Golden West beats Mt. Whitney in an offensive explosion highlighted by a 7-run third inning
VISALIA – Golden West never trailed in its crosstown matchup against Mt. Whitney as the Blazers scorched the Pioneers 12-6 in their league opener.
The April 5 game between the two West Yosemite League opponents started off close with Golden West clinging to a 3-2 lead after two innings. The Trailblazers started the game off with a hit from Adriana McKeehan that Mt. Whitney’s infield players couldn’t get a hand on, one of five errors on the night for the Pioneers. This allowed Fiona Giannandrea to sneak in a run. Camrielle Ortiz drove in two more runs after smashing a ball into center field. Ortiz finished the game going 3 for 4 with 2 RBI.
Mt. Whitney followed with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first. With Sarah Garcia and Kylee Filiponi on third and second base, a sacrifice bunt from Kiana Reynaga was all it took to give Garcia her ticket home. Filiponi followed her soon after on a hit from Kaydence Martinez.
After a scoreless second inning, Golden West gained its largest lead of the game with a seven-run inning in the top of the third. Giannandrea rocked the ball over Mt. Whitney’s defense for a home run, setting the pace for the explosive inning. Giannandrea was nearly perfect at the plate going 4 for 4, scoring 2 runs and driving in three more. Blazer teammates McKeehan and Ortiz quickly took first and second with consecutive hits into right field.
Mt.Whitney called a time out, to trade both their pitcher and catcher. The Pioneer’s second string catcher, Kiana Reynaga, and pitcher Selena Lopez were sent in as an attempt to cool down the Blazers’ bats. As the inning went on, the bases were loaded before Alondra Magallanes sent the ball into center field for an RBI triple. Alexus Carter kept the momentum going by driving in two more runs before being tagged out.
Mt. Whitney entered the fourth inning down 10-2 but attempted to rally after holding Golden West scoreless in the top of the inning. The Pioneers scored two more runs to cut the lead to six.
Even though they never stopped pushing through the entirety of the game Mt.Whitney just could not overcome Golden West’s hefty lead. Brea Gimsley led the Pioneers’ attempted comeback with a run in the sixth inning followed by teammate Stephany Frutoz’s final run in the seventh. Though they couldn’t go home with a win, the Pioneers were still confident in their team and coaches.
“Our coaches will help us improve in future games,” Reynaga said. “We’ve come a long way and I think we have a lot more potential than we showed in this game.”
Golden West returned home yesterday for a league game against Lemoore and will travel to Hanford to take on the Bullpups on April 21. Mt. Whitney followed up the loss with another league matchup against El Diamante yesterday. League play continues for the Pioneers at home against Lemoore on April 21.