La Habra collects confidence-building win over Yucaipa


FULLERTON - Coaches often say that an early season game against tough competition is a great way to gauge a team’s progress.

If that’s the case, La Habra coach Steve Harrington should be feeling good about his team.

The eighth-ranked Highlanders continued their impressive start to the season with a 5-0 triumph over Yucaipa in the Mark Takkinen Memorial Classic on Friday at Troy High.

Yucaipa was the CIF-SS Division 2 champs last season, defeating Mission Viejo in the championship game.

La Habra (8-1) was led Friday by the strong arm of starting pitcher Janelle Rodriguez, who pitched a two-hitter with six strikeouts.

Frankie Mendoza provided an offensive spark by going 2 for 3 with a triple, a solo home run and two RBI.

Rodriguez retired the first three batters she faced in order.

When the Highlanders were up to bat of the first inning, Jayanna Perez hit a lead-off double to set the tone for a three-run first. Billie Wells’ sacrifice fly scored Perez, and Alyssa Palacios earned a walk.

Mendoza’s triple to right field made it 2-0, and Rodriguez helped her cause by driving in Mendoza with a single.

Those three runs were enough support for Rodriguez, as the Cal State Fullerton commit kept Yucaipa (5-3) in check with her arsenal of pitches and the textbook fielding by her teammates.

Anissa Alatorre began the second inning for La Habra with an infield hit and Yucaipa pitcher Kaitlyn Alvarado hit the next batter. Kira Canley drove in a run to make it 4-0.

Mendoza added her solo home run to straight-away center in the fifth inning.

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