By John Honell, Correspondent
COVINA – It took only three pitches for the no-hit streak of Bonita High School softball pitcher Chloe Wurst to come to an end Monday. Wurst had pitched back-to-back no-hitters, including a perfect game against Diamond Ranch, but Charter Oak freshman Nicki Sprague punched a single over third base leading off the first inning. The Bearcats (11-1-1, 3-0), however, broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the seventh inning and knocked off the Chargers 3-0 in a Miramonte League game.
No. 8 hitter Rebecca Orozco hit a single up the middle through a drawn-in infield to drive in the first two Bearcats runs.
Clarice Spathias had led off the seventh with a single. A throwing error on Corrina Liscano’s sacrifice put runners on first and second. A pitch in the dirt moved the runners up, setting the stage for Orozco’s hit.
Liza Liddel sacrificed Orozco to third and a single by Jacki Campa brought in the final run.
“When we called time, I told them they (Charter Oak) were going to expect some sort of squeeze play,” Bearcats coach Ken Carlson said. “I told Rebecca to just choke up on the bat and put the ball in play, and she did a great job doing that.”
Orozco had an 11-pitch at-bat against Chargers starter Cassie Andrews in her previous plate appearance in the fifth inning before grounding out. Andrews then hit a batter and walked another before getting out of the inning. It was her last inning as she seemed to run out of gas.
“We felt like her pitch count was getting high,” Chargers coach Scott Higuera said. “It was hot and she looked like she was getting tired. They did a very good job with two strikes, fouling pitches, trying to get the ball in play and not swinging from the heels like we were.”
Wurst gave up three hits and struck out 12 as she picked up her ninth victory against one loss.
“I wasn’t thinking about that (the no-hitters),” Wurst said. “I was just trying to hit my spots and taking each batter as they came, attacking and trying to get easy ground balls for my defense to handle.”
The Chargers (7-7, 1-2) had their best chance in the bottom of the sixth. With one out, Sprague got her second hit of the game. Kayla Perez walked, but Wurst struck out the Chargers’ No. 3 and 4 hitters to shut them down.
“I just took a step back,” Wurst said. “I just relaxed and tried to stay calm. I know if I stay calm, the whole defense will stay calm and it just worked out.”
Bonita had beaten Charter Oak 2-1 in the San Dimas Tournament and that may have helped the Bearcats.
“It was a battle,” Carlson said. “Based on the San Dimas Tournament, we didn’t panic. We stayed patient and played each inning as it came.”