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Valerie Vasquez & Cal High (Whittier) softball strike early for 6-2 win at Rosary Academy

Vasquez blasted a 2-run homer in the first inning to set the tone.

LA HABRA– The Condors are a different team when Valerie Vasquez is around.

The sweet-swinging first baseman leads the team in home runs despite missing seven games this season, and is also first on the squad in OPS and second in batting average. And she wasted no time on Wednesday in powering Cal High to a 6-2 road win against Trinity League heavyweight Rosary Academy.

Vasquez smashed a two-run shot in the top of the first to set the tone, and build momentum that the Condors would never relinquish. And she wasn't done there. Vasquez hit a single in the third inning and came around to score, helping California tack on another two runs in the frame, and hit an RBI single in the fourth as well.

Whereas Rosary's starter and junior ace Natalie Romero was never able to settle in, Cal High's early production made it much easier for freshman standout Priscilla Ramirez to get into a rhythm. 

The Condors' starter went five innings and only gave up two runs to earn the win, keeping the Royals off the board until the bottom of the fourth when Anahi Pintado walked, made it to third on a Kayla Martin double, and shortly thereafter scored on a sac fly. Rosary tacked on another run the next inning when Olivia Eyler singled and later scored on an RBI groundout.

But that was the most the Royals could muster on a quiet night for a usually-loud offense. Isabella Estrada pitched the final two innings for Cal High and didn't allow any runs. The Condors' defense got it done from start to finish and allowed Ramirez and Estrada to pound the strike zone al

Romero didn't pitch poorly for the Royals, attacking the zone and mixing up pitch locations between north and south. It was just the Condors' day, hitting pitches on the corners, prolonging two-strike counts, and occasionally finding gaps on bloopers and ground balls that couldn't have split the defense any better. Lanna Martinez took over for Romero to start the fourth inning and allowed two runs in four frames. The strong all-around effort and non-league win for California was a key victory for a playoff hopeful in a crowded CIFSS Division 1 field.

Rosary Academy will look to get back on track next Wednesday with a non-league matchup against Sunny Hills before closing the regular season against Trinity League foes Santa Margarita and Orange Lutheran. The Condors, who've now grabbed two big wins since dropping four of five games previously, have four more league games across the last two weeks of the regular season, and can at minimum force a tie atop the Del Rio League if they win out.

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