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High School Softball: Sailors edge Eagles, 10-9

Freshman Del Toro earns win and save, as Newport Harbor notches second district win of the year by holding off Estancia.

April 03, 2014|By Matt Szabo
  • Estancia High's Gianna Guyot, right, slides under the tag of Newport Harbor's Diana Surber during a nonleague game on Thursday. (Scott Smeltzer - Daily Pilot)
Estancia High's Gianna Guyot, right, slides under… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Even with a very young squad this year and rough preseason results, the Newport Harbor High softball team may still be the class of the Newport-Mesa district.

The Sailors continued building their case for that Thursday.

Freshman pitcher Sammy Del Toro recorded both her first win and first save of the season and the Sailors hung on to edge Estancia, 10-9, in a nonleague game at Newport Harbor High.

"Any win is good," said Newport Harbor Coach Russell Hartman after his team improved to 2-11-1.

The two wins have felt very nice, however. Both have come against district foes. Last week it was the Sailors beating Corona del Mar, 8-5, in the Battle of the Bay game.

Del Toro has split pitching time fairly evenly this year with sophomore Haley Martinez, who earned the win over CdM. They are part of a youth movement for Newport Harbor, which starts just one senior, outfielder Mariah Cruz. Two other freshmen, second baseman Kendall Machado and shortstop Diana Surber, earned the start Thursday, while freshman Molly McWhertor was a pinch-hitter.

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"It has been rough," Hartman said. "Not only are they freshmen, but we don't have any travel-ball players, so they're inexperienced. They maybe haven't seen some of the speed of the game that they've been seeing out here. We're definitely going through some growing pains. It's going to be a process."

Newport Harbor built a 6-2 lead after scoring six unearned runs in the bottom of the third inning. Five of Estancia's six errors took place in the frame, although Surber and leadoff hitter Shea Horvath did have bunt singles and Martinez recorded an RBI double.

Estancia (10-3) twice cut its deficit to two runs, the second time in the sixth inning when senior pitcher Kelly Hinkle led off with a single. One out later, Karina Catalano walked, and both players eventually came home on an infield throwing error, trimming Newport Harbor's advantage to 8-6.

But the Sailors added two more runs in the sixth, with Machado and Surber both hitting run-scoring doubles.

Hartman pulled Del Toro after five innings and inserted Martinez in the circle. Estancia threatened to come all the way back in the seventh.

Senior Bryanna Vernon led off with an infield single, before senior Chloe Davis stroked a single to left. Maya Van Den Heever then reached on a bad-hop single to second base, scoring Vernon and cutting the Sailors' lead to 10-7.

The potential tying run came up to bat for Estancia. At this point, Hartman went back to Del Toro at pitcher.

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