Six early runs carry Canyon softball past Vista Murrieta in Carew Classic quarterfinals – Orange County Register

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Canyon shortstop Jade Diaz, top right, takes the underhand toss from 2nd baseman Victoria Oropeza to double up Vista Murrieta's Aryanna Gonzales, left, in the quarterfinals of the Michelle Carew Classic softball tournament in Anaheim Hills on Friday, March 29, 2024. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)
Canyon shortstop Jade Diaz, top right, takes the underhand toss from 2nd baseman Victoria Oropeza to double up Vista Murrieta’s Aryanna Gonzales, left, in the quarterfinals of the Michelle Carew Classic softball tournament in Anaheim Hills on Friday, March 29, 2024. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

ANAHEIM — The Canyon softball team got the bats going early and then relied on pitching and defense for a 6-4 victory over Vista Murrieta in the quarterfinals of the Michelle Carew Classic Friday at Peralta Park.

With the victory, the Comanches (15-3), the No. 5 team in the Orange County rankings, advanced to the Gold Bracket semifinals to play St. Francis of Mountain View.

St. Francis defeated Mission Viejo 1-0 in the quarterfinals Friday afternoon.

Vista Murrieta (8-7), the designated road team, got on the board in the first inning when Aryanna Gonzales led off with a triple and then scored on a single by Kylee Espinoza one out later.

The Comanches came right back with four runs in the bottom of the inning, keyed by a two-run double from Irma Urincho.

No. 2 hitter Sam Gresham, who went 2 for 3 with two runs scored, got the rally started with a one-out double and then scored on a single from Jade Diaz combined with an error.

“I saw a lot of pitches,” Gresham said of her hit. “I was able to kind of relax and wait for my pitch to come.”

Urincho then drove in Carson Cooper, who had walked, and Diaz to give the Comanches a 3-1 lead.

Sophia Sandoval then singled in Urincho for the fourth run.

Cooper and Diaz each drove in a run in the second with a double and single, respectively, to make the score 6-1.

The Broncos chipped away with a run in the second and a run in the third.

They also had runners on first and second with one out in the fourth, and that’s when Canyon second baseman Victoria Oropeza made the play of the game.

Oropeza dove to her right to snag a line drive off the bat of Sophia Cook and then quickly flipped the ball out of her glove to Diaz at short to double up the runner off second.

Diaz also made a clutch play on a high fly ball in foul territory that was close to the fence off first base.

The ball popped out of the glove of Urincho, the first baseman, but Diaz was right there to make the catch before the ball hit the ground.

The Comanches were still on a high Friday after a 2-1 win over Pacifica, the No. 1 team in MaxPreps’ national rankings.

In that second-round game Thursday night, Gresham went 1 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored and Cooper was 1 for 3 with an RBI.

“I think we actually started a little quietly (against the Broncos) and part of it could have been from so much energy spent last night from beating Pacifica,” Canyon coach Jess Carbajal said.

The championship and consolation finals, which had been scheduled for Saturday, were canceled due to the projected rainstorm.

The winners of Friday’s two semifinal games in the Gold Bracket will be declared co-champions.

El Modena won its quarterfinal Friday afternoon and advanced to face Norco in the other semifinal Friday night.

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