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SANTEE – The visiting University City Centurions (14-15) behind some keen opportunities in the top of the seventh inning push across a couple of runs and hang on for the come from behind victory on Saturday afternoon.

Santana (14-12) would be first on the board as they pushed across a run in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a two-out base hit by Shelby Holmquist that brought home Gilliane Johnston to make it 1-0.

The run came courtesy of a double by Madison Mendez who was lifted for Johnston as a courtesy runner.

Mendez who took the circle for the Sultans in the elimination game shut down the Centurions for the first couple of innings. However, things changed in the top of the third inning with two outs.

With two outs, Audrey Continelli hit a ball to second base that was misplayed allowing her to reach safely, the next batter Erin Gillum ripped a ball to left field for a double that allowed Continelli to race home and tie the game at 1-1. With the score tied the Centurions took a 2-1 lead when Jayla Briggs laced a ball to left field for a base hit.

University City would extend their lead to 3-1 in the top of the fourth inning on a base hit by Kiana Pangelinan.

Another run by the Centurions in the top of the fifth inning extended their lead to 4-1 on a base hit by Ashley McConnell.

Trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning the Sultans needed some sort of offense and finally put some momentum together.

Leadoff hitter Joey Barkhimer singled, Isabella Cyman walked, MacKenzie Sims singled advancing the runners up. The next batter Emmalee Leggett singled to score Ashley Madrigal and Marilyn Downing would also score on an error by the Centurions to cut the deficit to 5-3.

Santana later in the inning would tie the game at 5-5 and take the lead thanks to Holmquist who singled in Johnston.

Now leading by a run in the top of the seventh inning the Sultans knew they had to get the final three outs.

However, the Centurions had other ideas starting with a leadoff walk by McConnell, Riley Torgeson came into run, Alexi Wyckoff walked to put runners on first and second base.

With one out and runners on second and third up came Pangelinan who laced a hard hit ball for single to bring home Torgeson and tie the game at 6-6, Wyckoff would come into score when she tagged up after a caught out which gave the Centurions a 7-6 lead.

Now the Sultans were down to their final outs and with one out Sims singled, Leggett followed with another single. Santana now had runners on first and second and only one but Kate Wiggins who came in to relieve Ashley Legler retired the next two batters including Mendez on a fly ball to end the game and give the Centurions the come from behind victory.

For the Sultans, Mendez took the loss as she went 7 innings giving up 7 runs on 9 hits while walking 5 and striking out 4.

For the Centurions, Wiggins garnered the win going 2 innings of relief while giving up 1 run on 4 hits while walking 1 and striking out 4.

Legler who started went 5 innings but didn’t factor into the decision as she gave up 5 runs on 9 hits while walking 3 and striking out 5.

With the loss the Santana Sultans are now officially eliminated from the playoffs while University City will travel to Cathedral Catholic on Tuesday and take on the Dons in an elimination game at 3:30 PM.

HISTORICAL NOTE: Santana Sultans pitcher Madison Mendez finishes her high school career with 64 victories. Her 64 victories according to all research is good for second all-time in the history of the program. The All-Time record is 79 wins held by Amber Schisler who played from 2010-2013. Mendez passed the great Cheryl Forehand who racked up 58 victories from 1978-81.

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