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HARDT, RAPIER LEAD PANTHERS OVER COUGARS

Guam High cruises in championship game rematch

By Patrick Lujan

The pitcher-catcher duo of Brinnlyn Hardt and Rebecca Rapier powered the defending ISA Fastpitch Softball League champion Guam High Panthers over the Academy Cougars 17-2 Saturday morning at Guam High Field with the game ending in the bottom of the 4th inning because of the 15-run rule.

The matchup was an early-season anticipated showdown between the two teams that met up in the 2022 championship game, but Hardt’s brilliant pitching and a huge 15-run first inning for the Panthers proved to be too much for the young Cougars squad.

“I wouldn’t say it was easy (today),” the sophomore sensation Hardt said. “Our team has been working a lot and there’s things that we need to improve on, but I’m really proud of our team.”

Academy came out with guns blazing, touching up Hardt in the opening inning as Giana Sablan came up with a big opposite field RBI sliced down the left field corner and Zaeyah Tajalle added an infield RBI hit to give Academy a 2-0 lead.

Guam High quickly quelled any Cougar hopes as it launched 15 runs in the bottom half of the first, taking advantage of six walks and three hit batters from Academy starter Terah Topasna.

The offensive highlight in the big run was Rapier’s 3-run blast to dead centerfield for a monster home run. Madalyn Mansel, Morgan Piehl and Hardt added two-run singles in the inning as well.

Guam High catcher Rebecca Rapier connects on a three-run homer to deep centerfield. (photo by Tanya Gillins)

Hardt settled down the rest of the way, striking out seven of the next 11 batters and not allowing another run after the first inning. She ended the day with nine strikeouts in the four innings of work, giving up only two hits.

“I think I pitched ok. I need to work on some of my movement pitches, but it was ok. We were really excited for this game.”

– Guam High star pitcher Brinlynn Hardt

Two walks, a hit batter and two passed balls off Academy relief pitcher Tyra-Lei Duenas in the fourth inning sealed the scoring at 17-2. The Cougars have only three returning starters.

Meanwhile in the Panthers dugout, a relaxed and fun mood was flowing with Rapier even making references to Michael Jackson dance moves in the infield.

In the other Saturday morning game, the Tiyan Titans won their season opener 14-2 over the JFK Islanders.

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COMING SOON …

All-Island Wrestling Alumni Tournament June 8

10th Micronesian Games from Marjuro

QUICK HITS

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
—————————————–
Bailey Concepcion makes it to the Seattle Seahawks dance team for the 2nd straight year.

Congratulations @seadancer_bailey

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