Kane's two HRs propel San Clemente past Warren
SAN CLEMENTE - Lauren Kane picked a good time to break out of her mini-slump.
The senior had been 1-for-9 over her last three games, but slugged a pair of home runs to lead San Clemente’s softball team to a 10-3 win over visiting Warren of Downey in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 3 softball playoffs Tuesday at San Clemente High.
Kane said extra practice with her hitting coach on Monday night helped her figure out her timing. In all, she drove home six runs and pitched the final two innings, striking out four of the six batters she faced.
“We worked on it last night at my hitting lesson,” Kane said. “I do a timing slap and it really helps me calm down and focus on the ball instead of trying to hit a home run.”
The Tritons (21-5) will travel to Bishop Amat of La Puente for their quarterfinal matchup Thursday at 3:15 p.m.
San Clemente’s first three batters reached on a pair of walks and a single before Kane drove them all home with a towering home run to left. Two innings later, her two-run shot to right-center field extended the Tritons’ lead to 6-0.
That was all the scoring pitcher Jordyne Prussak needed to get through five-plus innings of work. Prussak allowed three solo home runs, but Warren never reduced the deficit lower than five runs.
San Clemente responded to the first home run with a bases-loaded double by Skylar Stevens. Prussak followed with an RBI single to make it 9-1.
Back-to-back home runs by Nadia Amezcua and Whitney Pemberton reduced the lead to 9-3, but Warren (23-5) could pull no closer.
Freshman Mikaela Mak and senior Kelsey Horton scored three runs each for the Tritons. Horton went 4 for 4 with three singles and a double.
“This team is definitely capable of doing it and when we’re firing, we’re tough to beat,” Tritons coach Bill Malcolm said. “If they play like they do today, we could be playing a week from Saturday, but the other teams are all good teams too.”
Bishop Amat upset Burbank, the No. 3 seed, 4-3, on Tuesday to set up the quarterfinal matchup.