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COUGARS SNATCH SECOND SEED SPOT FROM SHARKS

Cougars control Sharks on the diamond

By Carmen Gogue

The Academy Cougars delivered the Sanchez Sharks their first loss in five innings with an end score of 21-11 at the John F. Kennedy field Wednesday afternoon to secure the second seed in the ISA Girls Softball League. In the Sharks most recent game, they tied 5-5 against the top seeded Guam High Panthers leaving them 4-0-1.

Sadie Guerrero pitched all five innings for the Cougars firing a stellar 60 pitches in the first four of the game with four strikeouts under her belt. Teammate Mylie Butters barreled up a line drive far out to right field for a triple with 3 RBIs in the top of the third to spark the Cougars scoring momentum.

“When I hit that triple, I just remembered what coach Meg [Meagan Maratita Cougar softball alumna] told me, “Look for the right pitch and just hit it don’t try to force a home run, get it in and get on base,” said Butters.

Both Guerrero and Butters are becoming young standouts for the Cougar squad as the pair are only sophomores this season.

Cougars Lead Early

In the top of the first inning, Butters scored a run for the Cougars following a bunt from Aniyah Benavente. Zaeyah Tajalle hit a single and Tera Mann came in as the pinch runner. Mann’s speed allowed her to steal the bases and make it to home plate to put Academy up 2-0.

The Sharks responded in the bottom of the first with Hallee Desbai receiving a walk to first base. Desbai stole second base on the following pitch and with an overthrow to the Cougar’s second baseman it allowed her to score a run for the Sharks. The Sharks were able to bring one more runner in before the inning ended leaving the score 2-2.

Moving into the second inning, the Cougars capitalized on a few of their batters being hit by Sanchez pitcher Gabby Lujan to increase their lead. Academy managed to steal bases one after the other off Sanchez overthrows and errors to lead 7-2 going into the third inning.

The third inning showcased just how powerful the Cougars offense is as they widened their lead and looked to be unstoppable. The Cougars went for 11 straight runs to home plate with a triple from Butters as the bases were fully loaded and back-to-back doubles from Madisyn Cruz, Zaeyah Tajalle, and Giniah Sarmiento to control the game at 17-2. Kaia Chiguina stole home plate after an overthrow to Sanchez third baseman putting her team up 18-2.

Although the Sharks scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning and attempted to comeback in the fourth by cutting the lead to 18-11, it wasn’t enough as the Cougars lead was too far ahead.

Academy was able to score three more runs in the fifth inning to hold off the Sharks with two strikeouts from Sadie Guerrero and a huge catch from center fieldman Tera Mann to end the game.

“We started off strong and it did get a little rough in the middle, but my coaches always told me it’s not about how you start but how you finish. So, I really wanted to do it for them, our captains, and our seniors,” said Guerrero.

The Cougars improve to 5-1 as the Sharks fall to 4-1-1.

OTHER GAME

The George Washington Geckos defeated the Tiyan Titans 13-9.

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