Pitchers are typically ahead of hitters early in the season.
Hayley Fein was so far in front of the Hawks in Thursday’s season-opening 12-0 home win, they couldn’t see her.
The Cougars’ senior ace struck out 14 of the 15 batters she faced in a five-inning perfect game. The game was called early due to the 10-run mercy rule.
Fein also went 2-for-3 at the plate with a home run and 3 RBIS in part of the Cougars’ 11-run first inning. Lanessa Romo also went deep. She finished 3-for-3 with the home run, a triple and a double – a single shy of the cycle.
Kourtney Townsend (2-for-3, RBI) and Amidori Anderson (2-for-2, triple, 2 RBIs) also had multi-hit afternoons.
The Cougars play a doubleheader at McQueen on Saturday. First pitch is at 11 a.m.
Reed survives slugfest at Bishop Manogue
Julia Jensen blasted a grand slam and Jessica Sellers hit a three-run shot as the Raiders hung on for a wild 13-12 win at Bishop Manogue in Thursday’s season opener.
Reed was scheduled to open the season last weekend in Sacramento, but the tournament was postponed due to weather. The Miners, who played in Las Vegas last weekend, fell to 2-4, 0-1 with the loss in a rematch of last year’s DI North title game.
“I’d say pitching for both teams wasn’t as sharp as it probably could be. Both teams have good hitters,” a relieved Reed coach Jon Wunder said. “Both teams probably spotted the other team a couple runs on some mistakes (both teams had three errors) so it was a pretty evenly matched dog fight right there.
“It was just who got a timely hit or who was able to take advantage of a mistake in a timely fashion.”
After falling into a 7-3 hole with three innings complete, Reed got back into the game with Sellers’ three-run home run to straightaway center in the top of the fourth.
Thanks in part to two Manogue errors in the top of the fifth, the Raiders grabbed their first lead of the game, 9-7, before Jensen stepped the plate with the bases loaded. One pitch after taking a borderline strike three pitch, she sent reliever Chelie Senini’s offering directly over the batter’s eye in dead center, suddenly spotting the Raiders a 13-7 advantage.
Manogue got two back in the in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run shot from Julianna Curry (2-for-3, 2 home runs, 3 RBIs) and made it interesting in the seventh.
With two outs and runners on first and second, Hailey Merlino (4-for-4, 2 home runs, 6 RBIs) hit a laser over the left-center fence to pull the Miners within one. Jensen then pitched around Curry to bring the game-winning run to the plate but induced a groundout to end the contest.
The two teams combined for seven home runs. The 12 runs allowed by the Raiders were the most since allowing 12 to Palo Verde in the 2014 state championship game.
“You got to give them (Manogue) credit. They were swinging the bat well,” Wunder said. “It was the first (real) game of the season Julia has pitched in … We’re certainly not making excuses, but we’d like to have some games under our belt … You got to play with the hand you’re dealt.”
For the Raiders offensively, Sellers went 3-for-5 with a home run and 3 RBIs, Kenzi Goins went 2-for-5 with a home run and 3 RBIs and Jensen finished 1-for-3 with the grand slam.
Reed continues DI North play on Saturday with a home doubleheader against Carson. First pitch is at 11 a.m.