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COUGARS, PANTHERS TIE 6-6 IN THRILLING BATTLE

Academy and Guam High tie in an exciting matchup

By Carmen Gogue

After handing the Sanchez Sharks their first loss last Wednesday, the Academy Cougars gave the top-seeded and two-time defending champions the Guam High Panthers a run for their money in an electrifying 6-6 tie. 

Brinnlyn Hardt had a wicked 12 strikeouts for the Panthers. Olivia Camacho and Madisyn Cruz both hit 2-run in the park homers for the Cougars. 

With the Panthers edging a lead early in the first inning at 2-0, the Cougars defense managed to hold them off all the way up to the fifth. Brinnlyn Hardt returned the favor to the Cougars denying any runs with seven strike outs total in the first four innings.

In the bottom of the fourth, Cougar Aniyah Benavente ripped a grounder to left field for a double. Tera Mann came up to bat next and although getting tagged at first base, her swing advanced Benavente to third base. 

Olivia Camacho stepped up to the plate and quickly hit a bomb to right field for an in the park home run bringing Benavente home to tie the game 2-2 for the Cougars.

At the top of the fifth, Panthers Briani Soto sent a pop fly out to centerfield with the Cougars outfield missing the catch. As Soto rounded the bases making her way to home plate, Academy’s short stop Giniah-Jo Sarmiento launched the ball perfectly to catcher Zaeyah Tajalle to get the third out at home plate, denying the Panthers a home run.

Hardt made it look easy with three consecutive strikeouts on the Cougars to end the fifth inning. 

At the top of the sixth, Hardt got walked by Academy’s Sadie Guerrero. Eralyn Miller barreled up a long shot to centerfield for a triple bringing in Hardt to grab the lead back over the Cougars 3-2. 

The Panthers received two more walks to load the bases but only a single from Amiela Kridel brought Miller in to increase the Panther’s lead 4-2. 

The Cougars defense kept their heads up stopping any further runs from the Panthers to head into the bottom of the sixth. With the Cougars at bat, Tajalle hammered one out to left field for what could’ve been a triple but was halted at second by the base umpire after colliding with Guam High’s second baseman.

Tajalle stole third on the next pitch and with an overthrow error to third base, she sprinted to home plate to cut Guam High’s lead 4-3.

Benavente hit another grounder, this time down the center of the diamond for a single. Speedy pinch runner Beatrice Antonio came in for Benavente and immediately stole to second base as Hardt released her pitch.

Miscommunication between Panthers infielders on a ‘safe’ call for Cougar Tera Mann from the base umpire at first, allowed Antonio to dash all the way home with the ball still in play to tie the game again at 4-4. 

The Panther’s stayed resilient getting two outs with Hardt throwing her eleventh strikeout on the Cougars to close the sixth inning.

The Panthers final batting featured Soto with a single and Hardt for a triple to bring Soto home. Shortly after, Hardt stole home plate to lead 6-4 over the Cougars. 

The Cougars still had a fire burning in them as they rallied in the bottom of the seventh with Tahni-Joie Sablan’s line drive out to right field for a double. Kaia Chiguina came in as the pinch runner for Sablan and with her quickness, she stole third on the next pitch.

Hardt got her twelfth impressive strikeout before Madisyn Cruz came up to bat. Cruz had the Cougars home crowd out of their seats as she blasted one far out enough in right field for the second in the park home run for the Cougars bringing Chiguina on in to tie 6-6.

The Panther’s didn’t let up and kept the Cougars from scoring more runs to end the game in a 6-6 tie.

The Panthers stand at 5-0-2 and the Cougars stand at 5-1-1.

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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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