Estancia softball rides offense to win in CIF Division 7 opener

Estancia's Mikaila Gorey delivers a pitch against San Gabriel Mission during Division 7 softball playoffs.
Estancia’s Mikaila Gorey delivers a pitch against San Gabriel Mission in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 7 softball playoffs on Saturday.
(Andrew Turner)

The Estancia High softball team was mere minutes away from not taking the field at all for its first-round playoff game on Saturday.

When San Gabriel Mission had enough players arrive at the field to start the game, the Eagles took off with an eight-run first inning and never looked back.

Grace Young and Jaydin McClure each had a homer among their three-hit performances, as visiting Estancia hammered San Gabriel Mission 20-2 to advance to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 7 playoffs.

Estancia (11-8) drew a road game for its next test against fourth-seeded Baldwin Park (17-10), a game scheduled to be played Tuesday. Baldwin Park beat North Hollywood Oakwood 14-2 in its first-round game.

Every starter reached base for the Eagles, and 10 players crossed the plate, in the rout of San Gabriel Mission (3-6). Estancia scored eight runs in the first, seven in the second, and five more in the third.

Unsure if the game was going to be played, Estancia coach Taise Thompson was imploring her team to stay ready through the unexpected delay.

“Even if we’re not going to play, we have to want to play,” Thompson said. “You have to get excited, want to be on the field, and that’s how they got. In the first inning, we came out here strong — how we needed to start — because that’s our problem, how we start. If we don’t start off strong, we can’t play from behind. It takes us a long time to catch up, but if we start strong and stay strong, nobody can beat us.”

On a field without outfield fences, Young cleared the bases with a grand slam to left field in the second, Alondra Galvez, Kelly Jo Bishop and Mikaila Gorey scoring in front of her. Young sprinted around the bases, then ran down to first again to get a high-five from her father, Bobby, the first base coach.

“It made me feel really good,” Young said of the celebration at first base. “He’s always been coaching me to be the best that I can be, and I’m just so happy that I get to be out here working with him. To hit a grand slam and high-five him afterwards, it felt so special.”

McClure followed with her own blast to left field, giving the Eagles back-to-back home runs.

“Jaydin is a beast,” Young said of the Eagles’ starting pitcher. “She really is. She works so hard every day. I’m so proud of her, too.”

Devoni Bustos, Shyane Leslie and Bishop each had two hits for Estancia. Gorey, McClure and Galvez each scored a team-high three runs for the Eagles. There was an attitude about the Eagles that showed they expected to be on base each plate appearance.

“If you’re expecting yourself to fail, then you’re not pushing yourself, so you have to want yourself to be better, want your teammates to be better,” Thompson added. “Even if you’re not going to catch it, lay out. You don’t know. If you never try, then you’re never going to push yourself, and that’s where we were at the beginning.”

Also in the CIF Southern Section softball playoffs:

Huntington Beach 12, Torrance 1: Sophia Knight had a home run, two doubles and five runs batted in, as the Oilers rolled to a road win in the first round of the Division 1 playoffs on Thursday.

Saige Anderson also homered and drove in three runs for Huntington Beach (24-5). Zoe Prystajko had 14 strikeouts in a complete game.

Liah Lummus had three hits for the Oilers. Tea Gutierrez and Abcde Ornelas each had two hits.

Santa Fe Springs St. Paul 8, Fountain Valley 4: Camila Becerra had a home run and two runs batted in, but the visiting Barons were beaten by the Swordsmen in the first round of the Division 3 playoffs.

Veronica Moore had two hits for Fountain Valley (17-12), which saw Kileigh Villalobos and Delaney Mondino each drive in one run.

Los Amigos 27, Calimesa Mesa Grande 18: Dulce Jaracuaro, Leah Lemusu, Valerie Villa and Anais Alarcon each scored four runs for the Lobos on Friday in the first round of the Division 7 playoffs.

Nathalie Gonzalez added three hits and four runs batted in for Los Amigos (9-8-1). Alina Mendez also had three RBIs.