High School Softball: Estancia routs rival Costa Mesa

COSTA MESA — At the end of the sixth inning, the Costa Mesa High softball team gathered near the dugout and yelled, "Estancia!" The players then lined up to slap hands with rival Estancia.

The Mustangs believed Thursday's Orange Coast League home game was over. It wasn't, but it might as well have been.

The teams played one more inning, going the normal seven. The Eagles added three runs to their 23-12 rout, helping them sweep the Battle for the Bell series against Costa Mesa for the second straight year.

Estancia (11-6, 4-2 in league) won its sixth straight against the Mustangs. More importantly, it remained in the hunt for one of the league's three automatic CIF Southern Section playoff berths. The Eagles went into Thursday in third place, one game behind second-place Godinez.

Rachelle Reynolds has never been to the playoffs during her time with Estancia. The senior wants to lead the Eagles to their first postseason appearance since 2009.

She's doing her part by batting .544 with 28 runs batted in. She homered for the seventh time, belting a two-run shot in the first inning, and finished four for six with a double.

She almost never got the chance to knock it out of the park. After Costa Mesa pitcher Nicki Delgado started Reynolds off with three balls, the home-plate umpire ordered Reynolds to first base.

"I was like, 'That was three balls,'" Reynolds said. "But he told me it was four."

The umpire checked with the base umpire, who agreed with Reynolds. The home-plate umpire called Reynolds back.

Before she returned to the batter's box, someone said, "Make them pay!" Reynolds believes it was her dad, Steve Winston.

She listened to her father. On the next pitch she saw, Reynolds hit it over the left-field fence and gave Estancia a 2-0 lead.

The Mustangs (1-5 in league) put up a fight, though. Unlike in their game earlier this month against Estancia that the Eagles won, 21-3, in five innings because of the mercy rule, the Mustangs came back twice to tie the game.

Costa Mesa evened it at 2-2 in the bottom of the first inning, with Jennifer Santiago-Terrasas driving in one run with a double and Olivia Ortiz singling in a run.

The Eagles jumped on the Mustangs in the second inning, scoring six runs. Most of the runs can be attributed to the Mustangs committing four errors in the inning.

The only hit in the second inning that drove in a run was turned in by Felicia Rios, who went four for five with two RBIs and a double.

Costa Mesa answered in the bottom half of the third inning. Maria Diaz led off with a single, one of her five singles she produced, and Santiago-Terrasas singled.

With two runners on, Ortiz smashed a three-run home run to left-center field. The shot cut the deficit to 8-5, and the Mustangs scored three more times to tie it.

"Way more fun than last time," Estancia Coach Carrie Lester said with a smile. "They were hitting."

Lester's Eagles also continued to tag the ball, collecting 18 hits (five doubles and two home runs). Bree Vernon and Amarilis Moya had three hits apiece and Chloe Davis hit a solo homer.

Estancia went on to score six runs in the fourth, two in the fifth, four in the sixth and three in the seventh. The support was more than enough for junior Kelly Hinkle, who struck out eight, to pick up the win.

"It's been a year of growing pains," said Heather Orduna, Costa Mesa's first-year coach. "We've had a lot of injuries and we've had some unexpected factors that have cost us players.

"We tried really hard. Our [15] defensive errors kind of killed us."

Orange Coast League

Estancia 23, Costa Mesa 12


Estancia 260 624 3 - 23 18 4

Mesa 206 300 1 - 12 18 15

Hinkle and Vernon; Delgado and Herrera. W – Hinkle. L – Delgado. 2B - Ortega (E), Reynolds (E), Moya (E), Hinkle (E), Rios (E), Delgado 2 (CM), Santiago-Terrasas (CM), Herrera (CM). HR – Reynolds (E), Davis (E), Ortiz (CM).

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