Skip to main content

Mya Perez powers Norco to big win against Corona Centennial with 2 home runs & 6 RBIs

Perez went 3-3 with a walk, and hit a dramatic grand slam in the sixth inning.

CORONA– Mya Perez made Cougars history in the first inning at Corona Centennial on Friday. 

And in the sixth inning, she won them a ball game.

Thanks largely to Perez' dominant hitting, it was a memorable afternoon of softball for Norco, which avenged a 6-2 loss from only four days prior to defeat the Huskies 8-4. The win placed the Cougars in a tie for first place atop the Big VIII League standings with Roosevelt (Eastvale), against whom they currently have a 1-0 record.

Perez opened the scoring in the first inning with a two-run blast on an 0-2 count. It was her 15th long ball of the season, which set a new school record for one of the winningest softball programs on the West Coast. However, that was all the scoring the Cougars would get for 5.2 innings off of Centennial ace and Colorado State signee Giselle Bentley.

Perez was also very effective starting in the circle for Norco for nearly four innings. She faced runners on second and third with nobody out in the first inning, but pitched out of it and kept Centennial off the board until the fourth, thanks in part to a small slew of nice defensive plays by first baseman Katie Terrazas.

The Huskies tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth frame on back-to-back RBI singles by Jiselle Hernandez and Alina Giles – the latter of which was a comebacker off the face mask and harsh greeting for Norco reliever Marley Goluskin, who had just entered the game for Perez. Goluskin regrouped though and got the Cougars out of the inning before more damage was done.

After Perez pitched the first half of the game with some serious heat and only went to off-speed rarely, Goluskin's heavy mix of off-speed seemed to be a nice complement. She would go on to pitch 3.2 innings without any earned runs allowed, throwing changeups with major downward movement to force soft contact and/or successfully keep batters from sitting on her fastball.

The game was effectively decided with two outs in the top of the sixth inning, at which point Bentley had nearly completed six innings with no runs allowed since the first inning. Perez came up with the bases loaded, again went down 0-2 in the count, and smoked a changeup over the center field fence. Bentley's changeup, which the bottom falls out of with a particularly sharp downward break, had been devastating for much of the night. But it only took one flat changeup that stayed belt-high at the wrong time for Bentley to finish with six earned runs allowed, and the loss.

That wasn't the end of Norco's offensive production, however. After the grand slam, Alina Ortiz came in for Bentley, and Alyssa Hovermale took her deep to go back-to-back with Perez and give the Cougars a 7-2 lead. Norco would tack on one more insurance run and also allow two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh before finishing with an 8-4 victory.

Perez finished 3-3 with two home runs, a single, a walk, and six RBIs for Norco, and Goluskin was credited with the win. Now all eyes turn to Wednesday, when Roosevelt gets a rematch with the Cougars with an outright league title most likely on the line.