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Dana Hills junior Frankie Tago. Photo: KDahlgren Photography
Dana Hills junior Frankie Tago. Photo: KDahlgren Photography

By Steve Breazeale

For in-game updates, scores, news and more for all of the Dana Hills High School spring sports programs, follow us on Twitter @SouthOCsports.

Triton Bats Erupt in Win Against Dolphins

After taking a 3-1 lead into the top of the fourth inning of their nonleague matchup against San Clemente on March 24, the Dana Hills softball team decided to go with a strategic pitching change that had been working like a charm in recent weeks.

Normally, once the Dolphins get a lead with hard throwing Serafine Parrish as their starter, they switch gears by bringing in the control-oriented sophomore Carlee Russo. But once Russo stepped into the circle, the Tritons bats got hot.

San Clemente recorded seven runs on eight hits over the next two innings to take a commanding lead and the eventual 8-3 victory. The Tritons did not swat any extra base hits in the rally, but strung together single after single and made productive outs.

The Dolphins tried to counter midway through the rally by replacing Russo with Parish, who started the game, with one out in the top of the fifth, but the damage had already been done.

“We outsmarted ourselves a little bit today. We had a good thing going and we shouldn’t have messed with it,” Dana Hills head coach Brandon Cosenza said of the pitching change. “We tried to maybe throw them off a little bit. Instead we threw ourselves off. We were in control for most of that game, one inning we just lost it.”

San Clemente Senior Jordyne Prussak hit a two-RBI single down the line and Kylie Pignone added a RBI single in the fifth to take a 4-3 lead. Prussak delivered another two-RBI single in the sixth that broke the game open at 8-3.

The Dolphins (9-4) jumped out to an early 3-1 lead when Hailey Hoklotubbe scored on a single that was bobbled in the outfield in the third inning. Madison Killebrew then reached on an error, which allowed second baseman Samantha Williams to score from third.

The Tritons were able to shake off the defensive woes and make up for it with their bats one inning later.

“We had three mistakes (on defense) in that one inning, and that really hurt us. And they kind of picked it up at that point in time,” San Clemente head coach Bill Malcolm said.

Prussak earned the win as the starting pitcher and senior Lauren Kane came on in relief. The pitchers combined to hold the Dolphins bats to four hits.

The two teams faced each other again on March 26 and San Clemente cruised to an 18-3 win.

Boys Swim Defeats Tritons in League Opener

In a meet featuring two of the preseason favorites to win the South Coast League, the Dana Hills and San Clemente boys swim teams battled on March 24, with the Dolphins emerging as the victors, 92-78.

Standout freshman Owen Kao set a school record in the 200 freestyle, posting a time of 1:41.25.

Fellow freshman Shane Forker won the 500 freestyle in 4:35.18, a time automatically good enough for CIF qualification.

The team’s first-place 200 medley relay team featured Michael Smith, Trent Pellini, Jack McLaughlin and Bennett Williams.

The Dana Hills girls team lost to San Clemente, 92-78. The Dolphins’ Cassidy Humphrey had a successful meet, winning the 200 individual medley and the 100 butterfly.

Dolphins Volleyball Drops First Match to Oilers

On March 21 the Dana Hills boys volleyball team tried to do something no other team has been able to accomplish in two years—defeat Huntington Beach.

The Dolphins, who headed into the match against the Oilers as part of their run through the OC Championship Tournament, could not accomplish the feat, losing to the reigning CIF-SS Division 1 champions 25-19, 25-15.

Dana Hills senior outside hitter Grady Yould was named to the All-tournament team.

The loss was the first suffered this season by the Dolphins, who currently own a 14-1 overall record on the year. Dana Hills is ranked No. 5 in the Division 1 polls.

The Dolphins were set to open South Coast League play against Tesoro on March 26. Results were not available at press time.

No. 2 Dolphins Baseball to Face Wolverines

The two baseball programs that were promoted to the South Coast League this offseason will square off against one another for the first time in 2015 on March 27. Dana Hills, the current No. 2 team in CIF-SS Division 1, will play Aliso Niguel, who is off to a 2-1 start in league play.

The Dolphins (11-1, 1-0) are coming off a double header sweep of Valencia on March 21.

Dana Hills’ senior Marrick Crouse is in the midst of a remarkable run, both at the plate and on the mound. Crouse pitched a complete game shutout against Tesoro in the Dolphins league opener on March 20, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out nine.

Crouse is also riding a five-game hitting streak that dates back to March 12. Against Tesoro and in the two games against Valencia, Crouse collected five hits and two RBI.

The Wolverines have won three out of their last four games.

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