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Hailee Rios, San Marcos Pound Montebello in Softball Playoff Opener

Hailee Rios, shown in an earlier game, smacked three doubles and a triple for San Marcos in its CIF playoff win at Montebello. Click to view larger
Hailee Rios, shown in an earlier game, smacked three doubles and a triple for San Marcos in its CIF playoff win at Montebello. (JC Corliss / Noozhawk File Photo)

Hailee Rios put on a a power display for San Marcos in a 9-3 CIF-Southern Section softball playoff win at Montebello on Thursday.

Rios went 4-for-4, with three doubles and a triple, three RBI and three runs scored. The Fresno State signee also pitched a one-hitter for six innings, striking out 11, walking one and allowing three runs, all unearned.

San Marcos (20-7) advances to a second-round Division 4 game at Hemet on Tuesday.

Rios got things going in the third inning with a run-scoring monster drive that resulted in a double (there was no outfield fence). Aliyah Huerta-Leipner, who led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Savannah Tait, scored. Rios advanced to third on a sacrifice fly and scored on a single by Morgan Jensen for a 2-0 lead.

Rios led the Royals to two more runs in the sixth. She blasted a triple that scored Tait and came home on a single by Hailey Fryklund.

San Marcos had 16 hits in the game.

Montebello made things interesting in the fifth, capitalizing on a passed ball, throwing error and a misplayed fly ball to score three runs and cut the San Marcos lead to 4-3.

The Royals rebounded and put the game away with five runs in the seventh. Clair Early started the eruption with a solo homer. Paige Powell and Megan Cunnison singled and Tait hit a two-out line drive to right that was misplayed and dropped, allowing pinch runner Maura Mannix to score, making the score 6-3. Rios came up and smacked her third double of the game, this time to right field, to bring home Cunnison and Tait. Fryklund followed with a RBI triple for a 9-3 lead.

Huerta-Leipner pitched the seventh for the Royals and retired Montebello in order, striking out two.

"We had lots of opportunities in the innings that we didn’t score, leaving at least two or three runners on base each of those innings, so I knew the dam would burst sooner or later," said San Marcos coach Jeff Swann. "It was fortunate for us to get the four-run lead, with a couple of key hits from Mo (Morgan Jensen) and Fry (Hailey Fryklund). I’m really proud how the team responded in the seventh inning after Montebello scored their runs in the sixth."

Early and Jensen had big games in their playoff debuts. Early was 3-4 with a homer and Jensen 2-5 with a RBI. Fryklund went 2-3 with a triple and two RBI and Cunnison was 2-4 with a run scored.


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