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COUGARS ARE QUEENS OF THE DIAMOND

Academy hands Guam High first loss in huge upset for ISA girls softball title

By Carmen Gogue

The Academy Cougars began their new softball reign after dethroning the undefeated and defending champions Guam High Panthers 13-4 in a three-hour, seven inning major upset Saturday afternoon in the ISA Championship at the Okkodo field.

Sophomore pitcher Sadie Guerrero threw a total of eight strikeouts. In the outfield, left fielder Kaia Chiguina had two big catches that ended the third and fourth innings holding off the Panthers from scoring runs to catch up and possibly take the lead.

“I was just thinking about my team, they do a lot for me and I just wanted to leave it all on the field,” said Chiguina on her instrumental defense.

Leading the Cougars on offense was pinch hitter Olivia Camacho and catcher Zaeyah Tajalle whom both were able to hit two run home runs in the park.

Early Game Drama

Panthers star pitcher Brinnlyn Hardt stepped out on the mound strong and with intent, striking out three of four Cougar batters to keep them from scoring. As Guerrero worked to find her pitch in the bottom of the first, her team’s defense had her back with getting two outs in the infield and allowing her to get the last out from her first strikeout of the game ending the inning 0-0.

In the second inning, Hardt threw her fourth strike out and in response Academy scored two runs from the pair of bunts and smart base stealing of Tisha Mann and Giniah Sarmiento to lead 2-0. Hardt controlled the Cougars with her fifth strike out to give the Panthers a chance at the sticks.

Teagan Pendell drew a walk against Guerrero but was quickly tagged at first base at the fast release of Tajalle. Guerrero ended the second with back-to-back strikeouts now totaling three under her belt.

As Hardt continued to throw some serious heat from the pitcher’s mound getting her sixth strikeout to open the third inning, Cougar Madisyn Cruz barreled up for a grounder to left field for a double and with teammate Camacho’s in the park home run to follow put the score at 4-0. Without letting up, Hardt threw her seventh strike out.

“Brinn is an awesome pitcher, so what we had to do was put our bat onto that ball and put a little pressure on their defense and that’s what we did,” said Coach Marissa Maratita-Mantanane.

Battling in the bottom of the third, the Panthers loaded the bases but were still unable to score runs as Academy’s defense was top notch with a strikeout from Guerrero and key pop fly catches from Mann and Chiguina.

The Panthers defense returned the favor in the fourth inning not letting any scored runs for the Cougars and scoring two runs from a single from Briani Soto with 1RBI.

In the remaining three innings, the Cougars batting line up found their stroke with doubles, triples, and Tajalle’s two run homer to out bat the Panthers despite the variety of tough pitches thrown by Hardt.

Tajalle is a junior at Notre Dame and this season has only been her second year playing with Academy, “I came into this amazing program, with amazing coaches and girls that welcomed me into this team. I can’t wait for next year,” said Tajalle.

Despite the title loss, Hardt threw 11 solid strikeouts to lead the Panthers defense. Soto led their offense with textbook bunts and a single with 1RBI.

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

Cougars snatch ISA Softball title from Panthers


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COMING SOON …

DPR Liberation Village Baseball Tournament

Liberation Miler

Paris Olympics

QUICK HITS

Guahan Juniors 18s outside hitter Masato Rabago and Guahan Juniors 16s middle blocker Antonio Egurrola both earned All-Tournament awards at last month’s USA Volleyball Boys Junior National Championship in Dallas, Texas.
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Captain Adam San Gil, along with his crew Dominick San Gil and Mark Domingo, took first place in the Mahi Mahi division aboard the Amber Marie in the 40th Saipan Invitational Fishing Derby.
The winning Mahi weighed 23.9 lbs. The crew took 3rd in the Bonita division (14 lbs) and 4th in the Marlin division (123.5 lbs).
Seventeen boats from Guam competed in Saipan’s big derby.

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