Lady Redhawks take down Griffins

BLYTHEWOOD – The Westwood softball team put some distance on last season in the 2018 season opener Monday night.

The Redhawks, coming off a winless run in Region III-4A opened the season with a 7-2 victory over the Griffins at the Westwood softball field.

“My focus this year is to be competitive,” first-year head coach Steve Cruz said. “I’m not too worried about the big picture, just go out and compete. I’m looking forward to a good year.”

Marlena Perez worked a complete game on the mound for the Redhawks, 4-hitting the Griffins and striking out 10. She walked just one.

Sydney Kinney pulls in some high heat | Leroy Howard

“She did a great job on the mound I’m real proud of her and what she did,” Cruz said of Perez. “Other than that, we still need to work on defense. We had a lot of errors that cost us those runs they scored.”

Westwood jumped to a 4-0 lead by the second inning, thanks to a run in the first inning and three more in the second.

Ihyanna Cruz singled and scored on a wild pitch with one out in the first. Then the Redhawks sent nine batters to the plate in the second, which Fairfield Central stretched out with three infield errors.

Deltrice Holmes singled and Koreena Scott drew a walk to get the inning started. Both scored when Fairfield Central committed a couple of throwing errors.

Jeilymar Jimenez reached base after hitting a grounder to Griffins pitcher Cocoa Rice. Rice made the throw to first, but Jimenez was safe. Fairfield Central infielders then tried to hold Holmes and Scott on base, but hard throws and dropped balls enabled the leadoff batters to score.

Jimenez eventually scored on another Griffins infield error.

The Griffins got a run back in the fourth and another run in the fifth.

Amari Jones led off with a triple in the fourth and she later scored on a wild pitch.

Two Westwood errors and a hit batter in the fifth enabled Fairfield Central to get another run across.

After Tamia Smith reached base on a Westwood error with one out, Rice was hit by a pitch.

Mikeisha Smith also reached on an error, but Tamia Smith was out sliding into third on the play.

China Woodard batted with two out and Rice at second. Rice took third and then scored on a wild pitch. Woodard flied out to centerfield to end the inning.

The Griffins stayed two runs back until the bottom of the sixth, when Westwood picked up three more runs.

Kendall Counts drew a 1-out walk and later scored when the Fairfield Central infield got tied up on how to Kayla Petty’s 2-out ground ball to shortstop.

With Counts at second, and Brianna King at first after getting hit by pitch, Petty made contact and blooped the ball into the second base area.

Neither shortstop Zariah Rice nor second baseman Mikeisha Smith knew where to throw next on the play, and so there was no play.

King was safe at second, and Petty was safe at first. Meanwhile, nobody threw home, where Counts was sliding for the first run of the inning.

After Sidney Kinney reached on another fielder’s choice that resulted in no final out, King and Petty both scored on Marlena Perez’s single.

Kinney was out at third to end the inning.

The Griffins tried one last rally in the top of the seventh. Da’Shiyah Boyd and Tamia Smith slapped back-to-back singles to start the inning, but Cocoa Rice hit into a fielder’s choice and the game ended when Mikeisha Smith struck out and Tamia Smith got caught running between second and third.

“It was looking great. We get two on, no outs,” Fairfield Central head coach Jessica Siebert, in her first year as coach of the Griffins, said. “Then we showed our youth a little bit, got too excited, and it rolled in their direction instead of ours.”

Even though the Griffins open the season with a loss, Siebert said that the Griffins have a lot of youth.

“They are a playoff caliber team,” Siebert said of the Griffins, who finished third in Region IV-3A last year. “We want to go no lower than that this year. We’ve got a lot of young people, lost a lot to graduation, so it’s going to be a rebuilding year. But I think it’s gonna be magical.”

FCHS– 0 – 0 – 0 – 1 – 1 – 0 – 2

WHS – 1 – 3 – 0 – 0 – 3 – x – 7

WP: Marlena Perez, LP: Cocoa Rice

Hitters: Fairfield Central – Amari Jones, 3B. Westwood – Ihyanna Cruz 2-4, Sidney Kinney 2-3, Deltrice Holmes 2-3.


  1. Jessica says

    Great opening season game for the Redhawks especially with an 8th grader pitching, the ladies are working hard. It will only get better from as the season moves forward. Expecting great things from these young ladies.

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