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Artesia Punishers 97 Squad Off To A Fast Start In Triple Crown Playoffs

The Artesia Punishers 97 team, managed by Tommy Parten, had a pair of three-run seventh innings in its first two playoff games of the Triple Crown 14U Fastpitch Open World Series on July 19 at Kit Carson Park. The Punishers, who went 2-2 in pool play action earlier in the week, advanced to the quarterfinals of the Gold Bracket where they faced the (Lakewood) USA Athletics this morning again at Kit Carson Park.
In the first game, the Punishers were tied with the (Valencia) So Cal 3D 1-1 heading into the top of the seventh when shortstop Deja Portillo (Gahr High School) walked and scored the game-winning run on a base hit from second baseman Jazmine Guzman (Norwalk High School). Next up was third baseman Sarah Parten (Mayfair) who doubled in two runs for insurance. Sereena Ortiz (Charter Oak), who recently joined the team, pitched an outstanding game, allowing just two hits and the one run, which was unearned.
“We had trouble getting used to the pitching,” Parten said. “We came from a slow pitcher yesterday, met a fast one in the first game [today] and a super slow one in the second game. We just had to adjust.”
Immediately after that victory, the Punishers were leading the (Peoria) AZ Hotshots 1-0 until the seventh inning before pushing across three runs and coming away with a 4-0 win. Catcher Aryka Chavez (Bakersfield Stockdale High School) reached on an infield single and went to second on a throwing error to lead off the top of the fourth. After moving to third on a ground out, Chavez came home on a fielder’s choice from Parten.
With one out in the top of the seventh, left fielder Serena Perez (Bakersfield Stockdale High School) singled and stole second. Following a strikeout, Portillo singled to put runners at the corners. That set the stage for first baseman Lizette Reveles (Santa Fe High School), who doubled to the center field fence. Chavez then brought her home with a base hit to left. Autumn Gidley (Lakewood High School) worked the first five plus innings, scattering four hits and never facing more than four batters in any inning. Megan Narvaez (Warren High School) finished the last two innings of one-hit ball. Only one Hotshots player got to third base.
“Our pitchers have come leaps and bounds from the beginning of the season,” Tommy Parten said. “They work hard and they throw at least four or five times a week. We have a regiment of practices that they have to adhere to and they have to earn their spot. Nobody’s spot on this team is locked down. You have to compete day in and day out.”
The Punishers began pool play action with a 3-1 win over the (Moorpark) So Cal Madness this past Tuesday before falling to Temecula’s The Next Level 6-2. This past Wednesday, the team earned a 3-0 win over the (Lynwood) WA Patriots, then lost to the (Scottsdale, AZ) Desert Wolves 5-4 as all five runs were scored in the final inning.
On the other side of San Diego County, the Artesia Punishers 98 team, managed by Dan Weekes, also advanced to the quarterfinals, but in the Silver bracket. That team picked up a 3-2 victory over the San Diego Renegades, followed by a 3-1 win against the Reno Heat. The Punishers faced the (Rancho Cucamonga) So Cal Dynasty earlier this morning at the Santee SportsPlex. The Punishers 98 went 3-1 in pool play action, defeating the (Pleasanton) Mojo 7-1 and (Salem) Oregon Titans 1-0 this past Tuesday before losing to Temecula’s The Next Level 8-1 this past Wednesday. The team regrouped to knock off the (Broomfield) CO Havoc 10-0.

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