Softball: Sailors still own bay

Newport Harbor uses strong hitting, pitching to cruise to sixth straight Battle of the Bay win over CdM.

March 27, 2013|By Matt Szabo
  • Newport Harbor High's Breanna Lopez, left, touches gloves with teammate Hope Noakes, right, after closing out an inning during a Battle of the Bay softball game against Corona del Mar on Wednesday.
Newport Harbor High's Breanna Lopez, left, touches… (KEVIN CHANG, Daily…)

CORONA DEL MAR — On the very first pitch of the game, Newport Harbor High senior Breanna Lopez bunted for a base hit.

Her hit caught host Corona del Mar a bit off-guard in the softball Battle of the Bay. By the time the half-inning was over, the Sailors had put up three runs.

That turned out to be more than enough.

Newport Harbor breezed to a 6-0 victory on Wednesday at CdM, the Sailors' sixth straight Battle of the Bay win. And, though Newport Harbor improved to just 3-8, Coach Russell Hartman said the Sailors have been growing through their tough nonleague schedule.

"Our goal this year was to face better pitching in the offseason," Hartman said. "It's hurting our record, but it's showing in our hitting. We've been hitting better. Hopefully, when we get to league, we'll be a little bit more prepared than we were last year."


Newport Harbor has not won a Sunset League game since 2007, suffering 52 straight losses. Last year the Sailors came close against Edison before losing, 1-0, and they also lost to Fountain Valley in a 14-inning game.

"That is definitely my main goal, to win a league game," Lopez said. "If I get at least one, I'll be happy."

Beating CdM (0-10) has been less of a problem.

After Lopez's bunt single, she was driven in on Shea Horvath's double to the wall in left-center field. Horvath scored on Lauren "Lou" Gandi's single to right.

Concordia-bound cleanup hitter Hattie Marshall, last year's Newport-Mesa Dream Team Player of the Year, would later score on a passed ball.

Lopez, Horvath and Gandi combined to go eight for 12 in the contest, with four runs batted in and four runs scored. Gandi also had a double leading off the third, scoring on an another double by Hope Noakes.

"Lou and Bree have been hitting well," Hartman said. "Shea was a surprise today. That was really good for us; we needed that from her."

Newport Harbor added a pair of unearned runs in the fourth inning. The run support was more than enough for the Sailors' trio of pitchers, freshman Haley Martinez, junior Savannah Caviston and Marshall.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported Haley Martinez's last name as Ramirez.

Marshall, the Sailors' only real pitcher last year, now can keep her inning count down before league. Caviston, who was a Dream Team selection as a freshman, was solely a rower last year but has returned to softball.

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