Early lead pushes Chargers through to second round

Run support is a pitcher’s best friend, and the Dos Pueblos batters showed Hannah Harris a lot of love early.

The Chargers softball team jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first two innings of their first-round matchup with Maranatha on Thursday en route to a 7-2 victory.

“It’s really nice to get three runs in the first inning then follow it up with two in the second,” coach Donn Roberts said.

Harris pitched a complete game and allowed three hits. At the plate, Chloe Madill led the team going 2-for-4 with three RBIs.

Dos Pueblos won the Channel League and was the No. 3 ranked team in CIF Division 4 heading into the postseason. They are also the defending CIF champions.

Maranatha defeated Coachella Valley in the wild card round on Tuesday to earn a spot in the first round.

After playing earlier in the week and sitting through a long bus ride from Pasadena, the Chargers did not allow the visitors to get comfortable.

The first three Dos Pueblos batters reached base, then base hits from Madill and Haley Peterson drove in three runs.

The next inning, Monica Salas was walked and both Harris and Kai Uyesaka beat out throws for infield singles. Madill came up and delivered again, this time driving in two runs.

“At that point, the kids thought that was going to be the end of the game,” Roberts said.

With a comfortable lead, Harris began to hit her stride and looked untouchable.

“We turned the batting machine up to about 90,” Maranatha head coach Scott Sommers said about preparing for today’s matchup.

Harris was perfect through the first three innings, but in the fourth, the Minutemen started to adjust to her speed. Starting at the top of the order, the first three Maranatha batters all recorded base hits.

“We went through the order the first time so we saw what she had. Our first four hitters, at least, are very good fast ball hitters,” Sommer said.

Maranatha’s Katelyn Thordarson put the ball in play to score a run and reach base on a fielder’s choice. Later in the fourth, Caroline Simmons grounded out to the shortstop, and another run came home during the play.

“They were attacking the ball hard and they did a good job,” Harris said.

The Dos Pueblos bats did not wait long to get the two runs back. In the fifth inning, Peterson reach reached base on balls, and Veronica Gulvin pushed her over to second with a base hit. Cassie Davis followed the trend and produced a base knock of her own, which scored Peterson. Then, a sacrifice ground-out by Alyssa Lewis brought Gulvin home and gave the Chargers their five-run lead back.

“Once we got the next two runs, that gave me a lot of relief,” Harris said. “I just started throwing better. I was a lot more loose.”

Harris did not allow a batter to reach base in any inning except the fourth. She finished the day with five strike-outs and no walks.

The Chargers (24-3) will playe the winner of Santa Monica and La Quinta Westminster on Tuesday with hopes of taking the next step towards repeating as CIF champions.

“We’re just keeping it to one game at a time because one bad inning, one bad pitch, one bad hit can send us home,” Harris said. “We’re just taking it game-by-game, inning-by-inning, out-by-out.”


Maranatha… 000 200 0 — 2 3 0
Dos Pueblos… 320 020 x — 7 7 0
Amezquita and McAllister; Harris and Peterson. W—Harris (22-2) L—Amezquita (n/a).