Softball: Bonita goes back and forth with West Covina before finally prevailing, 8-5

Baseball result: Bonita hammered West Covina 10-1 by scoring nine runs in the sixth, punctuated by Robert Mier’s grand slam.

By Fred J. Robledo, Staff Writer
With three straight shutouts and the number one ranking in the CIF-Southern Section Division 2 poll, Bonita High School softball coach Ken Carlson still had his fears visiting unranked West Covina on Wednesday.
“I told our (coaching staff) this is the one team in our league that really makes me nervous,” Carlson said. “They’re an unpredictable bunch than can explode at any time.”
West Covina certainly didn’t back down, making Bonita work for a come-from-behind 8-5 victory that left the Bearcats (15-2, 3-0) in sole possession of first in the Hacienda League with the Bulldogs (11-6, 3-1) suffering their first league loss. (To continue click thread)

Bonita’s Michelle Whit (6) after a solo homer in the second inning.

Bonita showed a little of everything that makes them tick.
Bearcats freshman pitcher Anissa Sanchez was shaky early, giving up
back-to-back doubles to Alexis Gonzalez and Taylor Castro that helped give the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead in the second inning.
But Sanchez was solid the rest of the way, overcoming her early jitters, allowing just a run in the fourth and seventh, keeping her team close enough to rally in the late innings.
Bonita scored two runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh to pull it out.
“It was a huge game and you could see Anissa struggle early,” Carlson
said. “This was a big arena for her but it was great experience too. She proved to herself she can handle the situation on a day when she’s not throwing her best stuff. I thought the way she hung in there and battled gave her some confidence that we will need from her later in the season.”
Another big part of Bonita’s equation has been the leadership of shortstop Courtney Gano, who transferred from Los Altos and signed a letter of intent with the University of Washington.
Gano was 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
After Gano singled home the tying run in the fourth with two outs to make it 3-3, West Covina scored a run in the bottom half of the inning to go back up, 4-3.
Then Gano came through in the clutch again.
With two outs and runners on second and third and the Bulldogs clinging to their 4-3 lead in the sixth, they opted to pitch to her with first base open. And she delivered, Gano belting a single that drove in both for a 5-4 lead.
Bonita added three insurance runs in the seventh to pull away, but it was Gano’s timely hits that made the difference.
“I went up there wanting to win the ballgame,” Gano said. “I thought we had a lot batters step up today, but when you come up in that situation, you’re looking to deliver for your team and win a game.”
Gano wasn’t the only one swinging a hot bat, senior Kate O’Malley hit a solo homer in the fourth and finished with three RBIs, doubling home two more runs in the seventh.
Even catcher Michelle Whit joined the hit parade, homering in the second inning.
West Covina’s Alexis Gonzalez had a big afternoon for the Bulldogs,
finishing with three hits, which included a double and two RBIs.
But the Bulldogs’ biggest problem is they couldn’t get timely hits, coming up empty with the bases loaded and two outs in the first, and leaving two runners aboard in the sixth.
“We came out strong and just stalled,” Bulldogs coach Colin Logan said “It was one of those games. It was two good teams going back and forth and you have to give it to them, they got some big runs in the late innings. Hopefully when we meet them again it will be a different story.”

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