By John Sherrard, Correspondent
WEST COVINA – South Hills High sophomore pitcher Caitlyn Van Hemelryck scattered four hits and singled in two runs to lead the Huskies to a 3-2 victory over Montebello on Tuesday in their opening game of the 32nd Annual Charger Softball Classic in a game shortened to six innings due to a time limit.
South Hills (7-2) will face LaSerna, a 6-5 winner over Northview, today in a championship quarterfinal game, while Montebello (3-1) will face Northview in a consolation quarterfinal game today.
Other championship quarterfinal games today include Monrovia vs. La Habra, Centennial vs. Schurr and Bonita vs. Charter Oak. All games are at 3:30 p.m.
After the Oilers threatened in the first inning but failed to score, South Hills took advantage of two Montebello throwing errors in the second inning, highlighted by Van Hemelryck’s two-run single to left field that scored shortstop Lexi Robles and center fielder Abry Moreno.
Junior third baseman Marissa Thornburg, who was on third, scored the first Huskies run in the inning after Moreno reached on a fielding error.
Montebello responded in the bottom half of the inning when senior left fielder Stephanie Quintero was hit by a pitch and went to second on an illegal pitch by Van Hemelryck. Quintero went to third on a passed ball and scored when South Hills catcher Natalie Moran threw to third baseman Marissa Thornburg, who mishandled the throw.
Van Hemelryck was called for four illegal pitches in the game on a move known as “crow-hopping,” as she raised her back foot off the ground.
“I know what I’m doing, but I have a long stride, so my toe comes up a lot,” Van Hemelryck said of her pitch. “As long as we fix it and we get through the game and win, then it’s good.”
Montebello junior pitcher Evelyn Hernandez (3-1) settled down after the three-run fifth and retired 13 of the next 15 batters to keep the Oilers in the game.
Montebello made it 3-2 in the sixth inning on a leadoff solo home run down the left-field line by junior first baseman Alyssa Soneff.
La Serna 6, Northview 5
With Northview leading 3-1 in the fifth inning, La Serna (4-1) scored five runs on five hits to take a 6-3 lead. Highlighting the inning was a two-run home run by junior Molly Bourne, who went 3 for 3.
Lancers sophomore pitcher Jamie Wren pitched a complete game and also had a double and a solo home run.
Other tournament scores on Tuesday: Montclair 5, Covina 1; San Dimas 11, Alhambra 1; Los Altos 7, Claremont 1.