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COUGARS RALLY TO WIN ON SENIOR NIGHT

Academy moves to top of the standings

By Nick Akimoto

After finding themselves down four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Academy Cougars rallied to bring in five runs and complete an 8-7 Senior Night comeback over the Tiyan High Titans, who suffered their first lost of the 2023ISA Girls Softball League. 

Senior Branwen Saville was a crucial piece in Academy’s late game push. In the bottom of the sixth, Saville hit a line drive along the fair side of the third base foul line, bringing in two runners and giving the Cougars’ bench the momentum they needed. After her teammate, Zaeyah Tajalle, stole home to give the Cougars the lead, Saville grabbed two of the Cougars’ final outs to deny the Titans a chance to comeback and secure the win. 

After being down four runs, the Academy Cougars have an enormous five-run sixth inning to complete the comeback and win 8-7 over the Tiyan High Titans and secure the top seed in the ISA Softball league. The Cougars were able to attain their Senior Night victory thanks to contributions of Branwen Saville on offense and defense. Saville ripped a big hit past third base to bring in two runs during the Cougars’ big sixth inning and grabbed two outs in the air to hold down the Titans in their last at-bat. (photo by Matua Salas)

“It feels great. We just had to remember to have fun. It’s our last game as seniors for the regular season.”

– Academy short stop Branwen Saville

Game Flow 

With several seniors on the squad, Academy was looking to send them off with a win, but the Titans were not willing to let that happen easily. The Titans were ahead by a narrow 3-2 in the top of the sixth inning before big hits from Titans Anika Concepcion and Shanesse Aldan brought in three runs. A walk with bases loaded brought in Tiyan’s next run and gave them what seemed like a comfortable 7-3 lead. 

With their backs against the wall, the Cougars looked to their seniors for motivation. 

“We definitely told each other to play for the seniors. If we were going to do something, we would do it for them,” said Terah Topasna, Junior and starting pitcher for the Cougars. Topasna was on the mound the entire game for the Cougars. 

Terilyn Agualo led off the Cougars’ sixth inning at-bat and hit a grounder through the legs of Tiyan’s shortstop for a base hit. After a walk let another runner on the bases for the Cougars, a bunt from Maddie Aguon fell at the feet of the catcher, causing enough of a confusion for pinch-runner Tera Mann to sneak in a run for the Cougars. 

After another Academy bunt loaded the bases, Saville blasted one past third and brought in two runners, narrowing the deficit to 7-5. Madisyn Cruz followed up with a hit which resulted in a force out at first, but brought in another run for the Cougars. After a base hit by Tajalle brought in the game-tier, Tajelle would steal her way around the bases to give the Cougars the lead for the first time in the match at 8-7. 

“It feels great [to get the senior night win]. That was scary, but it makes it feel like the girls got my back,” said catcher and senior co-captain, Jeneva Guerrero. “We’re definitely pumped. Still got a lot of work to do. We just need to keep growing and keep getting better. All we gotta do is go out there and put it all out on the field.” 

While the Titans no longer sit as the top seed, they remain at a comfortable 5-1 record and are determined to achieve postseason success.

“We are very confident. Honestly, it’s just all about working together, teamwork, and communication. Our outlook is to just play hard and strive for where we want to be,” said Titan pitcher Zoey Indalecio. Indalecio also pitched the entire game and recorded three strikeouts in the match.

GUAM HIGH STATUS

League favorite Guam High Panthers arrive back from the Far East and take on the Southern Dolphins in a makeup game Friday night.

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COMING SOON …

10th Micronesian Games from Marjuro June 15-24

Guam National Bodybuilding Championship June 29

QUICK HITS

Congratulations to the 2024 Guam Rugby Cup Champions: Tao Tao Mana (Men’s Cup Champions) and Southern Rugby Club (Women’s Cup Champions)
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Three graduating ruggers have signed Division I letters to play college rugby stateside.
Saige Calvo from Okkodo heads to Mount St. Mary’s
Mia Topasna from Academy heads to Lindenwood
Tanner Costa from FD heads to Iowa Central

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