Tologs thump Rebels, 13-3

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Sumner Hanula started it, Hannah Zika ended it and, in between, plenty of other Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy softball players joined in on the hit parade.

It saw an early start that led to an early ending, as the Tologs trumped visiting Flintridge Prep, 13-3, in five innings in Thursday's nonleague affair.

"They really hit the ball," said Tologs Coach Kirk Nishiyama, whose team pounded out 13 hits and improved to 2-1. "The difference was getting those three [runs] in the first inning, which I think made them relax.

"The hitting was contagious."

Hanula walked to lead off the bottom of the first before stealing the first of six Tologs stolen bases and eventually scoring the first of three runs in the opening stanza.

"Personally, I think the most important thing is really starting fast and scoring early," said Hanula, who went three for three with a walk, three runs batted in, three runs scored and two stolen bases. "It brought the momentum into the game."

Sacred Heart tacked on another run in the second for a 4-0 lead before adding four in the fourth inning and five in the fifth, as a Zika single scored Kelly Trueblood to force the mercy rule.

In contrast, Flintridge Prep (0-6) never got going aside from a three-run fourth that cut the lead to 4-3, only to see more Tologs hits and more Rebels errors continue Prep's struggles. Unfortunately for the reigning Prep League champions, it's been a common theme this season.

"It's been a combination of things. We're not putting things together yet," said Rebels Coach Julie Jaime, whose team had three errors and a rash of wild pitches and passed balls. "We're making errors at bad moments and following it with giving up timely hits."

Prep's Jenna Galper had two of her team's four hits and scored the Rebels' first run of the fourth. She was followed by Chelsea Johnson and Maya Okamoto, who scored on a Caitlin Gillman double, but the Rebels couldn't hold the momentum, as the Tologs responded with four runs in the bottom half of the fourth to bring the lead back to a comfortable 8-3 advantage.

"We were able to rally back a little," Jaime said. "We just have to turn that corner when we get that momentum."

Instead, it was Kaitlin Powers, who finished the game three for three with a triple, three runs and a stolen base, who turned the momentum back the Tologs' way with a sharp leadoff single that was followed by another Hanula hit. Thereafter, it was two walks, another single, three stolen bases and three wild pitches that were responsible for the four-run onslaught that effectively turned the game back into a rout.

"We were also aggressive on the bases, which got us some runs," Nishiyama said.

Alex Eaton had two hits, two runs and an RBI for the Tologs, while Kelly Jacobs added a pair of hits, a walk, two RBI, three stolen bases and a run, Trueblood had an RBI double, a walk and three runs and Zika had a pair of RBIs. In the circle, Ashley Lund allowed three runs (two earned) over five innings and struck out six, while walking one. The offensive output was all the more impressive considering it came without reigning All-Area selection Lauren Torres, who was on a college recruiting trip for soccer.

"Sometimes we rely too much on one person, so it shows we can really win as a team," Hanula said.

Added Nishiyama: "It's a step in the right direction."

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