Capistrano Valley's Anel Gayton slides safely across the plate as Villa Park catcher Shayna Dahlen catches the late throw in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 2 softball playoffs Thursday afternoon.

Roundup: Top of order sparks Capo Valley win


Amanda Gjertsen, Jasmine Sievers, Kennedy Hira and Hayley Hensley did their jobs.

Plain and simple.

Hitting in the first four slots of the order, Capistrano Valley’s clobbering quartet tallied eight hits – six that went for extra bases – and six RBI on Thursday afternoon, leading the Cougars past Villa Park, 7-3, in a CIF-SS Division 2 first-round matchup at Capistrano Valley.

Gjertsen and Hira both doubled twice and plated runs. Sievers finished 3 for 4 with a solo shot and an RBI single in the sixth, while Hensley delivered the knockout blow later in the same frame with her two-run double.

“When you have big moments, your great players need to execute and perform,” Capistrano Valley coach Ashley Evans said. “That’s how you’re able to win big games, and I’m just really proud of how they executed today.”

The Cougars (18-7) advanced to Tuesday’s second round. They will travel to take on Rio Mesa of Oxnard (14-10). Villa Park, the co-champs of the North Hills League, finished with a 16-12 record.

“It got hectic there for a little while, so we needed to make sure we slowed it down and kept it at our pace,” Gjertsen said. “That was our No. 1 focus. We came in here knowing we can’t let it get in our heads if something happened. It’s nice to know when you get in the tough situations, you have someone to pick you up.”

Trailing the Spartans, 2-1, going into the third, Sievers walloped a pitch up in the zone over the left field fence for the tying run. The Cougars broke the tie for good in the fourth, loading the bases with just one out in the inning. Jaqlyn Newhouser’s sacrifice fly brought in the go-ahead run, and the first of Gjertsen’s two doubles brought in another.

Capo Valley’s versatile senior also earned the victory in the circle, relieving Delaney Hull in the fourth inning.

Also in Division 2:

Mission Viejo 10, Moorpark 0: Camryn Ybarra homered twice and Terra McGowan drove in five runs with a double and homer as the Diablos cruised into the second round. Senior Hanna Nilsen also belted a homer and tossed a three-hitter.

La Habra 10, Arroyo Grande 0: Junior Kira Cauley hit a grand slam to cap the Highlanders’ victory.

In Division 1:

Pacifica 8, Long Beach Poly 0: Hannah Martinez, Dejah Mulipola and Irieanna Naea combined to go 7-for-9 at the plate and drove in five runs, while pitcher Hannah Boos tossed a six-hitter.

Santa Margarita 10, St. Lucy’s 0: Sophomore pitcher Paige Vargas struck out seven in a four-hit shutout for the Eagles.

Orange Lutheran 11, Los Altos 1: Alisen Endsley and Lauren Espalin both hit home runs and accounted for seven RBI for the Lancers, who have won 15 in a row.

Los Alamitos 7, Long Beach Wilson 3: Mary Iakopo hit a solo homer and Jenna Kean tripled and drove in a pair of runs for the Griffins.

Cypress 8, El Modena 7: Paige Hallam’s bases-loaded double and Maddy Byrd’s RBI triple highlighted a five-run inning that enabled the Centurions sneak past the Vanguards.

Edison 2, Saugus 1: Senior pitcher Kiana Pancino notched her fourth complete-game victory in 10 days for the visiting Chargers.

In Division 3:

Irvine 5, St. Paul 3: Amanda Morgan got the victory for the Vaqueros (14-13) at Irvine. She went the distance allowing seven hits, four in the seventh inning when St. Paul (18-9) scored two runs.

Sydney Kreimann had a two-run homer in the seventh for St. Paul to cut the lead to two runs.

St. Paul had the potential go-ahead run at the plate, but Morgan retired the final two hitters.
Jordann Utterback had a two-run home run in the first inning and Chloe Dossett blasted a solo home run in the fifth inning to lead Irvine.

Morgan helped herself in the third inning with a two-run single.

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