quickly, scoring seven runs over the third, fourth and fifth innings to grab a 7-4 victory over Woodbridge in a Pacific Coast League game Thursday afternoon at Irvine High.

“It was important that we came back after the effort (a 3-0 loss) we had on Tuesday against Beckman,” Jacobs added. “I think they rebounded real well today.”

With four teams tied atop the league standings headed into Thursday’s contest, the Vaqueros (10-8, 3-1) kept pace with Northwood and Beckman with six league games still to be played.

The Warriors (8-13, 2-2) jumped out to a 4-0 lead, getting a pair of RBI singles from Hannah Sasaki and Sabrina Dallas in the second inning before Claire Boyer’s solo home run in the third.

Irvine responded with five runs in the bottom half of the inning. With the bases loaded, junior shortstop Jordann Utterback drove in a pair of runs with a single to left field. Carlie Chaulsett-Utley and Chloe Dossett followed with a pair of RBI base hits, and Sarah Miles’ grounder to short drove in the go-ahead run.

Woodbridge left nine runners on base over the course of the game, eight of which were in scoring position.

After allowing four runs early on, Chaulsett-Utley blanked the Warriors over the final four innings.

“She feeds off of the team,” Jacobs said of his senior pitcher. “As soon as we scored those runs, you can just tell the way she was pitching totally changed. She fed off of it and got better as the game went on.”

In the Crestview League:

El Modena 3, No. 2 Canyon 2: Sophomore Mackenzie Hoots’ two-run single in the fourth inning drove in the tying and go-ahead runs, and pitchers Marina Marzolino and Nicole Yniguez preserved the lead for the Vanguards in their upset win over the Comanches. Marzolino and Yniguez allowed just seven hits.

Yorba Linda 11, Esperanza 2: Freshman Meredith Meadows homered three times and drove in six runs, powering the Mustangs past the host Aztecs. Meadows hit two solo shots and also belted a grand slam in the fourth inning.

In the Freeway League:

Sunny Hills 2, Fullerton 1: Senior shortstop Shay Knighten knocked in the winning run in the bottom half of the seventh inning, singling with the bases loaded to keep the Lancers (13-8, 4-0) atop the league standings.

In the Orange League:

Savanna 14, Century 0: Rebels coach Mike Willey earned his 300th career victory as Shyanne Fennell and Jezabelle Quintana combined to throw a no-hitter.

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