Photo gallery: Montebello-Schurr softball
By Eric Terrazas, Staff Writer
MONTEBELLO – After sharing the Almont League softball crown last year, both Montebello and Schurr are seeking to reach the top once again this season.
And with both teams entering Thursday’s game with 3-0 league records, the season’s first meeting between the crosstown rivals could go a long way in determining the Almont race.
The host Oilers, led by a balanced 13-hit attack, took the upper hand by defeating Schurr 10-8 in a game that featured four lead changes.
Senior first baseman-outfielder Stephanie Quintero helped Montebello’s attack with three hits, including a triple, and three RBIs. Quintero was one of five Oilers who had a multi-hit effort.
Montebello (9-10 overall, 4-0 in league) grabbed sole possession of first place in league.
“It’s always intense,” Oilers coach Laurie Capps said of her team’s meetings against the Spartans. “It’s kind of like USC and UCLA – it doesn’t matter who is having a good year or a bad year. It’s always intense. And since we both came in with equal records, it made it even more fun and intense.
“Everybody contributed. It was a total team effort and it’s a good win.”
Senior shortstop Emily Sanchez was the offensive leader for the Spartans (6-12, 3-1), who had 15 hits. Sanchez had four hits and drove in four runs.
“We’re not finished with the first round of league play,” Schurr coach Jackie Montanez said. “It’s just another game in our league season. Both teams came ready to hit. The girls put up a fight and came out in the losing end – that’s just the nature of the game. There are things we need to work on. We’re going to take one game at a time to get better in league.”
Montebello scored the decisive runs in the bottom of the sixth. Back-to-back base hits by junior first baseman Alyssa Soneff and junior shortstop Andrea Rocha set things up for Quintero, who gave the Oilers the lead for good when she delivered a run-scoring single to center.
Rocha came home and closed the game’s scoring when senior outfielder Andrea Pena reached on a fielder’s choice.
Schurr tied it at 8-8 in the top of the sixth, which featured Sanchez’s two-run single to right that scored Karen Roman and Alexis Lazaro.
After the Oilers took a 1-0 lead in the first, the Spartans responded by scoring three runs in the second. The Spartans produced five consecutive base hits, which included run-scoring singles by Stephanie Guido, Lazaro and Sanchez.
Montebello quickly regained the lead, 5-3, after three innings. The Oilers scored twice in both the second and third. Brianna Alvarez’s run-scoring single and Evelyn Hernandez’s RBI groundout tied the score 3-3.
Quintero then gave the Oilers the lead when she blasted a two-run triple during the third.