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Esperanza makes it look easy in Century opener

OCVARSITY.COM

The Century League might be one of the toughest and most competitive leagues for softball in the state, but it certainly didn't look that way as Esperanza pounded out 13 hits in a 9-0 victory over El Modena in the league opener on Tuesday at El Modena High.

Esperanza is ranked No. 2 in the state by CalHiSports.com, El Modena is No. 11, Foothill is No. 13 and Canyon is one of the bubble teams. That's a very impressive lineup of teams and Esperanza made a statement with its huge victory over El Modena.

"Nobody in this league is going to go undefeated," Aztecs coach Ed Tunstall said. "It's going to be a battle every game. We just have to gear up and go after them."

Esperanza improved to 8-0 overall and 1-0 in league, while the Vanguards dropped to 5-3-1 and 0-1.

"The chemistry on this team is the best we've had here," said Aztecs ace A.C. Borden, who pitched a one-hitter with seven strikeouts and one walk. "I think we have the talent, heart and drive to win."

Miranda Islas broke up Borden's no-hit bid with a two-out double in the bottom of the fifth.

"That was our worst league defeat in at least 11 years," El Modena coach Steve Harrington said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to learn something from this. We'll see how the girls respond."

The Esperanza hit parade started in the top of the first. Jasmine Lee beat out a one-out bunt single and moved to second on Stephanie Maciel's sacrifice. That brought up Missouri-bound Kelsea Roth, who fouled a pitch off her left ankle and got hit in the right hand with a pitch.

Roth ended up delivering a bloop single to left-center field to drive in Lee. Roth, the Sunset League MVP last season, got pulled from the game and was taken to the emergency room after the game and her father, Joe, said the hand isn't broken. It's just swollen.

In the top of the second, Vanessa Weaver had an RBI single to make it 2-0. Jennifer Melberg had an RBI triple, Weaver had an RBI double and Lee added an RBI single in the top of the fourth to push the lead to 5-0.

Michigan-bound Haylie Wagner gave up a leadoff single to Andrea Martin in the top of the fifth and that's when Harrington pulled Wagner, who gave up 10 hits, one walk and one hit batter in 4 1/3 innings.

Freshman Maddy Neales relieved Wagner and got out of the fifth unscathed, but the Aztecs roughed her up in the top of the sixth. Maciel drilled a two-out homer over the fence in center field and Megan Arnold uncorked a three-run blast to center field for a 9-0 advantage.

In another Century League game:

Canyon 8, Villa Park 0: Lauren Young went 2 for 4 with a run, two doubles and three RBIs for the visiting Comanches (7-2, 1-0).

In the Empire League:

Valencia 4, Yorba Linda 3: Taylor Schmidt hit a walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh as the Tigers (9-3, 2-0) rallied to beat the visiting Mustangs (6-4, 0-2).

In the South Coast League:

Aliso Niguel 5, San Juan Hills 3: Tiffany Mikkelson went 3 for 3 with three RBIs and she hit a two-run homer in the sixth that gave the host Wolverines (6-6, 1-0) the lead.

In the Sea View League:

Laguna Hills 3, Tesoro 0: Sydney Lahners pitched a two-hitter and added a triple and Kylee Lahners and Megan Graciano ad two hits apiece to lead the Hawks (12-3-1, 1-0) over the visiting Titans (3-6, 0-1).

In nonleague games:

Edison 3, Camarillo 1: Allyson Hecht allowed two hits and struck out 11 and Jessica Plaza drove in three runs as the Chargers (6-1) knocked off the host Scorpions (8-4).

Pacifica 3, Elmwood Park (Ill.) 0: Kaylee Carlson tossed a two-hitter with no walks and seven strikeouts to record the shutout for the Mariners (8-2).

Mater Dei 9, Beckman 7: Arizona State-bound Amber Freeman belted a grand slam in the top of the third and the Monarchs (8-4) held on for the victory.

Orange Lutheran 7, Dana Hills 2: The Lancers (9-2) had four players with multi-hit games and Jade Vecvanags hit a solo homer in a victory over the host Dolphins (7-8).

La Quinta 13, JSerra 9: Lauren Le went 3 for 4 with two triples and four RBIs and Adrianna Cardoza went 4 for 4 with three runs, three RBIs and a home run to lift the visiting Aztecs (9-1).


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