By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
LA VERNE – The moment called for something big to happen, and Chloe Melanson didn’t let her Bonita High School softball teammates down Thursday.
The junior right fielder hit a two-run homerun to highlight a five-run sixth inning and the host Bearcats opened Hacieinda League play with a 6-3 victory over West Covina, which is expected to be their chief challenger for a second consecutive league crown.
Veronica Ortega had two hits and Kaelin McFadden was steady in the circle for Bonita, which improved to 6-4.
Jade Nua and Maddy Tickey had two hits each for West Covina, which slipped to 7-5.
The Bulldogs were sitting pretty after taking a 2-1 lead in the sixth on a double by Nua and a fielding error. But the good fortune changed in the bottom of the inning.
Berlyn Benavides reached first on an error to lead off the inning, and Melanson followed with her two-run shot to left field for the 3-2 edge. Singles by McFadden and Leticia Morales and two more West Covina errors allowed the Bearcats to push it to 6-2.
Bonita’s Chloe Melanson: “The first two at-bats I popped up. The coaches told me we really had focus against this team. I didn’t want to be a selfish player, so as soon as we got a rally going, I just wanted to hit the ball hard somewhere. I was so excited, because I wasn’t even thinking about hitting a home run there. Our team was pumped to come from behind. We knew we had it in us, and we got it done.”
Bonita coach Art Montano: “I’m never concerned. That’s the reason you have back-up pitchers.”
West Covina coach Jesse Mendez: “We’re up 2-1 in the sixth. We have to make the routine plays. If you don’t make the routine plays, things like this happen. I thought we played well up to that inning. But I can’t wait until we play them again. Our pitcher Maddy Tickey did a good job controlling their batters. We made some mistakes, but we have to learn from them.”
By Stephen Ramirez