LIVE FROM ESPERANZA HIGH
I have the Mobile OCVarsity Press Row set up at Esperanza High for the first ever meeting between Yorba Linda and Esperanza and what better setting for this neighborhood scrap than the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 softball playoffs.
This is only the second year of varsity softball at Yorba Linda. Many players that would have played at Esperanza in the past play for Yorba Linda now that the school has opened. Most of the girls on both of these teams grew up playing for and against each other in rec ball and on travel ball teams over the years.
Yorba Linda tied for third place in the Empire League and brings a 16-8 record into this matchup. The Mustangs got their first playoff victory when they knocked off Agoura, 6-3, on Tuesday in a wild-card game.
Esperanza, ranked No. 9 in the state by Cal-Hi Sports, won its second consecutive Century League title this season and brings a 10-game winning streak and a 22-6 record into the playoffs.
This game features two of the most talented sophomore pitchers in the county. Yorba Linda has Paige Von Sprecken in the circle and the Aztecs have Hayley “The Matrix” Copeland.
OCVarsity oddsmakers have Esperanza as the favorite because of its deeper lineup, which features Arkansas-bound Nicole Schroeder, freshman Maddie Roth, Brynley Steele and LMU-bound Stephanie Maciel.
I’m pumped. I know all you softball maniacs out there are jacked up. ONLINE HEAD BUTT!!! IT’S TIME TO BE THE BEST!!!! First pitch is at 3:15 p.m. Stay tuned for all the updates.
IT’S TIME TO PLAY THE GAME!!!!!
Finally … IT’S TIIIIIIIIIIME!!!!!!
I’m billing the first ever meeting between Yorba Linda and Esperanza as Yorba Linda vs. Esperanza: The Neighborhood Scrap.
Yorba Linda, are you ready?
Esperanza, are you ready?
LET’S GET IT ON!!!!!!
IT’S TIME TO PLAY THE GAME!!!!!!!!!
Esperanza ace Hayley Copeland, aka “The Matrix” because of the Neo-like movement she gets on her ball, takes to the circle first.
Taylor Townsend with a high chopper in the hole, but Espy third baseman Nicole Schroeder cuts it off and makes a fine play. One down.
Copeland does that Matrix thing and strikes out Paige Von Sprecken. Two down.
Jordan Townsend draws a two-out walk.
The Matrix gets Dana Hendry on a called third strike.
Cee-Lo Green’s “Crazy“ blasts from the sound system between innings. I love this song.
This is my first look at Yorba Linda’s sophomore ace Paige Von Sprecken, who grunts like a martial artist after every pitch.
Bryanna Castro bloops a single to shallow left field to lead off the bottom of the first.
Kirsten Griffiths gets down a perfect sacrifice to move the runner to second and almost gets a single out of it. Wait a minute. There was an illegal pitch called by Blue. Griffiths goes back to the batter’s box, but Castro stays at second. There is a meeting of the Blues to figure out the count and how many outs there are. It’s 2-0 with no outs and the Blues eventually figure it out.
Griffiths ends up grounding out, but she moves the runner to third.
Castro ends up scoring from third on an illegal pitch. “We didn’t come to watch you umpire,” a ticked off YL fans says. I agree. Let a player play. Don’t hate the player, hate the game.
Maddie Roth with a bloop … Whoa! Great play by YL shortstop Taylor Townsend to rob Roth of a single. Two down.
Von Sprecken gets called for a third illegal pitch. That’s gotta be messing with her head.
Arkansas-bound Nicole Schroeder golfs one outta here, but it’s a foul ball. Schroeder is having a fine season. She’s batting .390 with seven bombs and 27 RBIs. Schroeder with a grounder to end the … D’Oh! E-6!!! Schroeder is on and the inning keeps going.
Brynley “The Girl of” Steele with a towering shot deep to center field and it’s … IT’S GONE!!!! That was a two-run moon shot by The Girl of Steele and Espy takes a 3-0 lead.
Make that back-to-back bombs. LMU-bound Stephanie Maciel unloads on an opposite-field blast to right field and the Aztecs take a 4-0 lead.
The Neighborhood Scrap is quickly developing into The Neighborhood Beatdown.
Esperanza 4, Yorba Linda 0 after one inning.
YORBA LINDA RE-JOINS THE NEIGHBORHOOD SCRAP
Back-to-back bombs by Brynley Steele and Stephanie Maciel helped stake Esperanza to a 4-0 lead. Four runs might as well be 10 runs the way Hayley “The Matrix” Copeland has been pitching in recent weeks.
Let’s see if Yorba Linda can fight back and get back into The Neighborhood Scrap.
Amanda Dirks draws a lead-off walk in the top of the second and Sam Molina doubles to give the Mustangs runners on second and third with no outs.
Raelynn Galindo drives a single up the middle to drive in Dirks, cutting Esperanza’s lead to 4-1. YL has runners on first and third with no outs.
Copeland strikes out Cindy Okamoto. One down.
Holly Fauria gets down a bunt to move Galindo to second, but Molina is unable to score on the play. Two down.
Taylor Townsend pops out to end the inning, but I like the heart Yorba Linda is showing by not quitting and coming back right back to put a run on the boards. Welcome back to The Neighborhood Scrap, Mustangs.
YL ace Paige Von Sprecken got called for three illegal pitches in the first inning, but she strikes out Haleigh John and Aubree Edwards to start the bottom of the second.
Here comes the top of the order for the Aztecs and Bryanna Castro bloops a single over the shortstop for her second hit of the game. Castro gets thrown out trying to steal second to end the inning.
Esperanza 4, Yorba Linda 1 after two innings.
Pacifica leads Rosary, 1-0, at the end of two innings. Nicole DeWitt homered in the first for the Mariners.
One of the great Neighborhood Scraps of all-time was the rumble in 1983′s “The Outsiders.” I don’t know who would be the Greasers or the Socs or who would be Ponyboy, Johnny, Dallas, Darryl, Two-Bit or Soda Pop in Yorba Linda vs. Esperanza: The Neighborhood Scrap. Check out the rumble.
Paige Von Sprecken singles yo left-center field to lead things off for Yorba Linda in the top of the third.
YL’s got heart like Daniel Larusso in “The Karate Kid.” That was a pretty unfair neighborhood scrap. It was Daniel-Son vs the entire Cobra Kai, but Daniel-Son learned Karate from Mr. Miyagi and overcame the odds. I’m not saying YL has to learn Karate from Mr. Miyagi to beat Espy.
Dana Hendry gets a one-out double to the gap in left-center field and the Mustangs have runners on second and third.
Amanda Dirks lines a single down the left-field line, scoring courtesy runner Dani Fernandez and Hendry to cut Espy’s lead to 4-3. Daniel-Son, err, Yorba Linda is back in this game. I knew The Neighborhood Scrap was going to be an epic encounter.
Sam Molina grounds into a fielder’s choice and Espy gets the lead runner at second. Two down.
Raelynn Galindo lines out to end the inning.
Kirsten Griffiths strokes a single to left field to lead off the bottom of the third for the Aztecs.
Maddie Roth flies out to center field. One down.
Nicole Schroeder smokes a single to center field. Griffiths tries to take third on the play, but YL center fielder Amanda Dirks guns her down at third. Two down.
Brynley Steele lines out to end the inning.
Esperanza 4, Yorba Linda 3 after three innings.
Yorba Linda could have been demoralized and gone away quietly after Esperanza put four runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first, but the Mustangs Daniel Larusso’d up and clawed their way back into The Neighborhood Scrap to cut Espy’s lead to 4-3 heading into the top of the fourth.
Hayley Copeland is back to being The Matrix. She gets a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts to retire YL in order in the top of the fourth.
Let’s see is the Aztecs can give themselves some breathing room and pick up a run or two in the bottom of the fourth.
LMU-bound Stephanie Maciel singles to left field to lead off the inning for Esperanza.
Colette Riggs gets down a perfect sacrifice to move Maciel to second. One down.
Andrea Martin grounds out and can’t advance the runner. Two down.
Aubree Edwards grounds out to end the inning.
Esperanza 4, Yorba Linda 3 after four innings.
Esperanza vs. Yorba Linda: The Neighborhood Scrap is living up to all the hype. Esperanza leads YL, 4-3, heading into the top of the fifth.
Esperanza ace Hayley “The Matrix” Copeland is really spinning it right now. She has found her rhythm once again, but don’t count out the scrappy Daniel-Sons, err, Mustangs.
The Matrix strikes out Paige Von Sprecken and Jordan Townsend to start the top of the fifth. Then Dana Hendry lines a single down the third-base line and Amanda Dirks bloops a single over the Espy third baseman that catches the chalk.
Sam Molina flies out to right field, but Espy’s right fielder and center fielder just miss colliding with each other. That was about to get ugly.
Here comes the top of the order for the Aztecs. YL ace Paige Von Sprecken delivers each pitch with the ferocity of a martial artist chopping a brick with a grunt.
Von Sprecken with a 1-2- … D’Oh! E-8!!! Von Sprecken should have been out of this inning. Now she has to face red-hot Nicole Schroeder.
Schroeder tattoos the first pitch she sees, knocking it out for a two-run bomb to dead center field. That was crushed. Schroeder might be brought up on charges for abusing that ball. They might lock her up for assaulting a softball in public. Public abuse/assault of a softball with intent to kill. In Karate Kid terms, Esperanza just swept Daniel-Son’s, err, Yorba Linda’s leg.
Esperanza 6, Yorba Linda 3 after five innings.
Pacifica leads Rosary, 2-0, after four innings.
ESPY WITH A POWER SURGE
Brynley Steele, LMU-bound Stephanie Maciel and Arkansas-bound Nicole Schroeder have all homered in this game for Esperanza, which leads Yorba Linda, 6-3, heading into the top of the sixth.
Holly Fauria picks up a two-out single off the third-base bag for the Mustangs in the top of the sixth.
Taylor Townsend flies out to left field to end the inning. Esperanza ace Hayley “The Matrix” Copeland has scattered eight eight hits and struck out nine through six innings.
YL has three outs left.
Let’s see if the Aztecs can add to their lead and to the degree of difficulty for a Mustangs comeback.
Haleigh John gets a two-out single but the Aztecs strand her.
Esperanza, 6, Yorba Linda 3 after six innings.
Edison leads Murrieta Valley, 4-0, in the bottom of the sixth.
Pacifica leads Rosary, 4-0, after five innings.
ESPY DELIVERS ELBOW OFF THE TOP ROPE
It all comes down to this. Yora Linda has three outs left and it trails Esperanza, 6-3, in The Neighborhood Scrap.
The Mustangs have their 2, 3 and 4 hitters coming up in the top of the seventh.
Paige Von Sprecken flies out to center field. One down.
Jordan Townsend flies out to left field. Two down.
Dana Hendry hits one in the hole, but Espy shortstop make sthe long throw to get Hendry at first to end the game.
Esperanza defeats Yorba Linda, 6-3, to win the first ever Neighborhood Scrap. Yorba Linda showed a lot of heart.
DIVISION 1 SCORES
Norco 3, Great Oak 2
Etiwanda 6, Marina 4
Saugus 8, Kennedy 6
Foothill 4, Simi Valley 2
Esperanza 6, Yorba Linda 3
Mater Dei 7, Redlands East Valley 2
Vista Murrieta 10, Corona 0
Los Alamitos 4, Upland 1
Orange Lutheran 5, Roosevelt 1
Valencia of Magic Mountain 3, Los Osos 1
Canyon 8, Moorpark 0
Edison 6, Murrieta Valley 0
West Ranch 3, El Modena 1
Santiago of Corona 11, Temecula Valley 0
Royal 6, Redlands 0
Pacifica 7, Rosary 0
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