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Bats carry Eagles to win

Estancia has 18 hits, pulls away late to defeat rival Costa Mesa in Orange Coast League game.

April 15, 2014|By Matt Szabo
  • Estancia High's Bree Vernon, bottom center, is safe at second base after Costa Mesa's Anessa Farldow, far right, miss throws the ball to teammate Brenna Alvis, far left, in an Orange Coast League game on Tuesday.
Estancia High's Bree Vernon, bottom center, is… (KEVIN CHANG / Daily…)

As the younger sister of Tyler Rios, the 2013 Newport-Mesa Baseball Player of the Year, Felicia Rios feels a bit of pressure.

And, as a sophomore in an Estancia High softball infield that otherwise has nothing but seniors, Felicia Rios feels the need to rise to the occasion.

"It's tough trying to keep up with them," said Rios, the shortstop. "Yeah, it's tough having to prove myself and show what I got. It's fun, though."

Rios said that she struggled with her hitting at times in the Eagles' preseason. Her place in the batting order bounced around.

Don't tell rival Costa Mesa that, though.

Rios had a breakout type of day as Estancia pulled away late in Tuesday's Orange Coast League game, earning a 14-7 victory at the Mustangs' field. It was Estancia's seventh straight league win over Costa Mesa, and Rios helped make it happen.

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Hitting from the No. 2 spot, she was four for five with a pair of doubles and two runs batted in. But she was not the only Eagle who came to rake, as Estancia (11-3, 2-0 in league) had every batter reach base at least twice. Eight of the Eagles' 18 hits went for extra bases.

Leadoff hitter Gianna Guyot was three for five with two doubles and three RBIs, and cleanup hitter Bryanna Vernon had a pair of hits and scored twice. Maya Van Den Heever, the center fielder, was three for five with a double and four RBIs.

The No. 9 hitter, freshman Isabelle Morales, was two for four with a double, a triple and two RBIs. The No. 8 hitter, senior Amy Moya, also had a triple, and two RBIs.

Estancia Coach Carrie Lester saw her team win despite committing seven errors. Four of them came in the bottom of the third inning, when the Mustangs (1-11, 0-2) scored three unearned runs.

Errors also hurt the Eagles in their last game, a 10-9 loss to Newport Harbor two weeks ago when they committed six of them.

"[Seven is] too many," Lester said. "That's not how we play, and that's how games are lost. We just got lucky that our bats didn't let us lose ... this was competitive. It's much more fun when it's competitive. Everyone wants to play seven innings."

The game definitely was more competitive than the teams' last meeting, a 13-4 Estancia victory in the Costa Mesa tournament on March 15. The host Mustangs battled hard Tuesday, even after the visitors took an 8-3 lead in the top of the fifth inning.

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