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Sophomore pitchers ease Dana Hills' concerns
Dana Hills coach Brandon Cosenza had no idea what he had in the pitching circle coming into the season other than a pair of sophomores who played for the junior varsity last season.
Scoring runs wasn’t going to be a problem. Neither was playing defense, that is, if the softball stayed in the park.
“We were a little worried at beginning of year because we lost our entire pitching staff,” Cosenza added. “But these two sophomore have exceeded every expectation we had. I honestly think we’re a better team at this point in the season than we were last year.”
In their first full varsity campaign, Serafine Parrish and Carlee Russo have answered the call in the circle for the Dolphins. On Saturday afternoon, the sophomore duo combined to throw a three-hitter against Capistrano Valley in the championship game of the Timberwolf Classic.
With a lineup full of capable bats, Dana Hills capitalized on the stellar pitching performance to ease past the Cougars, 9-1, and capture their second consecutive Timberwolf Classic.
The Dolphins (9-3 overall) knocked off Tesoro, 1-0, in the semifinals before topping Capo Valley in the finale.
Hailey Hoklotubbe, Madison Killebrew, Carlee Russo and Tori Sickmeier each finished with multiple hits in the championship game. Hoklotubbe went 3 for 3 at the plate, scored three runs and stole two bases.
“Nobody could get her out,” Cosenza said of Hoklotubbe, who went 2 for 2 in the semifinals. “She was money at the plate.”
The Dolphins play No. 8 San Clemente in a home-and-home series this week. Dana Hills will host the Tritons today at 3:30 p.m. and the teams play at San Clemente on Thursday at the same time.
Valencia coach John German earned his 300th career victory Saturday when the Tigers defeated Garden Grove, 7-0, in the Savanna Tournament.
German is in his 18th season at Valencia. After a 4-21 record in 2014, the Tigers are off to a 10-6 start this season and finished in second place in the North Orange County Championships earlier this month.
LAST OF THE UNBEATENS
No. 1 Mission Viejo, No. 2 Orange Lutheran, Savanna and Santa Ana are the lone county teams with unbeaten records. As a result, all four squads were ranked atop their division in the latest CIF-SS polls.
The Lancers (14-0) are ranked atop the Division 1 poll. The Diablos (11-0) are No. 1 in Division 2, while the Saints (8-0) and Rebels (10-0) lead the way in Divisions 4 and 6.
Mission Viejo captured its third straight Best of the West tournament over the weekend, topping Pacifica, 2-0. Senior ace Taylor McQuillin tossed a no-hitter in the finale, striking out nine.
Orange Lutheran won both games of a doubleheader against Fountain Valley on Saturday. Junior third baseman Adrianna Millan hit for the cycle in the second game, finishing 5 for 6 with three runs and three RBI in a 17-7 win over the Barons.
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