High school sports

A 26-2 Cav season? That’s not two bad

NORDHOFF players celebrate their 3-2 win over Santiago on Friday in the CIF-SS Division 6 softball final at Deanna Manning in Irvine (Tribune photos by Jim Tortolano).

By Marilyn Lewis Tortolano

It’s tough to accentuate the positive when you’ve just lost the big game by the narrowest of margins, but despite their 3-2 loss to the Nordhoff Rangers in the CIF-SS Division 6 softball finals Thursday afternoon, the Santiago High Cavaliers still have a season to proudly look back on.

CAVALIER COACH Melissa Adams with runner-up plaque.

The Cavs post an overall 26-2 record, earned the Garden Grove League title and won four playoff contests before midnight came at around 5 p.m. at Deanna Manning Stadium in Irvine.

With the score tied 2-2 and one out in the bottom of the seventh, the home Nordhoff team put together the winning rally. Willow Williams singled to center. The next batter, Arianna Alonso grounded out to first but in an attempt to double up Williams at second, a throw and the ball escaped into center field, and the fleet-footed runner was able to race around third and safely to home with the decisive score.

The Ranger bench exploded into joyous screams and hugs, pouring onto the field, and the Cavaliers, well, had the consolation of a runner-up plaque and a fine 2019 campaign.

RENA ROCHA played well as pitcher and batter for the Cavaliers.

Nordhoff built a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Hannah Ignacio singled to right, and Zoe Damianos reached first on a bunt single. Two outs later, Syndie Wimpee doubled to left, bringing in two runs.

But in the third inning, the Cavaliers evened the score with a pair of tallies. Katherine Sua tripled and scored on Rena Rocha’s double. Madison Lorton brought Rocha home with a single.

That was all the scoring until the finishing tally in the bottom of the ninth. Both pitchers did well both with the bat and the arm. Rocha worked a complete game, giving up just two earned runs. She doubled, scored a run and drove one in. Nordhoff’s Wimpee also had a complete game and added a hit.


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