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Santiago outslugs Yucaipa in Division 1 softball playoff opener

By in Press Enterprise on May 19, 2017

By Eric-Paul Johnson

YUCAIPA — The first pitch Sierra Frazier was thrown during her second at-bat Thursday afternoon had “hit me” written all over it. Frazier did not swing and the trip ended with a strike out.

When she returned to the plate during the fifth inning, Frazier saw a carbon copy of the pitch.

Frazier let loose this time and launched a three-run homer deep over the fence in left field. The blast broke a 1-1 tie, helping Santiago beat Yucaipa, 6-3, in a Division 1 playoff opener.

“I figured she (Yucaipa pitcher Esperanza Coe) was going to start me off inside because I was struggling with that pitch early on,” Frazier said. “It was right there, so I hacked at it.”

Santiago (22-6) popped up several pitches in the early innings, but the Sharks got locked in down the stretch. Santiago finished with 11 hits, including four doubles and two home runs.

“I think our hitters did a good job seeing the ball deep and swinging with some authority,” Sharks coach Brittney Gossett said. “We stopped chasing pitches and became more selective.”

Santiago opened the scoring in the top of of the third inning. Merissa Borkowski, usually a slap hitter, swung away with two outs and doubled over the drawn-in outfield to bring home Vanessa Nesby.

Yucaipa (20-10) answered in the bottom of the third, thanks to some heads-up base running by Sydnee Huff. Santiago shortstop Abby Robertson tried to get a force out at second to end the inning, but Kaitlyn Alvarado slid in to the bag ahead of Robertson’s flip to Justene Molina. Huff, who was on second when the play started, never slowed down and scored the tying run. Yucaipa had a golden opportunity to take the lead, but the Thunderbirds left the based loaded.

Nesby got Santiago’s fifth inning started with a leadoff single and […]    

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