Jenna Perez Hits Two Home Runs and Big Sis Alex Hits the Other
By Warren Eastman
It took 8 innings, but the Linfield Christian Lady Lions defeated Woodcrest Christian 10-8 in Thursday’s Ambassador League play. Each team hit 3 home runs. For Linfield, Jenna Perez hit two and Alex Perez hit the other.This is the second game this season in which the Perez sisters have both homered.
Linfield third baseman Sarah Newman continued her hot hitting, going four for five with a double and four runs batted in. In her last two games, Newman is seven for eight with 2 home runs, two doubles, and nine runs batted in.
Linfield got started with two runs in the top of the first inning. JaeCe Simon led off with a fly ball double just inside the left field foul line. Jenna Perez followed with her first home run, a deep fly ball over the right centerfield fence.
Linfield left the bases loaded without scoring in the top of the second inning. In the bottom half of the second, Woodcrest second baseman Angelina Allen hit a line drive home run to left center. In the top of the third, Alex Perez homered to left center to bring the score to 3 1. Perez was then intentionally walked the rest of the game.
Woodcrest struck for five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Taylor Olsen led off with a line single to left center field. After one out, two batters were hit by pitch to load the bases. A weak ground ball towards third by Leti Soria became an infield single, scoring the runner from third. Katelyn Reynolds line single to left drove in two runs, but Linfield cut off the relay throw to home, and threw out Soria after she rounded second base for the second out.
Olivia Harper then homered over the left field fence, driving in Reynolds from first to complete the scoring. Woodcrest was up 6-3.
Linfield immediately responded with three runs in the top of the fifth inning. Jenna Perez led off with her second home run, a high fly ball over the left center field fence. Ariel Artiga lined a single to left center field, but was thrown out going to second. Alex Perez was intentionally walked. Kiki McGrath hit into a fielder’s choice, forcing Alex Perez out at second. Payton Howie’s hard ground ball single through the left side was misplayed in the outfield, allowing McGrath to reach third and Howie to second. Sarah Newman doubled to deep left field, scoring McGrath and Howie.
The game then remained tied at 6-6 until the eighth inning. Linfield again left the bases loaded in the sixth inning. In the seventh, Linfield had runners on first and second with no outs, but Natalie Santillan’s scorching line drive was snagged by Woodcrest pitcher Paige Markley who threw to first to double off the runner, squelching the rally. In the seventh, Woodcrest had runners at first and second with two outs, but a pop fly to second ended the inning.
In the top of the eighth, Linfield broke through for four runs. JaeCe Simon led off with her third hit of the day, a line single to left. Jenna Perez walked. Ariel Artiga’s line drive double to the right center field fence, scored Simon with Perez at third. Alex Perez was intentionally walked for the third time to load the bases. Kiki McGrath’s sacrifice fly to right field scored Jenna Perez with Artiga moving to third. Howie walked to reload the bases. Newman then drove in two more with a hard ground single through the left side.
Woodcrest came back with two runs in the bottom of the eighth. Allen reached on an infield error. One out later, Soria hit a high fly ball home run over the right center field fence to score the two runs. The next two batters were then retired on infield grounders to end the game.
With the win, Linfield Christian improved to 14-5 on the season and 6-2 in league play. Linfield moved to third place in the Ambassador League, one game behind co-leaders Ontario Christian and Aquinas. Alex Perez was the winning pitcher; she is now 8-4 on the season, 4-2 in league. Opponents continue to try and avoid her as a hitter – she has walked 16 times in 8 league games and leads the league with a .784 on-base percentage.