By Eddie Herz
LOVELAND –– With an opportunity to secure their second victory in as many attempts during their first day of Triple Crown festivities, the Corona Angels Martinez utilized a crucial two-out rally to pull away from Diamond Legacy 14u (Texas) atop Centennial Park's softball diamond.
Following a few back-and-forth introductory innings, the California-based Angels clung to an uncomfortable 4-3 edge with two away and no one on base in the top of the third.
Nevertheless, amid a scalding afternoon that certainly proved hitter-friendly, Corona caught fire upon pushing across six runs by the inning's conclusion en route to snatching a 14-4 triumph –– called after four innings in light of mercy rule procedures.
"We did a great job, and I'm super proud of us for winning both games today," Angels' lead-off hitter Mya Allen said. "Heading into today, we just wanted to do what we always do –– come together as a team. And I think we definitely did that."
The Angels surely meshed together as one on Wednesday, particularly throughout the aforementioned, victory-sealing frame –– during which Corona constructed six consecutive hits while convincingly keeping the line moving.
Headlining the rally, Allen wreaked absolute havoc on the basepaths when belting a line drive to right that rolled all the way to the fence following a fielding miscue from Diamond Legacy.
The speedster used her notable quick feet to transform the knock into an inside-the-park three-run home run, extending the Angels' advantage to 10-3.
Once Corona's agile outfielder rounded first base, she turned on the jets with one thing in mind.
"When I saw the ball get away from here I just went for it all," Allen described. "I knew I could score because I'm always using my speed to make things happen. But that play was really exciting."
Overall, the Angels' base-hit barrage included 17 knocks as eight different Corona players reached safely on multiple occasions. Namely, Briana Medina and Lily Mugica each drove home a trio of runs off a pair of hits apiece. While authoritatively spraying the sphere across the outfield grass, first baseman Olivia Gering also amassed three singles.
Still, Wednesday's victory wasn't only about hitting for the California club.
Despite a relatively rocky first inning on the mound, Angels' pitcher Jessenia Moore attained a dominant rhythm thereafter. And she virtually never gave in from then on out.
Specifically, after a two-run dead-center dinger from Bianca Shoquist gave Diamond Legacy a 3-2 first-frame lead, Moore responded by retiring nine consecutive hitters.
Upon cruising to the finish line with stellar defense behind her, the Angels' ace surrendered merely one earned run, four hits and zero walks in total. She struck two Diamond Legacy batters as well –– both looking.
"That first inning was a little tough, and it's always kind of tricky facing girls you've never seen," Moore said. "But I started adjusting and feeling good as the game went on. Just with my catcher, we did our best to fix what we needed between innings. And it worked out for us."