By Steve Ramirez, Staff Writer
There seems to be some doubt who actually won the last time Arroyo High School played Mission Valley League rival South El Monte in softball. There was no such doubt Wednesday. Audrey Serna went 3 for 3 with three RBIs and Jackie Wagner was solid in the circle and the host Knights rolled to a 9-3 victory over the Eagles.
The win allowed Arroyo, which forfeited a 2-0 victory over South El Monte when the teams played on April 2, to improve to 15-2 overall and 9-1 in league. But the decision of that forfeiture is under appeal. The Eagles slipped to 10-4 and 9-1.
“Our goal today was to just hit the ball and score first,” Arroyo coach Laura Purcell said. “We didn’t want to let up.
“Offensively, we hit when we needed to and put the ball in play. And we were smart.”
Serna keyed a 10-hit output by lining a two-run double off South El Monte third baseman Julissa Castelanos for a 2-0 lead in the third inning.
The Knights, who also received two hits from Wagner and two RBIs each from Larae Gonzales and Janelle Casillas, put it away with two runs in the fourth, three in the fifth and two in the sixth.
“I thought Demi (Nguyen) pitched well and we had some opportunities to make a play, defensively, and we didn’t,” South El Monte coach Dean Bunting said. “That would had kept it close. There were opportunities we had and we didn’t do it.”
The Eagles, after cutting Arroyo’s lead to 2-1 in the fourth on a home run by Jessica Hernandez, had a chance to possibly tie the score or take the lead but Wagner was in control.
South El Monte, trailing 4-1, loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth following singles by Arcely Sosa and Angie Anguinaga. But Wagner got ahead 0-2 on Jazmine Vargas before inducing the shortstop to pop out to end the threat.
“We didn’t come up with a hit in that situation,” Bunting said. “We did a good job loading the bases, but Jackie did a good job of pitching and got the out that she needed.”
South El Monte scored two runs in the seventh to make it 9-3 before Wagner ended the game by inducing three consecutive popups to earn the victory.
The teams likely will settle the league title when Arroyo travels to South El Monte on May 13.
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