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Santana pitcher simply good enough

04/25/2013, 9:35pm PDT
By Terry Monahan

Senior walks seven, but Sultans still clinch Grossmont Valley League title.

Santana senior Amber Schisler walked seven batters but made quality pitches when she had to in registering a win over El Capitan that clinched the Grossmont Valley League title for the Sultans.

— During Amber Schisler’s four-year pitching career at Santana High, it won’t rank as a memorable outing.

Striking out just three and walking seven is hardly close to her top games. But Schisler was good enough to hold rival El Capitan to just one run in a 6-1 softball win Thursday afternoon on the Sultans’ field.

“The whole day felt weird,” Schisler said. “To walk seven and give up just one run is a tribute to my defense.

“If it was just me out there, I would have thrown down my glove and walked off, but I had to keep going.”

The win — coupled with it being against the Vaqueros, who defeated Santana in last year’s San Diego Section Division III championship game — clinched the Grossmont Valley League title for the Sultans (17-5, 5-0) once again.

“We shared league with them last year and we wanted it outright this time,” said Schisler, who improved to 14-2.

“Everyone on this team has their own little personal goals, but we all want to bring a CIF championship home. I want a banner in our gym badly, and this is my last chance to get that done.”

No. 2-ranked Santana took another step closer to that banner with the help of “Little Ball.”

Four times, the Sultans bunted and four runs came home, including a two-run bunt single by Ashley Groover in a three-run fourth inning that snapped a 1-1 tie.

Schisler had a pair of bunt singles over the head of a charging infielder, including an RBI in the first inning for a 1-0 lead.

“Two terrible bunts,” said the McNeese State-bound Schisler. “We practice bunting, but you wouldn’t know it by watching me bunt. But it all worked, though, and this is all that counts for all the seniors like me.”

Santana has lost in the section finals three of the last four years and Schisler had seen two of those setbacks, including walking in the winning run as a freshman.

The Sultans collected 10 hits with four of them reaching the outfield. Kayti Grable, Tara Grennen and Schisler were all 2-for-3 against El Capitan ace Delanie Gourley, who registered nine strikeouts and issued no walks.

No. 7 El Capitan is now 14-14 overall and 1-2 in league play after forfeiting five wins for playing in a fourth tournament this season.

“I certainly didn’t expect a 6-1 game,” El Capitan coach Joe Cota said.

Especially since the first meeting was a 1-0 win by Santana.

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