BY STEPHEN RAMIREZ
LA PUENTE — St. Paul can end rival Bishop Amat’s quest for a Del Rey League title and enhance its own with a victory in of two games this week.
The Swordsmen will carry that aspiration to Friday.
Amat sophomore Isaac Esqueda saw to that Tuesday.
Esqueda tossed a four-hitter and struck out 11 as Amat remained in the race with a 3-1 victory over St. Paul in a Del Rey League game.
The host Lancers improved to 14-11-1 overall and 8-3 in league play. The loss dropped St. Paul into a virtual second-place tie with Amat, falling to 13-12-1 and 7-3. Cathedral, which beat Serra, leads the league at 8-2.
Bishop Amat, scoring two unearned runs in the second, led 3-0 after two innings.
BISHOP AMAT’S ISAAC ESQUEDA
BISHOP AMAT COACH JOE HOGGATT
ST. PAUL’S CASEY MORALES
By Stephen Ramirez
MONTEBELLO — Cantwell High School began the week with an outside shot for a Del Rio League title.Bishop Amat put an end to those hopes early Thursday.Alyssa Barrera and Madeline Ramirez each had four RBIs to lead the Lancers to a 17-0 victory over the host Cardinals in a Del Rey League game that was halted after five innings due to the 10-run rule. Ramirez and Barrera had three and two hits, respectively, for Amat, which improved to 15-6 overall and 8-1 in league play. The win keeps the Lancers tied for first with St. Paul, who they face on May 11. Britney Huerta and Julia Guzman had singles for the third-place Cardinals, who slipped to 12-10 and 4-5.Cantwell lost to Amat, 3-0, on April 14, and the Lancers made sure early this one would be different. They scored three runs in the first and seven in both the third and fourth to put it away.
Amat’s Alyssa Barrera: “The last game (against Cantwell) we didn’t come out 100 percent, while the first game (a 14-0 Amat win) we came out 100 percent. This was more like the first game. We had great at-bats during the game, taking pitches, going deep in counts. We did a good job throughout the whole lineup.”
Cantwell coach Ralph Martin Del Campo: “It was just one of those games where the girls weren’t on and they were on. (Amat) hit the ball real well. There’s not much you can do about that when they hit the ball like that. We had a few errors, but they hit the ball real well.”
By Stephen Ramirez
LA PUENTE — St. Paul High School felt a little embarrassed after losing to rival Bishop Amat in late March.
Thursday the Swordsmen did something about it.
Taylor Fogle hit a fifth-inning grand slam and Niko Walker had three hits as St. Paul enacted some revenge with a 6-4 victory over the host Lancers in a key Del Rey League softball game.
Myranda Bueno and Alexis Bermudez also had two hits each for the Swordsmen, who improved 14-6 overall and 6-1 in league play. Sabrina Gonzalez had three hits and Julia Valenzuela hit a home run for Bishop Amat, which slipped to 13-6 and 6-1.
The two teams are tied for first and will likely settle the league title on May 11.
The big inning for St. Paul came in the fifth when it countered Valenzuela’s homer with a four-run inning. The Swordsmen loaded the bases on singles by Bermudez and Walker and a walk to Sydney Kriemann. Fogle then followed with her slam to right-center field for a 6-2 advantage.
St. Paul’s Taylor Fogle: “We wanted this win so bad. We knew we had to win to at least compete with them for (the league championship). We came out today with so much energy, like this was ours. It was an amazing feeling to hit my home run. Everyone did great. It was amazing.”
Bishop Amat’s Julia Valenzuela: “We just tried to put the ball in play. (Both teams) put up a good fight. But we’ll be ready next time and we’ll get them.”
By Stephen Ramirez
WEST COVINA — La Serna High School followed a tournament win last week with an unexpected loss. The Lancers made sure they wouldn’t repeat the trend Thursday.
Jamie Wren tossed a four-hitter and Jelli Lopez hit a two-run home run to lead La Serna to a 3-1 victory over host South Hills in a battle of the two of the top softball teams in the CIF-Southern Section.
La Serna, ranked No. 1 in Division 3, improved to 12-3. They have followed a 3-0 loss to Sonora with three consecutive wins, including decisions over Division 1 No. 7 Mater Dei (6-0) on Monday and Division 2 No. 6 South Hills on Thursday.
Natalie Lugo gave up five hits and struck out 10 for South Hills, which slipped to 11-4. Quinn DeAvila had a RBI triple for the Huskies.
La Serna’s Jamie Wren: “We all have our games. It was a difficult loss (to Sonora last week), but it motivated us. We knew what we did wrong and what we have to work on. We picked it up (Thursday).”
La Serna co-coach Mike Orona: “We didn’t do what we wanted to offensively. (Lugo) is a quality pitcher and she pretty much dominated the game. We put enough together offensively to get the victory and Jamie did a great job pitching.”
South Hills coach Brandon Gonzalez: We just didn’t hit. She’s a quality pitcher, but we didn’t hit. We’ve been in a couple of these type of games. We didn’t adjust.”
South Hills High School is enjoying a fun spring break.
The Huskies are on the verge of winning an out-of-state baseball tournament for the second consecutive season.
South Hills, which on a tourney in South Carolina last season, advanced to the IMG National Classic championship game in Bradenton, Fla., with a 6-1 victory over George Jenkins (Fla.) on Wednesday.
Gavin Velasquez gave up three hits in 5 1/3 innings and freshman Brandon Dieter went 2 for 2 with three RBIs to lead the Huskies, who improved to 9-3. South Hills faces host IMG Academy in the title game on Thursday at 4 p.m. IMG is 17-4.